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Big Week For Samsung, Note 8 & Bribery Decision For Boss

This week is a big week for Samsung, On Thursday we will see them roll out their new Galaxy Note 8 in New York at the same time senior management will be hanging on the decision of a Korean Court on Friday, with a Judge set to rule on the future for Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong, who is currently in jail over a bribery scandal.

Samsung will unveil the Galaxy Note 8 on Wednesday in New York, with the device set to be available in Australia the week prior to Apple rolling out their new 10-year anniversary iPhone 8.

The Galaxy S8, Samsung’s other flagship device that hit shelves in April, had 19.2 million shipments in the second quarter, outperforming its predecessor, the Galaxy S7, by 28% versus the same period a year earlier, according to market researcher Strategy Analytics.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

“The S8 was the world’s best-selling Android smartphone in the first half of 2017,” said Neil Mawston, Strategy Analytics executive director. “The Note 8 is going to be like an S8 on steroids, accompanied by heavy marketing spend and deep retail distribution.”

The big decision for Samsung will come on Friday when a South Korean court will rule on bribery allegations against Lee Jae-yong who while being locked up saw Samsung post record second-quarter net profits US$9.9 billion, this was even better than Apple.

The profit key for Samsung is their semiconductor business which has become the world’s largest chip maker by revenue, grabbing a top spot that the struggling Intel had held for nearly a quarter-century.

The Wall Street Journal said that the fate of Mr. Lee—a verdict will determine whether he can return to work or not—carries huge significance for the Samsung empire, which, like other South Korean conglomerates, looks to the controlling family to sign off on major strategic decisions.

A prolonged absence by Mr. Lee, the Harvard-educated grandson of Samsung’s founder, would create a leadership vacuum atop the conglomerate that spans smartphones, theme parks and biopharmaceuticals.

A Samsung spokesman declined to comment.

Mr. Lee has denied all charges against him.

Prosecutors have recommended a 12-year sentence for Mr. Lee, the Samsung Electronics vice chairman who has effectively led the conglomerate after his father became incapacitated due to a heart attack in 2014.

Earlier this month, a key lieutenant testified Mr. Lee wasn’t involved in the payments’ decision making.

Still, experts say it would be difficult for Mr. Lee not to shoulder responsibility over the payments. If convicted, Mr. Lee is likely to face at least a five-year sentence, according to legal experts. Under South Korean law, any sentence longer than three years cannot be suspended. The ruling can be appealed, ultimately to the Supreme Court.

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