With South Korean giant Samsung introducing a refreshing Galaxy Note 7 sporting an iris biometric scanner, the road ahead for Apple to safeguard its iPhone boundaries -- including on its home turf -- has become tougher.
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The Note 7 with curved display will be available on August 19 with pre-orders starting on Wednesday, technology website The Verge reported. The company also released a new Gear VR headset at its Galaxy Note Unpacked 2016 in New York.
According to the reports, the price of Note 7 will match with prior devices like Note 5 (there was no Note 6) and will be higher than its flagship smartphone S7 Edge which is about $770 to $800. An unlocked version of the Note 7 will be available in the US at a later date.
This is the first device with Gorilla Glass 5 screen and has a USB-C charger port - Samsung's first such device. Note 7 has more sensitive and accurate S Pen stylus.
Packed with Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB RAM and 12-megapixel camera, it is water resistant and has support for microSD cards. The device has 64GB of internal storage and the battery has been increased to 3,500 mAh capacity (Note 5 has 3,000 mAh battery).
Is Note 7 another flagship killer for Apple like S7 and S7 Edge devices?
“Market sentiments are not with Apple at the moment, especially after the poor third quarter results and decline in iPhone sales. Expectations are also a bit low on the upcoming iPhone 7 so Samsung will continue to have a good run in months to come,” Tarun Pathak, Senior Analyst, Mobile Devices and Ecosystems, Counterpoint Research, told IANS.
“Although Apple has a loyal user base and its iOS is the most popular operation system, Samsung somehow has a momentum going on in their favour. I think Apple has to look at strengthening and upgrading iPhone SE and older models like iPhone 5 which are still selling hot in countries like India,” he added.
Apple's third-quarter net income plunged 27 per cent to $7.8 billion on a decline of iPhone sales. According to the Cupertino-based tech giant, 40.4 million iPhones were sold in the quarter, compared with 47.5 million in the same period of 2015.
Meanwhile, riding on the strong sales of its Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge smartphones, Samsung Electronics declared 8.14 trillion won ($7billion) year on-year operating profit - 18 per cent - in the second quarter results.
According to Samsung, it shipped about 90 million handsets in the April-June period with smartphones making up more than 80 per cent of the total, the Korea Herald reported.
Samsung's second-quarter smartphone shipments are estimated at about 72 million units, almost doubling Apple's iPhone shipments of 40.4 million units during the same period.
Smartphone shipments in India grew a healthy 15 per cent in the second quarter this year compared to the global smartphone market which grew a mere three per cent, market research firm Counterpoint Research reported.
“This time, Note 7 has all the features which are very similar to S7 and S7 Edge. S7 and S7 Edge did quite well compared to previous series of Galaxy S6 phones. The big driving factor for Galaxy S7 this round was the price was more competitive compared to previous Galaxy S6 series,” said Anshul Gupta, research director at market research firm Gartner.
“Two years have gone by so first series of iPhone users who actually bought large screen iPhone 6 device, they are now due for renew so this round is going to be big for Apple. They need to stun the world with iPhone 7,” Gupta told IANS.
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Apple is reported to hold a Special Event in the second week of September with the expected launch of the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, Apple Watch 2, new MacPro, new iPod Touch, MacMini and new MacBook.