In the smartphone race, Samsung has been feeling pressure from market-leader Apple, as well as from other competitors. In an effort to challenge Apple’s annually updated iPhone, Samsung has recently been releasing a new smartphone model every few months. In 2015, Samsung has released four new smartphone models, whereas in 2014 they only released two models. The strategy appears to be one of accommodating as many customer tastes as possible, by designing multiple smartphones with different features, sizes, and hardware specifications. Samsung appears also to be attempting to position their products within customers’ minds as the most up to date.
In February 2016, Samsung is expected to released yet another smartphone model, called the Galaxy S7, which is an upgrade to Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S series. As is typical of the Galaxy S series, updates will likely focus on evolutionary improvements in hardware specifications, such as increased processing power, better display, and perhaps increased battery life
Not many specifications are known about the upcoming Galaxy S7, but rumors say there will be an Exynos 8890 processor, and the phone will apparently come in two configurations, with either 3GB or 4GB of RAM. Preliminary comparisons of the Exynos 8890 processor versus Apple’s recent A9 processor (by Geekbench 3)reveal that Apple’s A9 processor is marginally faster than the Exynos 8890 (approximately 10% faster), when tested on a single-core basis. There was also a multi-core comparison, which appears to be scientifically invalidated by a poor experimental design with too many variables: an 8-core Exynos 8890 was compared to a 2-core A9 processor, and the clock speeds of the tests were also unfairly biased in favor of Samsung. There was only one study that appeared to have a sound experimental design (comparison of single cores), and in this study Apple’s A9 was the winner. In summary, Samsung’s upcoming smartphone Galaxy S7 will feature a processor that is slower than the corresponding processer in Apple’s iPhone 6S, which will have already been on the market nearly half a year by the time the Galaxy S7 becomes available.
Samsung’s strategy of hosting four smartphone releases per year is quite different from Apple’s strategy of having exactly one update cycle per year. Apple’s strategy has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of Apple’s once-per-year strategy include that they allow customers to know exactly when to expect a new iPhone to be available, software and hardware upgrade cycles can more easily be timed to coincide for an annual product release, Apple has more time to respond to a competitor’s product released earlier in the year, and the lack of many different phone models helps prevent fragmentation of software/hardware compatibility and user experience. One disadvantage of Apple’s annual-release strategy is that competitors like Samsung often appear to customers to be more up to date since the competitors usually have the most recently released phone (which is obvious, since Samsung releasesa new phone every few months).
On the surface, Samsung appears to be more up to date with regards to phone releases and provides more flexibility in product features. However, most experts would argue that Samsung’s strategies are desperate attempts to stay afloat in the midst of overwhelming competition from Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6S, which are widely considered to be the superior smartphones on the market.