With the latest generation of smartphones now very much part of the contemporary marketplace, the two major players in the mobile sphere will be already working on the next generation of handsets. Two of the most prominent mobile devices due out next year will be the iPhone 7 and Galaxy S6.
Apple Breaking Away from Samsung
The two manufacturers of these devices find themselves in very different circumstances. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has gone from strength to strength in recent months, posting extremely positive stock figures, and selling truck loads of its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets. By contrast, profits at Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:0059935) have slumped, and the Korean manufacturer has acknowledged that its approach has not been innovative enough in recent times.
Thus, Apple will be building on a position of strength with the iPhone 7, while Samsung will be playing catch-up with the Galaxy S6. Already there are a lot of rumors about both devices emerging, so let’s take a look at the latest on the iPhone 7 first.
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The iPhone 6 has been a very solid performer for Apple in terms of critical and commercial response, but the consumer electronics giant might be looking to push the boat out further with this next release. Already murmurings are emerging which suggest that Apple might include a few industry firsts in this next flagship smartphone.
Firstly, it is already speculated that the iPhone 7 could be the most expensive mobile device that Apple has ever produced. New sites are already suggesting that the latest smartphone from Apple could cost between $649 and 849, with additional carrier fees to add. However, there will always be some regional variations with regard to this figure, so US consumers shouldn’t necessarily consider this to be applicable to their territory.
The reason for the price hike is that Apple is expected to significantly upgrade the spec and features included in the iPhone 7. The first element of those will be an improved camera in the smartphone, with recent reports suggesting that this may be a 14-megapixel snapper. Previously, it has been prophesized that Apple may improve the iPhone 7 camera to as much as a 21-megapixel lens, but the 14-megapixel figure would seem to be more realistic based on previous iterations.
The iPhone 7 will also have a bigger screen than its predecessor, and efforts will be made in a designer prices to ensure that this doesn’t result in a larger device size. Sapphire Glass is also being hotly tipped to play a part, after it failed to materialize in the iPhone 6.
Also, the design of the iPhone 7 will significantly diverge from previous iPhones. It has already been strongly suggested that users will navigate their way around the new iPhone 7 by using a specialized TouchID sensor instead of the traditional home button. Indeed, the home button will in fact be scrapped completely, enabling a larger screen to be included without producing a bulkier iPhone.
This could also be the world’s first smartphone to offer 256GB of internal storage, while it is possible that this figure may be boosted further still through the usage of micro-SD.
A quad-core A8 processor, improved 4G connectivity, and new applications are all also expected to form part of the iPhone 7 portfolio.
Apple is already beavering away on the iPhone 7, but Samsung will have the first opportunity to create an impression in the market with the Samsung Galaxy S6. This handset will almost certainly be revealed to the public during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which will take place in March, 2015.
The first thing to note about the Galaxy S6 is that it is already very strongly rumored that Samsung will follow in the footsteps of other Galaxy devices and equip the S6 with an Edge variant. The Galaxy Note Edge has generally been pretty well received, and Samsung seems keen to produce a Galaxy S 6 Edge to take advantage of this reception. The curved display is rapidly becoming a trademark for Samsung.
Given the relatively short timeframe that Samsung is dealing with compared to Apple, preparations will already be advanced for the Galaxy S6, and it has been frequently reported that the codename for the project within Samsung is “Project Zero”.
Samsung Galaxy devices have also sometimes received a lukewarm response with regard to their physical appearance, so Samsung is expected to significantly upgrade the Galaxy S series with this latest smartphone. A central facet of this will be providing a body which is primarily metallic, creating a clear demarcation from previous Galaxy S devices which have been plasticky and sometimes criticized for this.
In order to make its devices stand out from the crowd, Samsung has generally relied on cramming them full of particularly impressive spec, and it is highly unlikely that the Galaxy S6 will depart from this tried and trusted approach. Indeed, given the travails that Samsung has been forced to endure of late, it seems pretty likely that it will try to up the ante significantly with this flagship mobile release.
Thus, the Galaxy S6 will have a larger screen than its predecessor, with current leaks suggesting that this will be 5.5-inches. Aside from providing curved displays, Samsung has also prided itself in producing very high quality screens in its mobile devices; Thus, rumors indicate that the Galaxy S6 is likely to feature a quad HD screen, which would encompass a 1440 x 2560 resolution.
Other likely specifications are either a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 or Exynos 7420 processor, and internal memory which will maximize at 128GB. Possibly Samsung might enable this to be upgraded further via micro-SD given the rumors about the huge storage potential of the iPhone 7. There will also be a 21-megapixel rear-facing a camera, and 4GB of RAM.
Samsung has a lots to do to close the gap on Apple, despite being bullish earlier this year, and consumers will only benefit from this with a truly outstanding Galaxy S6 release.