With both Samsung and Apple having announced their quarterly earnings in the last couple of days, both companies will now be looking forward to 2015 with renewed vigor. Apple in particular was able to announce one of the most staggering results in the history of any company, when it posted the largest ever recorded single quarter profit. Samsung didn’t create quite so many headlines, but will nonetheless be relatively pleased with a profitable three-month period, even if it has become evident that Apple’s mammoth success is cutting into the company’s profit margin.
One particularly interesting nugget of information which came out of these reports was the fact that both Apple and Samsung sold, to all intents and purposes, exactly the same number of mobile phones during Q4 of 2014. This indicated the natural rivalry between the two companies, and this is set to be renewed once again in 2015, as Apple releases the iPhone 7, most likely late in Q3, while Samsung unveils the Galaxy S6 smartphone early in Q2.
These will be probably the two biggest smartphone releases of the year, and both companies will be beavering away now to ensure that the next flagship smartphone released is an impressive one. But based on what we know about the iPhone 7 and galaxy S6 thus far, which one of the two handsets looks to have the more impressive features?
Smartphones are, of course, to a great extent built around their screens, and so the display technology utilized in high-end handsets is particularly important. Samsung in particular has concentrated on this aspect of mobile technology in its recent smartphone releases, and is expected to produce something quite spectacular up with the Galaxy S6, considering that previous Samsung devices from 2014 impressed in this department.
Already there are many reports which suggest that the Galaxy S6 will feature at least quad HD technology when it is unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. There were even some early reports which suggests that Samsung could release a 4K resolution device at some point during 2015, and that this could be the Galaxy S6. However, given that there has been no mass-market mobile with a 4K screen as of yet, and the release date of the galaxy S6 is closing in fast, it seems more likely that Samsung will opt for the quad HD option.
So what can Apple do to respond to this? Recent reports have suggested that Apple will release its first ever curved screen device when the iPhone 7 hits the stores. And this will be very much viewed as a direct response to Samsung, which has patented curved screen technology in recent mobile and television releases. There is also strong speculation already that Apple will include Sapphire Glass technology in the iPhone 7; a feature which was perpetually linked with the iPhone 6, without coming to fruition.
Based on these murmurings, it seems that Samsung will attempt to provide the highest quality display in terms of image resolution possible, whle Apple will concentrate on external elements. It will be very much dependent on the individual as to which one of these two approaches works best, but the increasingly impressive screen technology which Samsung is including in its mobile devices has certainly made Apple up its game in this department, and we could see the first full HD smartphone and Quad HD phablet from Apple in 2015.
Another major battleground for this next generation of smartphones will be in photograph taking capabilities. Samsung has previously been lauded for the quality of the cameras in its mobile devices, and is expected to offer a 21-megapixel snapper whether the Galaxy S6 is released. To put this into perspective, the last generation iPhone only had an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera.
But according to rumors, Apple is ready to respond strongly to this. Not long after the iPhone 6 was released, it was already being reported by TechRadar that the next generation iPhone may feature the biggest jump in camera capabilities in the history of the range. Since then, it has been speculated that the iPhone 7 will feature a dual-lens DSLR camera, capable of producing picture quality close to professional standards.
If all off this supposition comes true then it will be a tough choice between the two devices. But it must be said in mitigation that the Samsung rumors look more likely, so will be interesting to see what the iPhone 7 and Galaxy S6 deliver in this department.
Samsung is reportedly ready to respond to Apple Pay and the likely Apple Watch collaboration included in the iPhone 7 with its own proprietary mobile payment system entitled Samsung Pay. This has been very much a niche news item in the media, and there certainly isn’t the same sort of buzz surrounding Samsung Pay as that which has been attached to Apple Pay.
Another interesting feature which is set to debut in the Galaxy S6 is the notion of wireless charging. This has been mooted for some time, and would certainly be welcome among Samsung fans. Given that Apple has been criticized for the battery life inherent within its devices, it seems highly likely that the corporation would directly respond to such technology with the iPhone 7.
Considering that Apple has just experienced the most successful quarter in its history, it is debatable to what extent the corporation will feel under pressure to hugely upgrade the iPhone 6 when the next generation iPhone is released. It would certainly seem to make commercial sense to upgrade the specifications and functionality of the iPhone 6, while adding some bells and whistles, and ensuring that the new iPhone 7 operates even more slickly than previous iterations.
Thus, rumors have tended to focus on improved RAM and storage capacity, along with increased processor power in the iPhone 7. It could be that based on what we haven’t read so far, and the position of the two companies, that Samsung will be ready to take more chances with the Galaxy S6. But given the increasingly dominant position of Apple, this isn’t guaranteed to translate into a more successful Galaxy S6 release.