Samsung has confirmed rumors that it will launch its 2016 flagship smartphone model at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona later this month. The only question left to answer is: how many variants of the Galaxy S7 will be introduced?
The event will take place on Feb. 21, the eve of MWC, the same day in 2015 when Samsung unveiled its Galaxy S6 and curved screen Galaxy S6 Edge. It is unclear at the moment if Samsung will repeat its smartphone double launch at MWC this time around, but whatever Samsung does, it needs a hit after its financial results published last week showed its smartphone sales stagnating.
Samsung has published a teaser video for the event, called Unpacked, showing a man using one of the company's Gear VR headsets, suggesting we might see some virtual reality news announced alongside the new smartphones, with Samsung eager to continue its push into this fast-expanding area of technology. It could also mean that Samsung — which will livestream the event — will broadcast the press conference in virtual reality for owners of its Gear VR headsets.
In December, the Wall Street Journal, quoting sources familiar with Samsung's plans, reported that the Galaxy S7 would come with a pressure sensitive touchscreen akin to the iPhone 6s 3D Touch feature. The design of the new phone is said to be very similar to the Galaxy S6 but with updated hardware, including a higher resolution screen and a new camera sensor. However, considering the screen and camera were two of the best features of the Galaxy S6, Samsung may look to other areas to add value.
A report from Weibo last November suggested Samsung could be ready to cut the price of the Galaxy S7 by up to 10 percent in a bid to regain some of the market share it lost to rivals in the last 12-24 months. The phones are expected to go on sale in the U.S. within weeks of their launch at MWC.
Samsung joins LG, Sony and Xiaomi in confirming plans to hold major press events at the trade show in Barcelona as the smartphone market prepares for a year of much slower growth compared to the last 2-3 years. The increasing competition has meant that all companies — including Apple — are beginning to feel the pinch.