5 Samsung Rumors: Is the Galaxy Note 7 All Apple’s Fault?

Each week, an array of exciting new Samsung rumors surfaces. Even if speculation about future component upgrades or rumors about devices that may or may not actually materialize don’t normally hold your attention, it’s hard not to be curious about what one of the biggest tech companies in the world is planning. Read on for this week’s most interesting reports about Samsung’s plans and future products, from what’s going on with its upcoming smartphones to the company’s plans for future Chromebooks.

1. The Galaxy S8 could get a 3GHz chipset

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 2: The Samsung logo is displayed on a screen prior to the start of a launch event for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 at the Hammerstein Ballroom, August 2, 2016 in New York City. The stylus equipped smartphone will be available starting August 19, with preorders starting August 3.

Samsung logo | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Zach Epstein reports for BGR that the upcoming Galaxy S8 could feature a 3GHz chipset. According to a report that originated in China, the S8 may feature a Samsung Exynos 8895 processor. The Exynos 8895 is a new chipset reportedly clocked at 3.0GHz, but more energy-efficient than previous Samsung processors. Rumor has it that the new chipset will improve image processing by as much as 80% over this year’s Exynos model. Those numbers sound great on paper. But as Epstein notes, it’s difficult to gauge how those specs will translate to real-world usage.

In other Galaxy S8 news, the phone is rumored to come in two sizes, like the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. But both the 5.1-inch model and the 5.5-inch model will likely feature curved displays. According to another report, the S8 series could be among the first smartphones to feature 4K ultra HD displays. And as Chris Smith reports for the publication, Samsung may unveil the Galaxy S8 early in order to put the Galaxy Note 7 debacle behind it.

2. Samsung’s upcoming flip phone may get an always-on display and fast charging

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 2: Attendees check out Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones during a launch event at the Hammerstein Ballroom, August 2, 2016 in New York City. The stylus equipped smartphone will be available starting August 19, with preorders starting August 3.

Attendees check out Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Phone Arena reports that Samsung’s “Veyron” clamshell phone may be a much higher-end device than the new Galaxy Folder 2. According to several reports and rumors about the device, the Android-based flip phone may include an always-on display and quick charging capabilities. The new Galaxy Folder 2 has only modest specs. But the Veyron appears to feature a 4.2-inch full HD display with a 1080×1920 resolution. Rumor has it that the device will also feature a Snapdragon 820 chipset, Adreno 530 graphics, and 4GB of RAM.

According to Phone Arena,  Samsung is also likely to equip the phone with a 5MP front-facing camera and a 12MP rear-facing camera. The main camera system will likely feature the same sensor found in the Galaxy Note 7. Other features expected in the device include a fingerprint sensor and a 2,000mAh battery. There’s no word yet on when the device will make its official debut. But the frequency of new leaks and reports likely means an introduction will come soon.

3. Samsung reportedly rushed the Galaxy Note 7 to compete with the iPhone 7

Galaxy Note 7 is water resistant

Galaxy Note 7 | Samsung.com

According to Bloomberg, Samsung rushed the Galaxy Note 7 to beat the iPhone 7. Yoolim Lee and Min Jeong Lee report that a “rush to take advantage of a dull iPhone” began Samsung’s battery crisis. Samsung learned that the next iPhone “wouldn’t have any eye-popping innovations.” So it wanted to “leap ahead.” It accelerated the launch of the Galaxy Note 7 despite the new features involved. But the plan backfired, and the Galaxy Note 7 quickly gained notoriety as the smartphone with an exploding battery.

The crisis reportedly originated in Apple’s introduction of the iPhone 6 Plus. That 2014 launch “put pressure on Samsung to defend its turf and it moved up the 2015 introduction of the new Note from September to August, just weeks before Apple unveiled the iPhone 6s.” Samsung met the deadline, but Apple still won market share. So when Samsung learned that Apple didn’t plan any major design changes for the iPhone 7, it seized the opportunity. Executives went ahead with a variety of new features, including a 3,500mAh battery. Samsung SDI was the main battery supplier. It’s of the many Note 7 suppliers who “were under more pressure than usual this time around and were pushed harder than by other customers.”

The result, as explained by the chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, was a battery that is slightly too big for its compartment. The tight space reportedly pinches the battery and causes a short circuit. Bloomberg analyst Anthea Lai writes, “Clearly, they missed something. They were rushing to beat Apple and they made a mistake.”

4. The Galaxy Note 7 may not be as fast as the iPhone 7

Zach Epstein reports for BGR that the results of a speed test of the iPhone 7 vs. the Galaxy Note 7 are “just embarrassing” for Samsung. Benchmark tests never provide the full picture on how phones perform in real-world conditions. So YouTube user PhoneBuff devised a test that focuses on opening and switching apps. (A task that most smartphone users spend lots of time doing.) The test involves opening the same set of apps on two different phones and comparing their performance. Then, the apps are relaunched to see how well they’re held in memory.

As Epstein notes, the test is far from scientific. “But it’s still a good way to judge how one phone will handle real-world tasks relative to another phone.” Unfortunately for Samsung, the iPhone 7 beat the Note 7 decisively. Epstein writes, “It wasn’t even close. In fact, it was embarrassing.” Even worse? The test used the smaller iPhone 7. (Which has just 2GB of RAM compared to the 3GB in the larger model.)

5. Samsung Chromebooks may get access to Android apps soon

Samsung event

Samsung event | Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images

Ben Schoon reports for 9to5Google that Samsung is advertising Chromebooks “powered by Android.” The phrase is misleading, since Chromebooks run Google’s Chrome OS, not Android. And while Android apps are coming to Chrome OS, most Samsung Chromebooks aren’t expected to support them.

But as Schoon reports, the advertising may mean that Samsung’s Chromebooks could be next to gain access to Android apps. Google announced that the Samsung Chromebook 2 11-inch (Xe500C12) and the Chromebook 3 series will support Android apps. That’s expected to happen in 2016 to 2017. But it’s possible that more Samsung Chromebooks are going to be able to run Android apps in the near future.

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