Samsung suffered a disappointing 2014 in which it lost a significant amount of ground to Apple in the battle to be the world’s most successful producer of consumer electronics. This was ironic as the Korean manufacturer had begun the year publicly proclaiming that it would look to seriously challenging Apple in the near future. That certainly didn’t materialize in 2014, as Apple continued to go from strength to strength with virtually every product release, while Samsung had to announce that its profits had tumbled significantly.
With the hierarchy of the company having already conceded that Samsung needs to significantly rethink some of its product ranges during 2015, it should be an interesting year for fans of the Korean consumer electronics giant. Here is a rundown of the key products that we can expect to see from the Samsung stable this year.
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Samsung Galaxy S6
As the Galaxy S series is considered very much the flagship Samsung product, and is the most obvious competitor to be fantastically successful iPhone range, the Galaxy S6 will be an especially important release for Samsung. The last version of the device was very impressive in technical terms, but suffered from an, at best, lukewarm reaction to the plastic build which Samsung opted for.
A much more metallic design is anticipated this time round, and leaked images suggest that Samsung has already been working on this. Some pretty impressive spec lists are already doing the rounds among analysts and Samsung-following websites, and the Galaxy S6 should be a pretty impressive device when it is released. It will most likely being unveiled during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona during March of this year.
Galaxy Note 5
The Galaxy Note 4 performed pretty well for Samsung last year, introducing the concept of curved displays in its mobile range with the Galaxy Note Edge model. Samsung has become particularly associated with its phablet range, and thus the Galaxy Note device is always an important barometer of where the Korean company is with its mobile technology.
This will be released in the latter half of the year, probably hitting the market not long after we see the next-generation iPhone, and thus specifications are difficult to pinpoint at this moment in time. What is likely is that there will be a particular emphasis on screen and camera quality, as these have been hallmarks of recent Samsung releases.
Quantum Dot television
Samung unveiled its new state-of-the-art Quantum Dot technology at the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, wowing consumers and industry experts alike with the quality of image that it produces. Already, the Wall Street Journal has reported that Samsung is completely ‘retooling’ its television strategy around this new proprietary technology, and we should see major new releases in the high end of the TV market based on Quantum Dot specifications.
However, the particular advantage of Quantum Dot is that it enables world-class results at relatively affordable prices. This could be a real boon for Samsung in the television market, as it continues to attempt to build on the momentum it generated during a successful 2014.
If 2014 was a disappointment year for Samsung, then the one big plus point was the splash that its range of curved television sets made. Not only did this have a significant impact on the marketplace commercially and critically, but the concept of curved display screens has already become something of a trend in the market, and it is already rumored that Apple will embrace curved screen technology with the next generation of iPhones.
2015 should see Samsung further update this concept, bringing curved screen technology to more affordable and smaller televisions than available previously. Samsung will be delighted to have genuinely innovated in this respect, and inspired several of the leading corporations to take this concept seriously. But it will be necessary for Samsung to continue to build on its successes in this area if it is to remain ahead of the curve (no pun intended…).
Gear S update
2015 will see the smartwatch marketplace become a significant battleground for two reasons. firstly, Apple has already confirmed that its first smartwatch, the Apple Watch, will hit the market at some point fairly early in the year. Secondly, this release should contribute to a general trend of smartwatches becoming a more significant part of mainstream society. This will be coupled with growth in the mobile payment marketplace; a technology which has been particularly associated with smartwatches.
With this in mind, Samsung will likely upgrade its existing smartwatch portfolio during 2015, and there are already reports that the latest Samsung smartwatch devices will be on sale during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Among these, it is rumored that Samsung will showcase its first ever round-faced smartwatch, and that this will be well worth looking out for.
The big release from Samsung which is already available is this virtual reality technology. Early reviews have indicated that it is the best example of VR yet to be released, and this could be a big boost for the company in a year when virtual reality is set to become massive. With Microsoft having recently announced that it will release a VR device in 2015, and both Project Morpheus and Oculus Rift also on the horizon, many of us may be experiencing augmented forms of reality during the calendar year.
Samsung’s operating system based on the Linux kernel has not been hugely successful yet, and indeed the Korean corporation continues to rely on Google’s Android operating system to power its range of smartphones and tablets. Some rather heady speculation has suggested that this will change in 2015, and that Samsung will consider using Tizen in the Galaxy S6.
This seems extremely unlikely, especially given the timeframe involved, but what is certain is that Samsung will update its operating system during 2015 and hopefully begin to produce a more viable product. This has been prefaced by the release of the first Tizen-driven phone in India.