There’s no great time to break bad news, of course, but your two best shots are either when no one is looking or when you’ve got enough good news to offset the bad. The former is known in political circles as the Friday news dump; all the bad news suddenly appears while everyone is more consumed with the important task of getting ready for the weekend.
The news dump stars aligned ideally a few weeks back when the day before Christmas Eve occurred on a Friday. It would have been the perfect news dump day for Samsung to remind people (hopefully) one final time about the Note 7 fiasco by issuing its final internal report on the matter. Instead, the company waited. According to a report by Reuters that dropped yesterday (spoiler: it was the battery), it will continue to wait until January 23 to issue its wrap-up on the matter.
It’s an interesting date for a number of reasons. First, it’s a day ahead of the company’s fourth-quarter earnings. Last quarter, the company performed much better than expected. If that trend continues for Q4, it’s the ideal time to issue one final reminder before putting this whole messy business of exploding smartphones behind it. The date is also, interestingly, smack-dab in the dead zone between CES and Mobile World Congress.
If Samsung plays its cards right, those shows will present a big turning point for the company. The company made the savvy decision to open its CES press conference with an apology, spending a good couple of minutes at the top of the event acknowledging its troubles.
“This year was a challenging year for Samsung,” Samsung US President Tim Baxter said at the top of the press conference. “We continue our intensive efforts internally and with third-party experts to understand what happened and ensure that it does not happen again.”
Baxter explained the company’s plan to issue its report and then somewhat abruptly shifted into a conversation about “reaching higher,” which some might suggest is part of what got the company in trouble in the first place. What followed was a fairly lackluster showing — unsurprising from a company that has largely taken to making big announcements at its own events.
Whatever the case, it certainly wasn’t the big showing many were hoping to see from the company in the wake of exploding phones and washing machines. By most accounts, that will happen in a month and a half at MWC, when the company is reportedly set to unveil the Galaxy S8, its first major phone release since the Note 7 debacle.
A late-January findings report, coupled with positive earnings thanks to component sales, would surely be settled down just in time for the company to unveil a new flagship.