As Samsung continues preparation for the Galaxy S7, there is increasing evidence that the flagship smartphone from the Korean corporation could be a true pioneer in the market. It has even been suggested in some quarters that the Galaxy S7 will enable Samsung to exceed the iPhone series.
This shouldn’t be seen as a suggestion that the Galaxy S7 will outsell the iPhone 7. The odds are massively against this considering the popularity of the Apple smartphone range, and also the fact that the iconic iPhone has such a massive market lead over the Galaxy S7. Rather, it seems clear that Samsung is preparing for the sort of innovative and market altering innovations that Apple has been reticent about in recent iPhone releases.
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Unquestionably, Apple is an extremely successful company that produces extremely well designed devices that works like clockwork. Considering the prominent position that the corporation has achieved, there is little value for Apple in gambling on producing a device that will sell significantly less than previous generation handsets. This has led to a conservatism in the Apple brand that was not always part of its ethos previously. And Samsung is stepping into this chasm with the development process for the Galaxy S7.
Shifting business model
Samsung has switched to a rather contrasting business model in recent years, owing to the fact that it manufactures so many devices across multiple markets. There is no doubt that the Samsung device range has been considerably more convoluted in recent years than that of Apple, and this has perhaps contributed to the fact that the Korean company has not been able to compete with the California-based corporation on an equal footing.
It seems a trifle naive now that at the beginning of 2014, Samsung executives had proclaimed the fact that the corporation was about to replace Apple at the apex of the mobile marketplace. Instead, Apple has gone from strength to strength, while Samsung has had to cope with a series of diminishing quarterly profits. The performance of the Korean company was so disappointing that executives were even willing to state publicly that Samsung had made mistakes with its recent product releases.
Sometimes the approach of the corporation can seem relatively haphazard compared to Apple, but the ambition that Samsung shows in technological terms could be about to pay off significantly with the Galaxy S7. And while Samsung may not be on such solid ground with its next generation smartphone, the shift in consumer culture over the last few years perhaps bodes well for this handset release.
In the contemporary smartphone marketplace, consumers are increasingly willing to purchase devices that aren’t considered a safe bet. All smartphone manufacturers are attempting to push the envelope with technology in an attempt to mark out their particular device from competitors. For example, Sony’s failing mobile phone division recently produced the world’s first 4K compatible smartphone, and Apple launched 3D Touch last year with the iPhone 6s.
It seems likely that Samsung is about to revolutionize the Galaxy S series by making virtual reality a central part of its capabilities. Samsung has already teamed up with Oculus to create the GearVR, and contributes manufacturing knowledge to the continuing development of the Oculus Rift project.
Virtual reality is about to become big business, with several competing devices all being developed concurrently. Sony’s Project Morpheus will also provide VR video gaming, while Microsoft has also invested significantly in Hololens. But the Galaxy S7 could be the first smartphone to significantly cash in on what is expected to be a growth market in the coming years.
With Oculus Rift expected in the first quarter of 2016, the release date of the Galaxy S7 would seem to tie-in neatly with this virtual reality product. It is increasingly expected that Samsung will unveil the Galaxy S7 in January, with a release in February expected to precede the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. This would mean that the Galaxy S7 can embrace virtual reality technology when it is released, assuming that reports regarding the release date of the handset turn out to be accurate.
Samsung has already dusted off its GearVR headset enabling all modem-era Galaxy S smartphones to provide owners entrance into the virtual realm. Galaxy S7 is expected to offer access to the VR niche as well with the same headset, but also that Samsung will significantly expand its capabilities.
Galaxy S7 virtual reality camera predicted
In particular, it is predicted that the Korean corporation will make a massive quantum leap for the mobile niche, by producing a virtual reality camera to be included in the Galaxy S7. Reports are suggesting that this could be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, with the device expected to have a disruptive effect on the mobile marketplace.
Effectively, Samsung will be creating a virtual portal anywhere in the world by combining a spherical photo and video camera for Gear VR and the Galaxy S7. The basis of this system will be that the Galaxy S7 is effectively the processing power, the camera provides media input, and the GearVR device deals with media outputs. This promises some exciting collaboration between the devices, as Samsung attempts to significantly distinguish its flagship smartphone from the others available on the market.
Samsung can already boast an established ecosystem for this new setup, with Milk VR and Oculus 360 Photos. The Korean corporation also has access to big name applications for the virtual reality device such as Flickr.
As Samsung continues to battle with its great rival Apple, there is an onus on the corporation to significantly separate itself in terms of branding and image. Increasingly, we see Samsung producing the truly disruptive technology in the contemporary smartphone marketplace, and this seems certain to continue with the virtual reality emphasis of the Galaxy S7.
Meanwhile, Apple is reportedly experimenting with an augmented reality iPad according to recent patent leaks, and VR is clearly set to be another theater in mobile marketplace warfare in the coming years.