Samsung launches new tablets in flagship phone hiatus

On Sunday, Samsung Electronics launched two new tablets since being forced to remove the flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone after some of the devices caught fire.

The Galaxy Tab S3 and the Galaxy Book were presented at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, in past years the scene of major Samsung launches. This year, Samsung has postponed the presentation of the Galaxy S8. Instead, it took the wraps off the Galaxy Tab S3 and the Galaxy Book, which comes in a 10.6-inch and a 12-inch version.

The Galaxy Book will run on Microsoft Windows 10. The Tab S3 will have speakers by Harman-owned AKG, Samsung’s first use of the brand since agreeing to buy Harman for $8 billion last year.

For memo, Samsung withdrew the Galaxy Note 7 last October after faulty batteries led some devices to catch fire, leading to a loss of consumer trust, wiping out $5.3 billion of operating profit, and allowing Apple’s iPhone to overtake it in sales.

Samsung’s smartphone market share dropped to 17.7% in the fourth quarter, while Apple’s rose to 17.8%, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics.

Samsung is expected to launch the S8 in April. In the meantime, dozens of device makers are launching new phones at Mobile World Congress, hoping to exploit the gap Samsung has left.