Many mobile consumers were expecting the iPhone 7 to arrive later in 2015, but it now seems as if Apple will release an improved iPhone 6s version and delay the iPhone 7 until 2016. This will mean that the release of the iPhone 7 could be very much pitted directly against the Galaxy S7. Samsung usually releases the Galaxy S series in April, and a possible release date for the iPhone 7 is already being mooted as somewhere between March and June.
The two flagship devices of Samsung and Apple are always in competition with each other anyway, but this process is definitely set to intensify in 2016. So here is ValueWalk’s analysis of what we can expect from these two stellar mobile releases, as the battle lines are drawn behind the scenes.
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Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7 – display
Samsung has a head start over Apple in the display department, with the Galaxy S6 having a superior screen resolution to the iPhone 6. Samsung will almost certainly retain the super AMOLED Technology which has been acclaimed for the Galaxy S7, and it seems extremely probable that this will be a 4K resolution device.
If this is the case then Apple will have a significant gap to make up on Samsung, considering that the iPhone 6 was not even full HD, and the iPhone 6 Plus was not quad HD. Both models of the iPhone 7 will be upgraded, but the question remains whether Apple will produce a 4K resolution device.
With another iPhone release sandwiched between the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 6, it is possible that Apple will use this as an intermediary towards a 4K resolution iPhone 7. But Apple has never been noted for cramming its devices with spec, and a quad HD iPhone 7 Plus and full HD iPhone 7 seems more likely.
Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7 – camera
This has been the one area of forthcoming mobile technology which has been rife with rumors. In particular, the iPhone series has been linked with a dual-lens professional-quality camera device. And there has even been murmurings about a unique pericope camera being included in the iPhone 7. Meanwhile, the consensus of opinion is that Apple will double the megapixel rating in previous iPhone iterations, and arm the iPhone 7 with a 16-megapixel snapper.
Samsung will naturally want to respond strongly to this with the Galaxy S7, particularly as the Galaxy S range greatly outranks the iPhone in terms of camera specifications. This has not always translated into vastly superior performance, but Samsung will still want the raw specs of the Galaxy S7 to be superior to the iPhone 7.
So at the time of writing, the most likely outcome would seem to be a 20-megapixel Galaxy S7 camera, likely with improved video shooting and optical image stabilization functionality.
Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7 – specs
The Galaxy S series has always had superior specs to the iPhone 7, with Apple relying on its proprietary software and hardware combination to provide a slick and user-friendly handset. This probably won’t change with the Galaxy S7 which is likely to significantly outrank the iPhone 7 in specifications.
Thus, we could see a Galaxy S7 with genuine octa-core processing, and it has even been suggested that the device will feature 6 GB of RAM. This would represent a doubling over previous versions of the Galaxy series.
Apple will also double the RAM in the iPhone 7, at least over the iPhone 6, and it is possible that we may even see a 3 GB RAM iPhone 7. Apple is also currently reportedly in talks with Intel, with this alleged to be aimed at enticing the notorious manufacturer to produce the chipset and processor for the iPhone 7.
Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7 – new and central features
A raft of new features have been linked with both smartphones. Both the Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7 are likely to feature wireless charging, with the feature also mooted to appear in the forthcoming iPhone 6S.
Additionally, mobile payment functionality will be central to both devices, as the battle between Apple Pay and Samsung Pay will be raging by the time they are released.
Other suggestions for the iPhone 7 include waterproofing, and improved durable design based around Sapphire Glass, and significantly improved battery life. There will certainly be pressure on Samsung to deliver the latter of these features as well, as the Galaxy S6 actually features a smaller battery than the Galaxy S5.
Samsung is already rumored to be working on a Galaxy S7 device which folds up from within its screen; a trick that it first demonstrated in 2008.
Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7 – release date and pricing
The Galaxy S7 is most likely to hit the stores in April next year, following the usual Samsung release schedule. Samsung is working behind the scenes on the Galaxy S7 now, and its usual procedure is to announce new Galaxy S releases at the Mobile World Congress. This Barcelona conference will be held little earlier next year in February, so this could point to a slightly earlier galaxy S7 release.
Sources close to Apple have suggested that the iPhone 7 could hit the stores between March and June in 2016. However, if Apple wants this to be a revolutionary smartphone then delays are certainly possible. Apple has historically not been prone to rushing out products which are incomplete or unsatisfactory to market, and it would not be at all surprising if there is a 12 month gap between the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7. This would point to a release date in October, 2016.
We can expect the iPhone 7 in particular to be significantly more expensive than previous iPhone handsets considering that Apple will release an upgrade of the iPhone 6 just months beforehand.
Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7 – conclusion
Both the Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7 will be worthy smartphones when they are released in 2016. It seems likely that the iPhone 7 will be the more expensive of the two devices, but also that Apple is likely to take more risks this time out. Which one catches fire with consumers will be very much reliant on the way that the Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6s develop and perform in 2015.