KGI Reports Samsung Galaxy S8 "Lacks Attractive Selling Point"; Will Lose To iPhone 8
KGI securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, in report says that Samsung Galaxy S8 will have a weaker demand than Galaxy S7. He also added that Samsung will face increased competition this year from Apple with the launch of iPhone 8.
According to Kuo, despite coming with a bezel-less design, Samsung Galaxy S8 lacks "sufficiently attractive selling points", when compared to Apple's OLED iPhone 8.
He expects Samsung to ship anywhere between 40 to 45 million units of the Galaxy S8 in 2017, which is quite a bit lower than the 52m units of the Galaxy S7 that Samsung shipped in 2016. He attributes last year Galaxy S7 sales to the failure of Note 7.
The company's Galaxy Note 7 handsets started to burst into flames due to issues with the battery and Samsung faced its first lawsuit over exploding Galaxy Note 7 handsets. Samsung is forced to issue an voluntary recall of all Note 7 handsets and Samsung issued a formal apology.
The Note 7 debacle made the S7 as the only flagship device from Samsung. However, this is not going to be the case in 2017. By the time Apple launches the iPhone 8 though, Samsung would have released the Galaxy Note 8 which would come with some new features and enhancements of its own.
If we ignore the bezel-less design of Galaxy S8, the device will sport the same design language as the Galaxy S7 and S6 before it. The handset will come with an iris scanner and Samsung's own virtual assistant, Bixby, but none of these makes for an attractive selling point on their own.
In comparison, Apple will be debuting a new design language with the iPhone 8 this year, with the OLED variant even featuring a more premium design with rumored features like facial recognition and Touch ID scanner being integrated into the display.
In his note, Kuo also confirmed all the major features and specs of the Galaxy S8 including its OLED display, wireless charging, new glass design, battery capacity, camera specs, and more.
The Galaxy S8 will come in two sizes, the 5.8-inch model and the 6.2-inch Galaxy S8+ model, both with an unconventional 2960×2400 WQHD+ resolutions. The smaller Galaxy S8 will sport a 3000mAh battery, while the Galaxy S8+ will feature a 3500mAh battery.
Kuo says that the shipment of the two models will be split between 60:40. He further adds that the Galaxy S8 variants sold in the United States, Japan, and China will feature a Snapdragon 835 chipset, while the rest of the world will get the Exynos 8895 powered variant. Both devices will have curved edges and will have no physical home button. On the front, one will find an IR-LED transmitter and receiver for iris recognition.
The handsets will also come with 4GB RAM. However, the Chinese and Korean variant will feature 6GB DRAM. Kuo also confirms what we have already known through various leaked photos of Galaxy S8. Both devices will have an 8-megapixel front camera, 12-megapixel rear camera, heart rate scanner, no home button etc.
Interestingly, Samsung opted out of a dual camera setup, despite its latest Exynos 8895 processor advertised that it can handle such dual ISP systems. Kuo says the decision is made because Samsung believes the technology to still be immature.
Samsung Galaxy S8 will come in eight colors, gold, silver, black, matte black, blue, orchid, and pink. However, the most interesting thing in the Kuo's report is that Samsung will launch the Galaxy S8 on April 21, instead of the rumored April 28. We will get more details about the upcoming Galaxy S8 on the March 29 media event.