Inside Samsung’s quest to redeem itself with the Galaxy S8

“We have a dream to overcome Apple.”

With that simple, obvious statement, the air was sucked out of the large conference room in Samsung’s Suwon, South Korea, headquarters before the company even had a chance to show me the device I flew halfway across the world to see. It’s not often that you hear someone at Samsung actually verbalize the unsaid motivation for many of the company’s products — most executives won’t even mention Apple by name. Yet here was the company’s vice president of product strategy just blurting it out to a small group of journalists.

The dream he is referring to specifically is the Galaxy S8, which after three years of development was officially announced today. Dream happened to be the codename of this project, as Samsung’s president of mobile communications, DJ Koh, elaborated on later: “All of the mingling and aggregation [of work we did on previous phones] comes true with the S8 and S8 Plus. That’s the reason we put the name as like a Dream, rather than thinking of other competitors or other phone manufacturers.”