Samsung’s Galaxy F Takes Aim at Apple’s iPhone 6
Samsung (SSNLF.PK) is planning on launching a new high-end smartphone around the same time that Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) next-generation iPhone is expected to be released in September, according to an unnamed source cited by Phone Arena. Images and technical specification details of the so-called Galaxy F were also provided to Phone Arena by the same source. Industry watchers have speculated that Samsung is accelerating the release of its next device in order to appropriate some of the hype that is building up around Apple’s upcoming iPhone 6 launches. Multiple media outlets have reported rumors that Apple will make the iPhone 6 available in two larger screen sizes of 4.7 and 5.5 inches.
Samsung’s Galaxy F will feature the usual smartphone spec upgrades, including a larger screen size of 5.3 inches with a higher-resolution Quad High Definition (QHD) display of 1440 by 2560 pixels, as well as a faster quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor. This tops the specs for Samsung’s current flagship Galaxy S5, which features a 5.1-inch display with Full High Definition (FHD) 1080-by-1920 pixel resolution and a quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor. Samsung will also be replacing the dimpled texture plastic rear casing found on the Galaxy S5 with a brushed metal casing on the Galaxy F.
On the other hand, Samsung will not be boosting the pixel count for its rear-facing camera like it has for the past several generations. According to Phone Arena’s source, the Samsung Galaxy F will retain the 16-megapixel camera found on the Galaxy S5, although it will be bolstered with an Optical Image Stabilization technology.
Apple has traditionally favored other methods for improving overall image quality besides boosting camera pixel count. The iPhone 5S still uses the 8-megapixel rear camera sensor that was first introduced in the iPhone 4S, although Apple introduced other improvements, like True Tone dual LED flash. Apple is rumored to be following the same strategy with the upcoming iPhone 6. According to Nomura Securities analysts cited by the China Post earlier this year, Apple will concentrate on “improved optical image stabilization” technology for the iPhone 6 instead of a higher pixel count in order to maintain the device’s slim profile.
Apple and Samsung are the biggest rivals in the smartphone market, with a 15.5 percent share and 30.2 percent share of the worldwide market, respectively, according to March quarter data provided by market research firm IDC. Apple has long accused its Korea-based rival of copying the look and feel of its iPhone, and the two companies recently concluded a court battle over patent infringement that resulted in a $119.6 million damages award for Apple and a $158,400 damages award for Samsung. Samsung’s unflattering reputation for following Apple’s lead was not helped when the company outfitted the Galaxy S5 with a fingerprint scanner several months after the Touch ID technology was released on the iPhone 5S.
On the other hand, Samsung has also made several preemptive moves against Apple in the race to bring new smartphone technologies to market. A week before Apple’s recent Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Samsung held its own event where it unveiled a health data platform called SAMI, or the Samsung Architecture Multimodal Interactions, as well as a prototype wrist-worn health-tracking device called Simband, reports VentureBeat. As a result, Apple was forced into the unusual position of having to follow Samsung’s event with its own similar announcement a week later, when it unveiled its health data storage platform HealthKit and associated Health app.
Apple may face a similar situation this fall, when many industry watchers expect the Cupertino, California-based company to announce the iWatch, a health-monitoring wearable tech product that is supposed to work in tandem with the iPhone. However, Samsung already released its own fitness-tracking Gear Fit device that works with the Galaxy S5 in April. However, several tech reviewers — including one at CNET — were critical of the Gear Fit’s narrow display and limited capabilities.
Although Samsung is likely targeting Apple’s iPhone 6 with its rumored September launch, the Galaxy phone maker may also be hoping to counter recently released devices from rival Android smartphone makers. LG’s recently announced G3 smartphone features a QHD 1440-by-2560 pixel display that tops the Galaxy S5, while the HTC One M8 is winning rave reviews for its overall design and aluminum casing.
Still, Apple’s next-generation iPhone may feature a display technology that is not found on any current smartphone models. Apple made a $578 million investment in a sapphire manufacturing facility run by GT Advanced Technologies (NASDAQ:GTAT) last year, and many rumors have suggested that the iPhone 6 will feature a display made from this durable scratch-resistant material.
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