2017 will be the year of Samsung
What a year 2016 has been for Samsung. It was off to a great start with the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 edge which were undoubtedly the best Android smartphones released last year. Customers flocked to pick it up and Samsung’s results showed that its mobile business was performing very well courtesy of the stellar sales of the Galaxy S7 series. Samsung looked set to continue that momentum with the Galaxy Note 7 and the flagship was met with a great deal of enthusiasm when it was launched. It appeared to be a winning formula and demand was high right off the bat.
However, things took a nasty turn when the Galaxy Note 7 started catching fire unexpectedly which forced Samsung to issue a global recall and eventually discontinue the handset altogether. It lost billions of dollars dealing with that mess and now promises to further improve product quality processes to ensure that something like that doesn’t happen again. Samsung has apologized multiple times for the fiasco and is now committed to leaving it all behind in the past. It’s 2017 now and the year is Samsung’s for the taking.
Before you point out that the company is having leadership issues, allow me to address that directly. Yes, Samsung Electronics vice chairman and heir to the throne Lee Jae-yong has been arrested due to allegations of bribery and corruption in relation to South Korea’s influence-peddling scandal and yes he will be indicted tomorrow.
Nevertheless, the Samsung Group is made of up dozens of affiliates who have their own management structures. Just because the heir is not in the office doesn’t mean we’ll see an impact on the company’s product lines. His absence might impact some strategic decisions such as mergers and acquisitions but it’s not like Samsung will be unable to release new smartphones until his trial is over. That shouldn’t even be a concern.
2017 is the year in which those who use Samsung products and those who are fans of the company should really be proud of this Korean behemoth. It has got off to a good start in 2017. Just a couple of days ago the company launched the Galaxy Tab S3 which appears to be one of the best Android 7.0 Nougat tablets revealed so far as well as the Windows 10-powered Galaxy Book tablets that are blazing a new path in the Windows 10 tablet market. That’s not all, the company has also made its virtual reality offering better and is on course to launch what might be one of the best smartphones of this year.
Samsung has gradually been teasing the Galaxy S8 over the past few months. It has revealed that the smartphone will have an artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant, will be powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 processor and has even dropped some hints about the new flagship’s design in its Galaxy S8 teaser which confirms that it will be launched on March 29.
However, what makes 2017 truly stand out for Samsung is not an evolutionary update for its flagship series, but what it has done to bring about change in the wider smartphone market.
There’s a consensus among financial analysts and the rumor mill that Apple is finally going to make the shift to OLED displays with the iPhone 8. Samsung smartphones have had OLED displays for several years now. The conglomerate has a virtual monopoly on mobile OLED panels which is why it’s going to be the main supplier of OLED displays for Apple’s iPhone.
The Cupertino company held out for as long as it possibly could but appears to have decided that it needs to make the switch or it risks losing customers who are increasingly becoming aware of the subtle differences in technologies, thanks partly to countless websites and YouTube channels that happily dissect and compare the differences. Apple is even expected to push the envelope on the design by opting for a curved display and 2017 might be the year when the iPhone 8 finally gets wireless charging. Again, Samsung users have had these features for a couple of years.
This certainly doesn’t mean that die-hard Samsung fans should hate on Apple for doing pretty much what it has almost always accused Samsung of doing: copying. They should rather take it as something they should be proud of. Samsung tried hard to be ahead of the curve two years ago when it started to really innovate and show that its flagship smartphones didn’t need to exist under the iPhone’s shadow, that they could carve their own niche and establish themselves as true competitors to one of the best-selling smartphones on the planet.
If you look at what Samsung and Apple have done with their flagship lines over the past two years, you’ll find that the former did far more than the latter. Some might even say that Apple got complacent and started resting on its laurels so it’s finally getting out of that funk in 2017 with the iPhone 8. That argument could be made and it’s yet another reason why Samsung users and fans should be proud of the company.
Samsung has worked really hard over the past couple of years to shed the label of being a company that just copies what Apple is doing. It has shown the world that it’s very capable of matching Apple in terms of smartphone design and build quality. The advancements that it has made may very well have pushed Apple to rethink how it competes in the flagship smartphone market with the iPhone.
It would certainly be a pretty big deal if an Asian company like Samsung was able to inspire change in an American company like Apple that has a long history of being regarded as one of the most forward-thinking and innovative companies on the planet. Not to mention the fact that Samsung would have ended up inspiring one of its biggest rivals because despite the onslaught of Chinese competitors, Samsung and Apple remain the top two smartphone vendors in the world.
Samsung may not be the best when it comes to software, its smartphones run on Google’s Android with some tweaks made by the company, while Apple has its own iOS operating system that’s exceptional in more ways than one. We’ve even seen improvement on that front as the company has done away with its clunky interface in favor of one that’s more simple, modern and smooth. Nevertheless, it doesn’t take away from the fact that Samsung is now one of the best companies as far as innovation and mobile hardware is concerned. For example, just a few years ago, even the cameras on Samsung’s flagship smartphones were not as good as they should have been.
Samsung considerably improved this since 2015 and no wonder the Galaxy S7 edge is regarded as having one of the best mobile cameras even after a year in which Apple introduced a fancy camera system with the iPhone 7 Plus. It’s also one big reason why the Galaxy S7 edge was recently recognized as the best smartphone at Mobile World Congress 2017 despite the fact that it came out a year ago.
The Galaxy S8 will certainly not be the end of the journey of innovation that Samsung has been on since the past few years. It’s a glimpse of an exciting future. It inspires confidence in Samsung and its ability to innovate and push the boundaries with each generation. It will be a testament to all of the hard work that Samsung has done, hard work that users and fans alike should be very proud of.
2017 will be the year of Samsung, and it’s just getting started.