Samsung to Issue Galaxy S8 Software Updates After Complaints From Users

By Eun-Young Jeong Features Dow Jones Newswires

Samsung Electronics Co. said it would roll out two software updates for its new Galaxy S8 smartphone this week after users complained of red-tinted screens and patchy Wi-Fi connections.

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In announcing the updates Monday, the company said neither the screen hue nor the Wi-Fi issue were product defects, and that it was offering fixes simply for consumers' comfort.

The display-related patch would give users "a further enhanced ability to adjust the color setting to their preference," Samsung said in an emailed statement.

The second software patch, Samsung said, would resolve Wi-Fi issues in some S8 devices stemming from what it described as a fault in the wireless access point of a certain South Korean carrier. The fix will be rolled out only in South Korea.

The moves come three days after the Galaxy S8 hit shelves in the U.S. and Canada. Samsung has said preorder sales for the highly anticipated smartphone were higher than those of its earlier model, the Galaxy S7.

In Samsung's home market of South Korea, where the S8 became available a few days before its North American launch, the S8 recorded more than million preorder sales.

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It is rare for devices running on Google's Android operating system, such as the Galaxy S8, to require software updates so soon after launch, said Tom Kang, an analyst at Counterpoint Technology Market Research.

Apple Inc. releases new software packages with every new iPhone, but this isn't the case with Samsung's flagship phones or with other makers of Android-powered devices, Mr. Kang said.

Three consumers who spoke to The Wall Street Journal last week said they noticed reddish screens after turning on their Galaxy S8 devices for the first time, under factory settings. One customer, Lee Seung-yun, a 30-year-old homemaker, said she received a replacement device after visiting a service center.

It is unclear how many devices have the screen-color or Wi-Fi connection issue. Samsung declined to comment on the number of complaints it has registered.

The smartphone maker needs a smooth start for the S8 to help win back consumer trust, following its costly recall last year of 3 million Galaxy Note 7 devices due to overheating batteries.

Write to Eun-Young Jeong at Eun-Young.Jeong@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 24, 2017 06:30 ET (10:30 GMT)