Apple iPhone 8 rumors indicate that the smartphone will be unveiled in September, ahead of what could be a later launch than usual. This would potentially pit the Apple handset against the new Google Pixel 2, with this device also expected to be released in the tenth month of the year.
Meanwhile, Galaxy Note 8 rumors indicate that this phablet will also arrive in Q3, probably with an early September release date. This all adds up to a crowded release window for the smartphone marketplace, and one in which the new Google Pixel 2 could seriously impact on iPhone 8 and Galaxy Note 8 sales.
This could be considered worrying for Apple and Samsung, considering that the smartphone niche is already crowded with outstanding products. While the two big players in the mobile market have dominated commercially over the last few years, such affordable alternatives as the OnePlus 5 are now beginning to gain traction. With HTC also an increasingly viable contender, it seems that the market for Apple and Samsung faces the prospect of receding rather than expanding.
A raft of Apple iPhone 8 rumors have pointed to the price tag of this device exceeding $1,000. Some analysts have even suggested that the Apple smartphone could retail at a price point in excess of $1,200. Similarly, the latest Galaxy Note 8 rumors suggest that this phablet will also have a recommended retail price of at least four figures.
This could be excellent news for the new Google Pixel 2, as it is generally believed that this smartphone will retail at around $699. Considering that the specs linked with this second iteration of the Google mobile series are expected to be extremely competitive, the lower price point could have a serious impact on the market for both the iPhone 8 and Galaxy Note 8.
While this information in itself is enough to suggest that the new Google Pixel 2 could pose a real challenge to the established order in 2017, there is another factor supporting this conclusion as well. Samsung has already released a statement indicating that it expects the smartphone market to slow in the coming months, despite the excellent recent performance of its product range.
Samsung is apparently concerned about the wide variety of smartphone products available, with the new Google Pixel 2 obviously being one of these. While the iPhone range has been the traditional rival to Samsung, if Google gets the Pixel 2 launch correct, it could establish itself as a third-prong in the premium smartphone battle.
Elsewhere, with Apple iPhone 8 rumors indicating that the forthcoming Apple OLED device will be the most expensive mainstream handset ever, not all analysts are convinced that consumers will be on board with this prospect. Analyst Nicolas Baratte of CLSA asserts that the iPhone 8 will struggle to sell a satisfactory number of units at a $1,000 price point, citing previous precedent.
“Breaking down the high-end price range, we can see that iPhones sold close to US$900 only occurred during its launch quarter. Then ASP of the same product drops by c.US$20-US$30 in the 2 quarters, then eventually to prices close to US$800 in its fourth quarter. This means that the most motivated customers are first in the queue to buy the most expensive models. But the majority of consumers are more patient and buy the mid-price models,” Barratte commented.
While Apple retains a brand loyalty and market penetration that is unequalled by any consumer electronics company, it must be slightly concerned about such prognostications. With other Apple iPhone 8 rumors having suggested that the corporation is struggling to source the requisite number of OLED displays required for the iPhone 8 generation, there is certainly uncertainty in the Apple camp at present.
Although Apple itself has yet to confirm that it will ditch LCD technology for the iPhone 8 range, this is not considered to be a racing certainty. Yet this prospect promises to impact on both Apple and Samsung, with the Korean corporation set to be the likely supplier of displays for the forthcoming smartphone. If iPhone 8 sales are less than Apple hopes for, this could also impact negatively on Samsung revenue and profitability, particularly as the Korean manufacturer has come to particularly rely on its component divisions.
Meanwhile, evidence indicates that Apple sales have been declining in recent months. Indeed, four of the last five financial quarters for Apple have seen declining sales and revenue, indicating the balkanizing smartphone marketplace. Apple is still hugely reliant on the iPhone range in order to generate profits, yet it is becoming increasingly difficult to deliver anything truly revolutionary within the smartphone niche.
And this is despite the fact that the smartphone is undoubtedly hugely dominant culturally, as evidenced by the fact that Apple has just put its legendary iPod range out to pasture. Even the Amazon Kindle is threatened by the flexibility and ubiquity of the smartphone, so Apple certainly does not need iPhone sales to reduce significantly, at a time when other products are becoming obsolete.
While Galaxy Note 8 rumors have suggested that the next generation phablet from Samsung will be an extremely impressive handset, the new Google Pixel 2 is also set to include some powerful specifications. It is expected that the Pixel 2 will at least match the existing Galaxy S8, and possibly even exceed the Samsung flagship.
Although Apple iPhone 8 rumors indicate that the tenth generation device from Apple should be particularly impressive and essentially a reboot to the iPhone concept, there is no doubt that the Pixel 2 poses a serious threat to Apple and Samsung domination in 2017. With its combination of outstanding specs, new features and competitive price point, the Google Pixel 2 may seriously eat into the market share of Apple and Samsung before the year is out.