Samsung: Galaxy S8 preorders outpacing those of S7 in the U.S.

Samsung's DJ Koh introduced the Galaxy S8 at a media event last month. (Samsung)

Preorders of Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 are outpacing those of its previous flagship phone in the U.S., according to the company. And it’s selling quickly in other markets as well.

DJ Koh, who oversees the electronics company’s mobile business, said Samsung has seen 728,000 preorders for the S8 and S8 Plus in Korea, according to The Korea Herald. “We are aiming to sell 1 million units (in Korea) before officially launching the smartphone,” Koh told attendees at a media conference in Seoul, South Korea.

Samsung is spending roughly the same amount to market the S8 as it did to market the S7, the Herald reported, but has stepped up overall ad spending to help recover from the Galaxy Note 7 disaster.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission officially announced a recall of the Note 7 last year after Samsung received 92 reports of batteries overheating in the U.S., including 26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damage including fires. Samsung produced a second wave of devices, but issued another recall after a replacement phone caught fire aboard a Southwest Airlines flight.

Koh tried to assuage any fears regarding safety with the S8, saying the company conducted battery tests on more than 200,000 Note 7 units following the debacle and 100,000 S8 units. “We can confidently say the Galaxy S8 is safe for use,” he said, according to The Herald.

The new phone will come to market in the U.S. next week without Bixby, Samsung’s new voice-driven virtual assistant. Bixby’s voice recognition in English still isn’t ready for prime time, the Journal reported, and the company has yet to commit to a launch date, saying only that it would become available in the U.S. “later this spring.”

The Galaxy Note 7 misstep reportedly cost Samsung in the neighborhood of $10 billion, but the company has clearly begun to right the ship. It claimed 26.1% of smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2017, according to TrendForce estimates released this week, up from 18.5% during the same period a year ago. Apple’s share of the smartphone market fell to 16.9% from 20.3% during the previous year.