Samsung delays its new phone, showcases tablets instead

By Anick Jesdanun, AP

NEW YORK — Samsung’s product showcase Sunday is notable for what’s missing: a new flagship phone.

Instead, Samsung is spotlighting new Android and Windows tablets after delaying the Galaxy S8 smartphone — an indirect casualty of the unprecedented September recall of the fire-prone Note 7 phone. The new tablets will carry the Galaxy brand and come with many of the Note 7’s features, including the S Pen stylus and screens with rich colors.

Consumers will have to wait at least a few weeks longer for details on Samsung’s next major smartphone. That’s partly so that Samsung wouldn’t have to share the stage with its smartphone rivals at the Mobile World Congress trade show, which begins Monday in Barcelona, Spain. The delay also gives Samsung more time to make sure it has done everything right, given that any minor bug will surely draw outsized attention.

“The microscope is going to be firmly on Samsung,” said Geoff Blaber, an analyst with the research firm CCS Insight. About the Tablets Samsung said the new tablets will go through extensive safety checks put in place after dozens of Note 7 phone overheated and in some cases exploded. Those incidents prompted aviation authorities to ban them on flights; Samsung eventually killed the product.

Samsung now wants everyone to focus on its tablets’ most notable features:

— The new Galaxy Tab S3, running Google’s Android system, will have a glass back and metal frame, borrowing designs from Samsung’s smartphones. The screen technology, called AMOLED, offers richer colors and purer blacks than standard LCD screens. The display will support high-dynamic range, a feature that promises brighter whites, darker blacks and a wider range of colors — at least for the handful of video titles produced with that capability.

— For those wanting a laptop replacement, Samsung is releasing the Galaxy Book with Microsoft’s Windows 10 and more powerful processors from Intel. Only the 12-inch version will get AMOLED, though; the 10-inch Galaxy Book will use LCD. Both models come with a keyboard attachment, something sold as an optional accessory for the S3. The Galaxy Book is Samsung’s answer to Apple’s iPad Pro and Microsoft’s Surface devices.