Now that the Samsung Galaxy S6 is on the market, Apple will already be working out how it will respond to this flagship handset with the iPhone 7. The next iteration of the iPhone series is due out early in Q4 of 2015, and the iPhone 7 will unquestionably create a massive amount of buzz when it is finally released.
Apple’s stellar 2014
In the meantime, Apple will be working on developing an outstanding smartphone which continues the trend of the consumer electronics giant stealing Samsung’s thunder. 2014 was a simply outstanding year for the world’s most valuable company, with Apple topping the $700 billion figure in market capitalization, establishing its share price as consistently higher than the psychologically important $100 mark, and also recording the largest single-quarter profit in recorded business history.
This trio of achievements underlined a twelve month period in which Apple could simply do no wrong. Every device that Apple released in 2014 achieved both commercial and critical success, and the bullish statements that Samsung made early in the year about overtaking Apple at the head of the worldwide mobile market now look rather fanciful.
By contrast, the Galaxy S6 is Samsung’s latest attempt to claim that some of its market share back from Apple. 2014 was a fairly torrid year for the Korean manufacturer, even if sales weren’t too disappointing overall. Not only did profits plummet by 60 percent, but the Samsung hierarchy was also concerned enough with the progress of the corporation that it admitted publicly that the strategy of the company had gone awry with recent devices.
Furthermore, the Galaxy S5 was not a hugely praised device. The plasticky feel of the handset did not impress the critics, and generally speaking it was felt to be little more than an upgrade to the previous year’s Galaxy S4. Samsung evidently feels acute pressure from this verdict, and has attempted to create an outstanding smartphone with the Galaxy S6. It appears based on the early critical assessment of the device that it has been pretty successful in this aim.
So although Apple is in an extremely exalted and enviable position at the moment, there will still be an onus on the corporation to deliver something truly outstanding when the iPhone 7 hits the stores. After all, the Galaxy S6 certainly outranks the flagship Apple smartphone in specification terms. How will Apple choose to respond to the Galaxy S6 with the iPhone 7?
It was notable during the unveiling of the Galaxy S6 that Samsung felt obliged to make numerous references to the iPhone 6. In many ways, Apple might consider this to be a very sincere form of flattery; after all, it is extremely difficult to imagine that Apple would dedicate significant amounts of a major international press conference on bashing Samsung. But it did indicate that the gloves are off for this smartphone generation, and Samsung is clearly attempting to produce a device which will be perceived as an iPhone basher.
Among these barbs was the suggestion that Samsung Oay is significantly superior to the Apple Pay system which Apple launched last year. Of course, when this mobile payment system was initially released, it was very enthusiastically received by both analysts and consumers. Already there are published predictions that Apple Pay will become a huge player in the mobile payment market over the remainder of this decade. But Apple will have noted the criticisms of this payment system from Samsung, and will doubtless look to improve the functionality related to it by the time that the iPhone 7 is released.
In particular, Apple Pay is an ideal system to be compatible with the Apple Watch, and the iPhone 7 is also likely to feature some significant collaboration with this forthcoming smartwatch. Apple has promised the Apple Watch at some point next month, and it would seem that the Apple strategy for 2015 will be very much centre around its first ever wearable device.
There has been plenty of speculation about how the iPhone 7 could collaborate with the Apple Watch, but expect Apple to surprise people in this department. Although Samsung has released the Samsung Galaxy Gear range already, this smartwatch has not really gained much market traction, and if Apple could release the first truly successful smartwatch and then cement it with iPhone 7 functionality, it could have an extremely powerful package on its hands.
Another area where the Galaxy S6 may influence the iPhone 7 is in terms of wireless charging. This was already predicted for the latest iteration of the flagship Apple smartphone by many analysts, but with Samsung having included it in the Galaxy S6 it now seems a certainty for the iPhone 7.
Apple may also be eyeing the battery life of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge and thinking that it provides them with a significant opportunity. This was previously one area of the Samsung Galaxy range which was almost universally praised. However, Samsung has surprised consumers and the marketplace by including a smaller battery in the Galaxy S6 models than in the previous iteration of the series.
Apple may thus hugely upgrade the battery in the iPhone 7, attempting to produce a smartphone which suddenly outperforms the Galaxy S range in this department.
iPhone 7 curved display
Finally, possibly the biggest question on everyone’s lips is… will we see a curved screen iPhone 7? This would seem to be a logical step for Apple considering the increase in popularity of this technology, and we already know that such a decision is in the offing. Apple has already applied for, and had approved, a patent for its own proprietary curved screen technology, and one would assume that this will appear in the iPhone range sooner rather than later.
What is certain is that Apple will never implement a certain feature or form of technology until it is 100 percent satisfied that it is of sufficient quality. So it is not an absolute certainty that we will see a curved iPhone 7 model, but it is certainly a distinct possibility.