One of the criticisms which Samsung has had to deal with over the years is its propensity for imitating Apple. Certainly the design of its mobile devices has evolved to be closer in line with the industry-defining look of the iPhone series. And aside from this issue, recent Samsung mobile releases have been equally derided for failing to move on significantly from previous devices in the Galaxy range. This was particularly levelled at the Galaxy S5, which was seen as little more than a bigger and souped-up version of the Galaxy S4.
It seems that the penny has already dropped with Samsung, as its hierarchy spoke in 2014 of the need for Samsung to create original products in the near future. Executives speaking about a 60 percent slump in the Korean manufacturers’ profits acknowledged that Samsung has dropped the ball somewhat with its recent ranges of mobile devices, and the company has failed to satisfactorily react to market conditions in the same way that Apple has done so potently.
This trend is particularly relevant for the coming months, as Samsung will release the next generation Galaxy S6 early in Q2. At least this is assumed to be the likely release date, given that the corporation is certain to unveil this flagship smartphone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Samsung has already announced its opening press conference for this prestigious and illuminating event, which will take place on March 1.
[drizzle]Thus, there is pressure on Samsung to produce something truly outstanding and revolutionary when it unveils the Galaxy S6. By now its plans will be fully cemented, and it is possibly too late in the day to make any significant changes. But the company will be only too aware of the need to really impress consumers and media when it unveils its latest major product release in the next few weeks.
Many analysts are now expecting this Galaxy S6 release to be a revolutionary one, not merely for Samsung, but the entire global mobile industry. This is something that is very much needed by a smartphone space which has entered a creative malaise in the last year or so. One wouldn’t necessarily know this to witness the outstanding sales figures of the iPhone 6, and there is no question that smartphones remain a hugely successful and popular consumer product.
But the major manufacturers of mobile technology have struggled to really impress consumers, analysts and journalists with recent releases, as it becomes harder for technology in the mobile sphere to be genuinely revolutionary. The mobile sector is not dissimilar from video games in this regard; both remain commercially powerful, and both have never had more people participating with them than at present. But both are also genuinely struggling to deliver a unique user experience after many years of technological development and improvement.
Not only is there pressure on Samsung than to deliver something outstanding and genuinely original, but the potential of the Korean giant to help transform the industry with its decision-making process is quite significant. Although Apple has unquestionably been the dominant and most successful manufacturer in the mobile sector over the last few years, and this position was profoundly solidified in 2014, Samsung still sells as many devices worldwide as Apple. This was confirmed very recently in sales figures for the last quarter of 2014.
So when Samsung makes a particular decision, the entire mobile industry shudders with the after-shock. So it will be intriguing then to see what Samsung includes in the Galaxy S6. Early rumors indicate that an all-metal construction will be central to the facade of the device, as Samsung attempts to shrug off criticism that it has received previously for the plasticky feel of certain devices. Certainly the appearance of the Galaxy S5 was not particularly successful in critical terms, even if it was well received commercially.
However, the more interesting notion is that Samsung will completely ditch Snapdragon processors in favor of a full reliance on Samsung’s own Exynos with this generation of the Galaxy S series. It would be a bold and contentious decision for Samsung to do this, but given its increasingly prominent position as a manufacturer of chips and processors, it could make commercial sense. Additionally, it would be an interesting indicator for the future direction of the industry.
Galaxy S6 Curved edge
One area where Samsung has begun to define the mobile industry, and indeed consumer electronics in general, is with regard to display technology. The Super AMOLED technology which Samsung has patented has already been extremely successful for the company; debatably it is the foundation on which the sales of Galaxy devices is built, and possibly the most critically acclaimed display panel in any smartphone.
But with the curved screen, Samsung has evidently already influenced Apple, which has applied for a patent for similar technology, and it seems an absolute certainty that there will be at least one model of the Galaxy S6 featuring a curved display.
The only problem with this apparently bold approach from Samsung is that some analysts are already criticizing the Korean Corporation for being too close to Apple in the early plans for the Galaxy S6. In particular, the French site Nowhereelse.fr has leaked dimensions of the Galaxy S6 already, and one should take this information seriously as it was able to reveal both the iPhone 6’s design and its schematics last year.
Nowhereelse.fr has even released images which suggest that the new look of the Galaxy S6 will be strikingly similar to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Several elements of the Galaxy S6 strongly resemble the iPhone 6, Including the unibody chassis, the bottom edge speaker grill and even the headphone port position.
Although the Galaxy S6 may be something of a unique device for Samsung, and may have a significant influence over the industry as a whole, the early indications are that the Galaxy S6 will pay significant heed to existing trends in the mobile sphere. Not least the market leader.