There is no doubt that the iPhone 7 and Galaxy S7 will be the two biggest smartphone releases of 2016. Despite the fact that the smartphone marketplace has massively diversified over the last few years, Apple and Samsung clearly remain the big two players. And although the Galaxy Note series has become a very successful and prominent range for Samsung, the Galaxy S7 will still be a flagship smartphone when it releases next year.
Of course, for Apple the situation is simpler, with the consumer electronics giant continuing to consolidate all of its releases under the iconic iPhone banner. The iPhone 7 will be hugely anticipated, considering the fact that Apple usually significantly reboots the iPhone concept when it assigns a new number to the iPhone range. So what can we expect from these two major smartphones?
Although Apple and Samsung are obvious rivals, it is reasonable to assert that the two corporations are actually responding to differing market values and forces. Apple is the unquestioned market-leader in the smartphone niche, and its challenge with the iPhone 7 will be to deliver a device that expands upon its existing preeminence. The iPhone 6S perhaps failed in this department to some extent, with figures indicating that it has stalled in the Western market place, even if its performance in East Asia has been encouraging.
By contrast, the Samsung Galaxy series is facing a pincer assault on its market share. On the one hand, Samsung has lost significant ground to Apple at the head of the mobile marketplace, at what is considered the premium end of the niche. And in addition to this difficulty, Samsung is also facing a significant challenge from affordable Android alternatives amid the more budget and affordable handset market.
Samsung must deliver a Galaxy S7 that has the premium appeal to compete with the iPhone series, while also ensuring that it fares well in the more affordable East Asian market. Meanwhile, Apple must produce an iPhone 7 that is even more populist than the existing smartphone series, and one that perhaps reinvigorates the smartphone marketplace in the western world.
With this in mind, both companies are likely to significantly redesign their flagship smartphones. Apple is, of course, renowned for its design excellence, and the iPhone 7 is likely to depart somewhat from the model laid out with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S. It has long since been rumored that Apple would utilize sapphire glass in the design of the iPhone 7, and this looks to be a significant possibility for the next generation handset. Apple could also consider producing a curved screen variant of the iPhone 7, and indeed has already had a patent approved for this particular form of technology.
Speaking of curved screens, Samsung has become hugely associated with the technology in recent years, and it is expected that the curved screen variant of the Galaxy S7 will become the mainstream model in 2016. Documents citing sources from close to the Samsung supply chain have already indicated that the corporation intends to step up the number of curved screen units it produces next year.
Both corporations are also expected to attempt to produce slimmer models in 2016, although the consensus of opinion is that Apple will not increase the screen size of the iPhone range. There have been some suggestions that Samsung could produce a Galaxy S7 with a marginally larger display than previous iterations of the series, and this could necessitate reducing the size of bezels utilized in the device.
At the time of writing, it looks as if Apple will close the gap on Samsung in this department. Samsung has been particularly praised for the quality of displays that it has included in both the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note range, but it seems unlikely that it will improve the Galaxy S7 screen significantly. 4K resolution simply looks to be too ambitious for the Galaxy range in 2016.
Meanwhile, Apple is widely expected to improve the iPhone 7 screen to full HD for the smartphone version of the iconic range, with the phablet model of the iPhone 7 benefiting from quad HD capabilities.
The have been a lots of rumors about the two corporations improving the cameras in these iconic devices, and it is reasonable to assume that this will be a significant battleground in 2016. Apple has been linked with producing a professional standard DSLR snapper for the iPhone 7, and also a unique periscope design. Perhaps a dual-lens unit and a significant increase in megapixel rating is more realistic, though, with a possible doubling to 16-megapixels suggested by some sources, while others believe 12-megapixels to be more likely.
A recent Galaxy S7 concept saw the camera in the iconic smartphone not significantly improved. But it has been frequently reported that Samsung will indeed include a 20-megapixel camera in the Galaxy S7 when the device releases. It has also been reported that there will be a particular focus on low-light shooting in the Galaxy S7, in an attempt to address a persistent niggle of smartphone cameras.
iPhone 7, Galaxy S7 New features
Apple could introduce wireless charging into the iPhone 7, while a waterproof and dustproof iPhone 7 has also been suggested in an attempt to improve health-tracking functionality, as well as simply making the device more convenient to use in the rain. According to a report that has been published on IBTimes, Apple is already working on a unique system that features a gaze detection device as well. Virtual reality support is also possible.
Samsung will also offer virtual reality functionality with the Galaxy S7, as both of the major smartphone manufacturers attempt to support this potentially burgeoning technology. In addition, Samsung is being strongly linked with the introduction of a pressure-sensitive mechanism, in order to compete with the 3D Touch functionality that Apple debuted last year.
Undoubtedly, there is much to look forward to for Apple and Samsung fans alike.