Samsung is looking to save some cash in 2016/16 after a rather disappointing two year stretch in which Apple, as well as Chinese brands like Xiaomi and Huawei, have systematically eaten away at its global market share, resulting in lower than expected sales and profits.
The high-end market for mobile phones has kind of stagnated. For instance, 2015 will be the first time the smart phone space has grown below double digits. That is pretty significant and it will affect everybody’s bottom-line, even big players like Apple and Samsung.
"With the smartphone market finally slowing to single-digit growth, maintaining momentum will depend on several factors," said Ryan Reith , Program Director with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker .
"The main driver has been and will continue to be the success of low-cost smartphones in emerging markets. This, in turn, will depend on capturing value-oriented first-time smartphone buyers as well as replacement buyers. We believe that, in a number of high-growth markets, replacement cycles will be less than the typical two-year rate, mainly because the components that comprise a sub-$100 smartphone simply do not have the ability to survive two years. Offering products that appeal to both types of buyers at a suitable price point will be crucial to maintaining growth and vendor success.”
Android will still be the dominate OS for the foreseeable, however — it has 82% of the market, while Apple’s iOS platform takes care of just 15%. Importantly, though, Apple makes the most money in the smartphone space and with a lack of competition from other platforms – BB10 and Windows — this isn’t likely to change anytime soon.
The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 EDGE were two of our favourite handsets of 2015. They looked awesome and the performance was excellent. Solid stuff, indeed. Unfortunately consumers weren’t too impressed with what Samsung had brought to the table and sales were well below what the firm expected to shift. And Apple having two record-breaking years in a row did not help matters, neither did Xiaomi hoovering up in China.
But it’s OK — at least we have the Galaxy S7 to look forward to, right? Kind of. But ut all depends on whether or not you liked the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 EDGE because Samsung isn’t planning on doing much to the look and feel of the handset, according to sources familiar with its plans.
The sources mentioned above spilled their guts to The Korea Times, a usually very good publication for all things Samsung and LG. According to the sources, “the S7 will have improvements both in picture quality, performance and other some new features. But because smartphones have already been commoditised, you don’t need to spend more on a surface overhaul.”
Translation? The overall design of the phones will remain the same and all major changes will be under the hood — sound familiar? It should. This is exactly what Apple does with its iPhone cycle year-in-year out. The source claims the Galaxy S7 will feature faster processors, new DRAM chips with expanded storage, and OLED displays. All big, useful upgrades that will no doubt be appreciated by A LOT of people.
It's not exactly surprising that Samsung has gone down this route. For one thing the poor sales performance by the Galaxy S6 seems to have NOTHING to do with how people regarded its design and build - largely it received glowing reviews and was heralded as the best looking phone Samsung had produced to date. With the design established as really rather good that's the last thing Samsung should want to change, and what's more, it doesn't because that kind of development is a big costly overhaul; that's why Apple doesn't do it every year, and Samsung only just did it, so the design SHOULD be good for a while yet, if Samsung can generate interest through other features.