The latest rumors on the Samsung Galaxy S7 suggest that the handset will be brought forward for a January release. With the prospect of this device hitting the stores in the near future, the number of leaks now emerging are multiplying. And the latest word on this premium smartphone suggests that Samsung will place a particular emphasis on superior audio when it is released.
Galaxy S7 – New music chip
Reports in Korea suggest that the Galaxy S7 will feature the SABRE 9018AQ2M chip from ESS Technology, effectively delivering the best audio performance ever seen in a smartphone. Samsung is reportedly preparing this technology behind the scenes and currently assessing its compatibility with the Galaxy series.
Fans of Android devices will be particularly interested in the prospect of the inclusion of the SABRE 9018AQ2M chip, as this technology delivers outstanding music-related specifications. The chip features a 32-bit mobile audio DAC, and has 129 dB signal-to-noise ratio. Another notable aspect of the technology is that it supports DSD; a super audio format that is explicitly favoured by Sony.
What this means for Galaxy S7 owners is that listening to music will be extremely close to the quality of analog recordings, yet it will still be possible to stream audio over the Internet in real-time, while benefiting from simply outstanding sound quality.
This is an interesting move from Samsung, and it is certain to be seen as a direct response to Apple’s recent plans. The consumer electronics giant has placed a particular emphasis on music lately, lunching its own dedicated radio station and spending vast amounts of money on purchasing Beats technology.
With Samsung products in general not particularly associated with outstanding audio quality, it seems that the hierarchy of the Korean corporation has decided to address the situation. In particular, the HTC One range has proven to be especially impressive in terms of smartphone audio, with BoomSound speakers that have been particularly critically acclaimed.
Samsung to purchase Tidal?
As Apple works on its own music streaming and purchasing services, so it has been suggested that Samsung will also set up a similar rival. Particularly interesting in this department is the suggestion that the company may choose to invest in, or even purchase outright, Jay-Z’s struggling streaming service Tidal. The Tidal model was intended to offer a greater percentage of revenue to artists, yet it hasn’t been unable to establish itself as a mainstream alternative to other services such as Apple Music, Spotify and Deezer.
Whether this would turn out to be a wise commercial move or not is debatable, but it does at least seem logical from one perspective. Tidal has also placed a particular emphasis on delivering high-quality audio, with streaming on the service superior to that of the market-leading Spotify. So it would clearly make sense for Samsung to invest in the Tidal series considering that the Galaxy S7 is being linked with outstanding audio quality.
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Thus, it has been anticipated in some quarters that Samsung could buyout Tidal, and then offer a streaming subscription alongside one of its flagship smartphones. With the news of the SABRE chip in the Galaxy S7, this could then be used as a prototype for this particular plan. It would seem to be essential for Samsung to do something in this area, as Apple enjoys an obvious advantage at present.
January release date
Additionally, as mentioned previously, it is predicted that Samsung will move the release of the Galaxy S7 forward to January in order to provide it with a further advantage over Apple. This would be surprising considering that Samsung has previously unveiled Galaxy S devices at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. However, it is suggested by South Korea’s Electronic Times that Samsung will instigate an earlier launch of the Galaxy S7 in order to pick up some potential sales from iPhone 6S buyers.
This rumor has been confirmed by insiders in mobile phone component industry companies, and suggests that the East Asian corporation is putting the finishing touches to the next generation smartphone ahead of a very early 2016 release.
Reports suggest that the design for the Galaxy S7 has already been finalized, and was indeed signed off by management at Samsung as early as September this year. This means that releasing the Galaxy S7 earlier in 2016 will simply require Samsung to significantly ramp up production and distribution operations. It does mean, though, that if Samsung intends to offer a Tidal subscription as suggested that any deal for the streaming service will have to be completed rapidly.
In addition, the Electronic Times has also suggested that the launch of the new Galaxy S7 will bring with it an entirely new product class. Currently, it is reasonable to describe Samsung releases as being within the premium, mid-range and budget classifications of smartphone. However, the corporation reportedly intends to introduce a new sub-premium class just below the premium, which would effectively offer powerful, high-end phones for a cheaper price to less affluent consumers.
Samsung has been in something of a slump over the last couple of years, and has indeed experienced seven straight quarters of declining profits. Nonetheless, the company has predicted that it will experience a rise in profits in the current fiscal quarter, having made this projection publicly earlier this month.
The Galaxy S7 will be a particularly critical device release for Samsung, as the corporation is being threatened not only by the success of Apple, but also by a raft of more affordable Android devices. This has ensured that its market share has diminished significantly in its native East Asia, and thus the Galaxy S7 will be tasked with wresting back some of its market position.
With Samsung expected to place a greater emphasis on the curved screen variant of the Galaxy S7 when released, this could be a very significant device for the Korean Corporation, and one well worth looking forward to. And it seems that we may have less time to wait for it than was perhaps anticipated.