It may be surprising to some observers of the mobile marketplace that Samsung could be considering such a revolutionary approach to the next flagship Galaxy S smartphone considering that the Galaxy S6 has only just been released. But the development of major consumer electronics takes many months and years to come to fruition, and with 2016 a particularly significant yeae for smartphone technology, it is already essential for Samsung to be working on the successor to its recent smartphone release.
Galaxy S7 – 2016 to be key year
The reason that 2016 will be particularly important for Samsung is that Apple is patently planning something massive during this calendar year. There are already reports regarding the iPhone 7 which suggest that it will be a truly revolutionary device. Apple has been linked with producing a professional standard camera for the smartphone, and this is expected to usher in a paradigm shift in mobile photography which will see absorbing and fantastic picture quality being produced by mobile devices.
Increasingly, it looks as if Apple will delay the release of the iPhone 7 until 2016, and produce an upgrade to the commercially successful iPhone 6 during 2015. This would mean that Samsung has a year to produce an outstanding Galaxy S7 device, as it will know that a mere upgrade of the existing Galaxy S6 will be insufficient to compete with a truly revolutionary iPhone 7.
Flagship range evolves
So between now and the release of the Galaxy S7, Samsung will be working hard to ensure that the device is as advanced as possible, and features new functionality and physical construction. The Galaxy S5 was in fact criticized for having a rather cheap and plasticky feel, and Samsung has clearly learned from this with the release of the Galaxy S6, which has been much enthusiastically received in terms of its physical design.
Central to the foldable screen concept is the fact that Samsung is placing an increased emphasis on display technology in his future strategy. While Samsung has always been associated with high-end displays, not least because its television business is so successful, this has exacerbated since the corporation unveiled curved screen technology in its high-end television range in recent years.
Curved screen go mainstream
Since then, Samsung has moved to include curved screening technology within its range of mobile phones. The Galaxy Note Edge was the first device of this nature, and now the Galaxy S6 eEge has further advanced this concept. With reports already flooding in that Samsung will significantly ramp up the production of curved screen mobiles when the Galaxy S7 hits the stores, it is evident that Samsung sees this aspect of its mobile portfolio as central to the future of its devices.
Apple has yet to follow suit with a curved screen variant of the iPhone, but this is predicted by analysts to be just around the corner. Indeed, Apple has already applied for, and had improved, a patent for such technology, and this is expected to debut when the iPhone 7 is released.
With Apple likely to take a more cautious strategy for its smartphone devices in 2015, it is unlikely that we will see a curved screen iPhone during this calendar year. Apple is instead unlikely to hold back a curved screen iPhone 7 until 2016, which will enable Samsung to retain something of its uniqueness for at least another 12 months.
However, once we see a curved screen iPhone released, which now appears to be inevitable, there is no doubt that any particular kudos which Samsung has accumulated from the Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy notepads will have dissipated completely. At this stage, although it will have been nice for Samsung to be a pioneer in screen technology, its uniqueness will obviously no longer apply. Thus, it will be essential for Samsung to produce a device with some form of novelty value.
Foldable screen advantages
So the obvious advantages of producing a foldable screen Galaxy S7 would be related to the physical distinctiveness that it would offer the corporation. It is increasingly essential for Samsung to produce designs that stand out physically from the critically acclaimed iPhone series, and it seems that this proposed foldable screen technology could offer this to consumers.
Additionally, it is proposed that the foldable screen technology would effectively make the Galaxy S7 a more convenient device to own. By enabling the screen to fold, it is purported that this would make the Galaxy S7 more flexible than competitors. It is now considered that this technology will filter outwards into other areas of consumer electronics, with foldable screen technology common in laptops, tablets and even desktop computers by the end of the decade.
So based on analyst predictions, it seems reasonable to assert that a foldable screen Galaxy S device should be considered a matter of when rather than whether. But something that Samsung does need to consider is when it puts this technology into operation.
Foldable production costs
One of the most obvious arguments against producing a foldable screen Galaxy S7 is the production costs involved. This is not quite prototype technology, but it is still something that is incredibly rare at present. It could be that producing a foldable screen Galaxy S7 will be significantly prohibitive in financial terms, and this would obviously be a major consideration.
It is therefore probable that the foldable screen version of the Galaxy S7 could be viewed very much as a premium version of the device. Samsung is to some degree reliant on producing affordable devices for the East Asian marketplace, in which the Galaxy S series is extremely popular. Foldable screen technology could therefore be primarily aimed at the Western marketplace, and be an interesting variant of the mobile in accordance with the Galaxy Note Edge template.
On the balance of probability, it seems that this is something that Samsung will want to introduce to the Galaxy S series sooner rather than later. So keep your eyes peeled for a foldable Galaxy S7 next year.