Although the iPhone 7 is not due to arrive for around 10 months, rumors about the forthcoming handset are nonetheless flooding in. One of the more intriguing concepts linked with the next generation smartphone is the idea that Apple will make it significantly waterproof. This suggestion has been doing the rounds for some time, but reports this week have to cemented the idea that this is possible.
TrendForce, the world leading market intelligence provider, has suggested in a report that the new iPhone 7 will be fitted with increased RAM and a waterproof design. TrendForce also states that Apple “will edge closer to Samsung in smartphone market share” next year as the consumer electronics giant continues to go from strength to strength.
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It has emerged in the last few days that the iPhone 6s is becoming another success story for Apple. After relatively lukewarm sales in the early days of the device, it was reported this week that outstanding sales in India have boosted the overall performance of the smartphone. TrendForce clearly believes that Apple will continue to make gains on Samsung throughout 2016 at least.
But on the subject of waterproofing, TrendForce believes that this will definitely be included in the next generation iPhone 7. This has been rumored for some time, with the feature thought to be a particularly convenient one for consumers in rainy conditions. It is also possible that there could be some Apple Watch tie-in functionality implied as well, considering the health-tracking capabilities of that particular device.
4-inch iPhone 7 being prepared
TrendForce also suggests that Apple will be releasing the smaller 4-inch iPhone C series during the second quarter of 2016. This diminutive version of the iPhone has been expected for some time, with some analysts even believing it would be here before the end of 2015. This eventuality can now be ruled out completely, but several sources have instead suggested that it will appear at some point during Q2 in 2016 as opposed to being released simultaneously alongside two iPhone 7 variants.
According to estimates conducted by the analysis organisation, TrendForce believes that in the region of 60 million iPhones will be shipped in 2016. This would be a pretty significant increase for Apple on 2015, suggesting at annual growth of 12.5 percent. This also hints at an increasing market share of 18.5 percent, underlining the increasingly strong position of Apple. More good news for the consumer electronics giant is that the iPhone will retain the highest profit margin of any smartphone in the mainstream marketplace.
With Apple looking to improve the specifications of the next generation iPhone 7, TrendForce also believes that the corporation will increase the RAM memory available in the iPhone 7, but that this will be limited to the iPhone 7 Plus 5.5-inch model. Previously the only significant difference between the two iPhone models was support for optical image stabilization, so this would be a significant departure from this policy should it indeed emerge. Apple may have a particularly high spec version of the iPhone 7 Plus in mind, and this would explain why it is necessary to boost the memory quotient above that of the smartphone version.
Apple to dominate Samsung
Commenting on the rivalry between Apple and Samsung, TrendForce smartphone analyst Avril Wu said that “Samsung’s flagship devices for this year have hit the ceiling in specs, so the South Korean powerhouse will be straining to bring hardware innovations to its next smartphone release.” The analysis company believes that Samsung will increasingly struggle to maintain its market share under the weight of competition from affordable Chinese smartphone manufacturers. Increasingly, such companies are selling flagship handsets at bargain prices, with numerous firms expected to make an assault on the Indian marketplace in 2016.
TrendForce also believes that the iPhone 7 will utilise 14/16nm chips, and that the display of the devices will be upgraded to full HD and quad HD respectively. This improvement in resolution has been predicted in many quarters, and would certainly seem to be essential considering that Apple has yet to release a full HD smartphone version of the iPhone.
Considering that total smartphone shipments for 2015 are projected to decline by around 10 percent, the notion that Apple will significantly improve iPhone 7 sales and market share is a massive boost for the corporation. It indicates that once again Apple is bucking the trends of the marketplace and flourishing while others flounder.
“Double-digit shipment growth is a thing of the past for vendors as the global market has begun to plateau in 2015 after years of growth” said TrendForce smartphone analyst Avril Wu. The analyst also paints a struggling picture for Samsung, with effectively a pincer attack on the company threatening its profitability and market position. On the one hand, it is struggling against Apple in the luxury marketplace, while Chinese competitors are posing problems for Samsung in the more affordable end of the market.
TrendForce believes that Samsung will find the near future increasingly challenging owing to this two-pronged attack. This seems a massive departure from the attitude of the company just 18 months ago, when the hierarchy of the Korean corporation proclaimed its intention to displace Apple as the most significant manufacturer of mobile products. Perhaps Samsung underestimated the staying power of the iconic iPhone range, as Apple has experienced a massive success since then, including becoming the world’s first $700 billion market capitalized company, while Samsung has experienced numerous minor failures.
Huawei’s shipments surpassed 100 million units this year and became the third leading vendor on account of its export efforts. Xiaomi and Lenovo are also branching into the emerging markets, and the emergence of these affordable manufacturers is perhaps the biggest threat to Samsung, owing to their popularity in its native east Asia.
It seems that the iPhone 7 will have numerous interesting new features according to TrendForce, and that Apple can look forward to releasing the device into a marketplace that is extremely fertile for the market-leading corporation.