With the almost global (apologies to India) launch of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge today, it seems a good time to look at the standings in the latest chapter of the ever escalating Smartphone Wars.
This time around it has become the war of The Magnificent Seven with both Samsung and Apple set to release a “7” branded smartphone device in 2016. The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will attempt to carry on Samsung's winning streak as the world’s biggest selling smartphone vendor, shipping an impressive 83.8 million units in Q3 of 2015 - a time when Apple managed to ship "only" 48.0 million units. However, despite their strong position Samsung will remain cautious. It was not long ago that the company had to endure a turbulent 2014 when net profit fell 27% from $21.3bn to £14bn, a move accredited to Apple's re-emergence as a serious competitor in China, the world’s biggest smartphone market.
With sales, market share and world leading status all on the line it's often easy to forget what a lot of people would argue really matters; which smart phone will prove to be, well …. better? Not an easy question to answer, not at least with Apple's iPhone 7 currently unreleased and unknown. In fact the device is not rumored to even be officially revealed by Apple, let alone released, until the now fabled September 9th date later in 2016 (Apple announced the iPhone 6 on 9th September 2014 and the iPhone 6s on 9th September 2015).
Reviews to the quality of the latest generation smartphones, Samsung's Galaxy S6 and Apple's iPhone 6s (not so subtle naming strategies), would suggest Samsung ever so slightly have the Edge. Based on DaScore.com's finding of over 15 professional reviews, Samsung's Galaxy S6 came to an aggregated positive review score of 90.8% compared to Apple's iPhone 6S at 88.9%. So, too close to call? A dead heat? The reviews would suggest so.
The sales are getting closer too, with Apple in Q4 of 2014 finally reclaiming the accolade of selling the highest number of smartphones globally by over taking Samsung for the first time in four years. In fact, the positives continue sales wise for Apple with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus recording the biggest launch sales of any Apple device yet with 13 million sold over the products opening weekend in September 2016.
However, Samsung is still currently the biggest selling smartphone manufacturer in the world and it would be a shame to talk about Apple too much on the launch day of what looks to be a very impressive addition to the Galaxy fleet. If the so far excellent reviews are to be believed this could be yet another pinnacle of quality in an almost unbelievable smart phone arms race.
Which leads us to the conclusion that there is only one winner in The Magnificent Seven battle and that is us. The consumer. With each company looking to better the other, it has turned into a golden age for smartphone technology. Never have our mobile phones been able to do more, take better photos or look more stylish. Although the choice may, arguably, now be only between the two giants of Apple and Samsung, it’s a choice many of us are happy to have the luxury to make.
Written by Conor Walsh