KGI Securities has become renowned as one of the top prognosticators for Apple products, and its most noted analyst has made some new predictions regarding the Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone 8 this week. Ming-Chi Kuo, probably the most famous Apple analyst in the world, has suggested that early performance for the Galaxy S8 has been surprisingly good, and that this could have a knock- on effect on the smartphone marketplace for the remainder of 2017.

Galaxy Note 8 vs. iPhone 8
hurk / Pixabay

Shipment surprise

Kuo suggests that shipments of the Galaxy S8 have been stronger than expected, and that this will embolden Samsung in the Galaxy Note 8 generation. With this in mind, Kuo suggests that the Galaxy Note 8 will likely match the iPhone 8 in several key areas, somewhat diverging away from the existing Galaxy S8 flagship.

Before going any further with this comparison, it is important to note that Kuo is referring to the OLED iPhone 8. Apple is likely to release three models of its next generation smartphone in 2017, and the precise makeup of this model range is not yet established. The probability is that the iPhone 8 will be a standalone OLED device, with two LCD handsets released alongside it, possibly being branded as iPhone 7S.

Kuo indicates in a research note that the most important upgrades to the Galaxy Note 8 will include the adoption of a dual-camera setup. This has been strongly linked with the Samsung device range for 2017, and the KGI Securities analyst believes that this will finally land in the Galaxy Note 8 generation. Already there has been a 2x camera feature leaked by some sources close to Samsung’s supply chain, this could very well be the functionality that Kuo predicts.

Matching Apple

We can also reasonably expect a design update when the Galaxy Note 8 is released, in order to incorporate this new snapper. And Kuo suggests that the dual-camera setup included in the Galaxy Note 8 will “be much better than that of the iPhone 7 Plus, and likely match that of the OLED iPhone.”

Kuo also believes that it will be significantly better than the previous cameras included in Samsung Galaxy devices. This is hardly surprising, but it is interesting to note that the analyst believes that the Galaxy Note 8 and OLED iPhone will be extremely similar in this department. Previously it has been predicted that both Apple and Samsung will continue to utilize Sony’s most advanced IMX mobile photography image sensors, so there may be little to choose between the two phones in this department.

The KGI analyst had previously predicted that the Galaxy S8 would shift significantly smaller numbers of units that the Galaxy S7, which was released last year. However, his expectations have been compounded; perhaps slightly surprising considering the storm that Samsung has been under since the fiasco of the exploding Galaxy Note 7.

“According to our survey, market feedback to Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ (abbreviated as ‘S8’) has been better than expected since their unveiling. We attribute this to a better- than-expected selling point in the full-screen design. For this reason, we revise up our 2017F S8 shipments from 40-45mn units to 50-55mn units,” Kuo outlined in a research note.

This is undoubtedly excellent news for Samsung, as it means that the Korean corporation has established its previous position back in the marketplace. While the financial cost of recalling the Galaxy Note 7 was undoubtedly damaging for Samsung, the long-term effects may be fairly minimal, with the brand penetration of the consumer electronics giant pretty much undiminished.

Wraparound iPhone 8

Kuo also believes that Apple will be strongly influenced by the design of the Galaxy S8 when the iPhone 8 hits the stores. In particular, the wraparound display that the Galaxy S8 was especially notable for is now extremely likely to transmit to the iPhone 8s, if the KGI Securities analyst is to be believed. “We now expect full-screen design will accelerate penetration of the high-end smartphone segment over the next few years, thanks to adoption by S8 and the new 2H17F OLED iPhone model,” Kuo suggests.

Such has been the weight of the rumors related to the Galaxy Note 8, it is already possible to put together a hypothetical spec sheet for the phablet. Samsung firstly expected to increase the display size of the phablet in comparison to previous generations, with some sources suggesting a 6.4-inch screen is likely. There is some disagreement here, though, as other reports have hinted at a 6.2-inch display, although this would mean that it is no larger than the Galaxy S8 Plus.

4K resolution debate

Similarly, there is some debate over whether Samsung will integrate 4K resolution into the armory of the Galaxy Note 8, or whether it will stick to Quad HD Plus. both of the Galaxy S8 smartphones benefited from an increase in resolution over the previous generation, and the Galaxy Note 8 will at least match this 2,960 × 1,440 pixel resolution. It would be pleasing if Samsung indeed opted for 4K resolution, but the Korean electronics behemoth may decide that this is unnecessary, particularly with Apple trailing so far behind in this department.

A Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 PRO processor will be utilized in the American and Western marketplace, with Exynos processors used in East Asia and some other proximal geographic regions. Samsung is also expected to increase the RAM included in the Galaxy Note 8 to 6GB, while a 128GB internal storage option could be introduced.

Battery boost

Finally, despite the battery woes associated with the previous generation of this phablet series, it has been suggested in some quarters that the Galaxy Note 8 will feature a larger 4,000mAh cell. There will also be an undoubted emphasis on ensuring that the battery included in the device is considerably more stable and durable than the disastrous Galaxy Note 7.

Thus, it seems that phablet buyers will be spoiled in 2017 with two outstanding releases from the major players in the niche.