With Samsung having already released its Galaxy S7 flagship for 2016, attention is already turning towards the Galaxy Note 6. The latest in the range of the extremely popular and well-regarded phablet range is anticipated before the end of the calendar year, but reports are suggesting that it may appear in the stores earlier than many expected and predicted.

The Korean website The Bell is known for having sources close to the supply chain of the corporation – which is of course based in Korea – and the publication believes it has gotten its hands on the release date for the Galaxy Note 6. The Bell suggests that this market-leading phablet will hit the stores in mid-July, which would be a significantly earlier release than previous Galaxy Note iterations.

Galaxy Note 6

Galaxy Note 6 – Android N compatibility

Reports from Korea also indicate that the Galaxy Note 6 is being code-named Grace in production, as Samsung gets to grips with this extremely important device. It is believed that the Galaxy Note 6 will ultimately run Android N (name yet to be finalized) out of the box, suggesting that Google will have finished the latest version of this operating system by this July date. This does sound plausible, as a developer preview for the latest version of the Android operating system has already been made available.

It is interesting to note that Samsung is seemingly pushing its device releases increasingly forward, and that does seem to be an obvious motivation for this ethos. With Apple dominating the marketplace with its iconic iPhone range, it seems that Samsung is attempting to ensure that the Galaxy range is not in direct competition with the iPhone.

Whether or not this strategy will pay off remains to be seen, but what is certain is that Samsung will unquestionably face challenges in what is a diversifying and to some extent stagnating mobile marketplace. Apple has already predicted that it will shift slightly less iPhone units in 2016 than the previous calendar year, and if the consumer electronics giant’s prediction turns out to be correct, this would be the first time it has occurred since the original iPhone was released back in 2007.

And Samsung perhaps faces more threats from other manufacturers than Apple, with affordable Android variants, from companies that are yet to become household names in the Western world, threatening Samsung’s market share. So Samsung may be separating the release of the Galaxy Note 6 from Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus phablet, which is anticipated to release in September, or possibly even later if recent murmurings are to be believed.

IFA to be abandoned?

Samsung has typically released the latest Galaxy Note handset at the IFA trade show, which takes place in the fall, but it has been predicted for several years that the corporation will eventually dispense with this policy. Android analysts have frequently suggested that Samsung will dispense with its traditional policy and release the Galaxy Note series at an earlier juncture, but this has yet to come to fruition.

However, 2016 could be the year that these predictions are found to be accurate, as Samsung has already released the Galaxy S7 somewhat earlier than previous Galaxy S devices. Additionally, there is a clear incentive for Samsung to push the release date of the Galaxy Note 6 forward, with Apple currently dominating the marketplace with the iPhone, and Samsung struggling to keep up with the dominant market-leader.

Fans of Android devices will be excited about the latest rumours from Korea, particularly as it is suggested that the Galaxy Note 6 will feature the Android N operating system. Although Google has yet to officially announced the latest update, the fact that it is now being worked on by developers after a pre-release version was made public suggests that this will not be far away.

Google has already indicated that OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) will be able to gain access to the latest Android operating system by the summer, so this suggests that it would fit into the schedule for the Galaxy Note 6 to be released in July. What should be said in mitigation is that this will necessitate Samsung working rather expediently on readying the firmware for the Galaxy Note 6 should it wish for the handset to ship with Android N.

Whether this would then significantly impact upon the specifications and features that were to be included in the Galaxy Note 6 remains to be seen, but obviously tight production schedules could have an influence over the ultimate makeup of the phablet. This will be a serious consideration for Samsung, as the Galaxy Note range is particularly associated with outstanding specs, and indeed the corporation will be expected to deliver something truly state of the art when the Galaxy Note 6 is unveiled.

Most regarded

The Galaxy Note range has arguably become the most regarded Samsung smartphone, after the Galaxy S range encountered some difficulties in the last few releases. Although the Galaxy S7 is considered a return to form by many critics and fans alike, the Galaxy Note series has received the better reviews over the last few years, and this makes The Galaxy Note 6 an even more important release for Samsung than it would be usually.

When Samsung eventually unveils the Galaxy Note 6, we can expect the spec list and feature set associated with the phablet to be impressive. It is hoped by many fans of the Android range that Samsung will finally opt to include a 4K resolution screen in the Galaxy Note 6. And this possibility seems more likely, as the technology industry in general shifts towards embracing 4K as a mainstream niche. Broadcasters are now experimenting with 4K resolution technology more broadly, but Samsung could become the first major smartphone manufacturer to produce a 4K compatible device (although Sony has already done this with its Xperia range).

Whatever Samsung has in mind for the Galaxy Note 6, it seems that we may have less time to wait to find out than is usually the case with this phablet series.