Samsung’s excellent Galaxy S7 series will have almost certainly exacerbated falling iPhone demand in recent months, and now the South Korean company is working to ensure that things won’t be any easier for the iPhone 7 lineup.
New rumors say its next-generation Galaxy Note phablet will be its best smartphone yet, with stellar specifications, outstanding design, and a new virtual reality experience that will make the iPhone 7 Plus look like trash.
Although the Galaxy Note lineup isn’t Samsung’s biggest seller, it’s always more spectacular than the Galaxy S. It has a larger display, greater specifications, better battery life, and that awesome S Pen. Compare a Galaxy Note with an iPhone and the gap gets even bigger.
Not only does last year’s Galaxy Note 5 have a larger and sharper display than the iPhone 6s Plus, but it packs it into a smaller footprint, so it’s more comfortable to use. It also has a better camera and wireless charging — and many would say a better design, too.
Apple is expected to play catch up this year, with rumors claiming it will finally add wireless charging and do something about the ugly antenna bands on its most recent devices. But no one expects this year’s iPhone upgrade to be a big one.
That gives Samsung a chance to take an even greater lead — and that’s exactly what it plans to do.
According to the latest rumors, Samsung won’t release a Galaxy Note 6 this year. “Credible sources” in South Korea claim that the upgrade will be so significant that Samsung’s going to call it the Galaxy Note 7 instead, skipping an entire iteration.
The actual reason for this change is to bring the Galaxy Note’s version number in line with the Galaxy S version number — and, of course, the iPhone’s. With different numbers, “it can give out a feeling that it is an outdated phone,” an official told ET News.
But it’s still going to be a massive upgrade. Not only is the Galaxy Note 7 expected to get its expandable storage back, but it’s also likely to be water-resistant — just like the Galaxy S7. It will adopt Samsung’s latest camera, too, which is even more incredible than the last.
According to the experts at DxOMark, the Galaxy S7’s camera is the best on the market right now. It takes unbeatable photos even in low light, records insanely crips 4K video with optical image stabilization, and has the fastest autofocus you’ll find in a smartphone.
Recent reports claim the Galaxy Note 7 will also be even faster than Samsung’s existing smartphones, thanks to a new Snapdragon 823 processor and up to 6GB of RAM. It could also adopt the more versatile USB-C standard, and will retain its wireless charging capabilities.
What’s more, the Galaxy Note 7 will beat the iPhone to that “all-glass” design that Apple is said to be planning for 2017. Like the Galaxy S7 edge, it is expected to feature curved class on its front and back, which will be held together by a rounded aluminum frame.
Providing Samsung delivers all of these things — and they all sound like perfectly plausible upgrades — it’s going to have a pretty unbeatable smartphone. It won’t just give Galaxy Note 5 owners many reasons to upgrade, but it’ll give iPhone owners many more reasons to switch.
That’s something Apple should be really worried about. With iPhone demand falling, fans and investors are waiting for it to deliver something spectacular — but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen in 2016.
The iPhone 7 series is shaping up to be another incremental upgrade, similar in design to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s. And Apple must know that it won’t be enough to appease all those fans who are calling for more.
Apple will surely win them back in 2017. That’s when the iPhone will celebrate its tenth anniversary, and you can bet the company has something special in store for that — such as OLED displays. Until then, Samsung will continue to have the upper hand.