the latest rumors point to Samsung staying with two models of Galaxy handsets, with the presumptively named S8 Edge, and a vanilla flat-screened Galaxy S8.
On the opposite side of the argument, a vanilla Galaxy S8 offers a number of competitive advantages.
Much as Samsung wants to push innovation, for many who just want 'a phone that works' the curved screen of the S6 Edge and S7 Edge leaned too far towards fashion and away from practicality. The screens catch many more reflections, and with no 'guttering' option in the TouchWiz UI, information at the edge of the display can become distorted. To highlight one example, watching an HD video with the top and bottom curving away from you is not a comfortable experience. The vanilla flat screened models are better workhorse devices.
With the Note 7 no longer available as an enterprise device, being able to offer a suitable replacement is one more objective that the S8 family will have to accommodate. Given the edged variant of the S8 is expected to command a hefty price premium, the lower price of the vanilla model should allow Samsung an easier route to the enterprise market.
Finally, it offers Samsung the chance to continue using the 'Edge' branding which has proven attractive to many. Not only is the Samsung S8 Edge a clear statement on what to expect and an easy upsell for owners of the S6 Edge coming to the end of their two-year contracts, it also drops the word 'Galaxy' from the brand. If there are still negative feelings after the Galaxy Note 7 debacle then the S8 Edge will have a little more distance from the problems of last year.
There is a page named "Oracle" on Wikipedia
D.J. Koh, president of mobile communications business at Samsung Electronics, speaks during a showcase to mark the domestic launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note7 in Seoul (Photo: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images)
In terms of marketing and messaging, I still think that Samsung should go 'all-in' on one design of the Galaxy S8 - if the edge is good enough then it should be for everyone. In that regard the Note 7's lack of a vanilla option was an aggressive move that I welcomed.
Yet launching two models for the S8 family makes more corporate sense. Samsung needs to have a successful launch after the Note 7, it needs to appeal to as wide a range of customers as possible to make up for the lost sales of the phablet, and it needs to retain a foothold in the enterprise market.
It has proven that it can ship two 'S' models previously to critical and commercial success, it has the back-end knowledge of dealing with vast numbers of different models and SKU's and it has the experience of managing a lunch with two distinct models.
I can see the attraction of a Galaxy S8 and an S8 Edge.
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For a long time the expectation has been that Samsung would switch to a single model of the Galaxy S8, and this model would echo the S6 Edge and S7 Edge with the two long edges curving into the edge of the device. The curved screen is seen as Samsung's 'key physical attribute' by many and helps the Galaxy devices stand out in the crowded retail market.
The two previous generations of flagships have also provided 'vanilla' handset options with flat screens - the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S7 - although the release of the Galaxy Note 7 in Q3 last year (fiery issues notwithstanding) saw a single model with only curved edges. Putting the focus on a single design emphasises the message of innovation that Samsung always loves to push, it reduces the complexity of shipping multiple SKUs, and it removes the dangers of overestimating demand of one design over the other.