Samsung is taking a page out of Apple’s playbook with its next smartphone. Two models in what's likely to be known as the Galaxy S7 family — a 5.2-inch model and a 5.5-inch model — are expected to launch toward the end of February, according to unnamed sources speaking to South Korea’s ETNews.
The smaller handset is anticipated to come with a flat-screen design, while the 5.5-inch Galaxy S7 Edge is expected to sport a curved screen. This deviates from Samsung’s March 2015 release of the Galaxy S6, which came in flat and curved-screen variants but both had a 5.1-inch screen.
The change in strategy puts Samsung more in line with Apple’s latest generation of smartphones — the 4.7-inch iPhone 6S and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6S Plus. Initial production of the handsets is expected to be about 5 million units, with 3.3 million units allocated to the Galaxy S7 and 1.6 million units to the Galaxy S7 Edge.
It’s not the only thing that has changed at Samsung. A November management shakeup saw Samsung Mobile president Jong-Kyun Shin replaced by Dong Jin Koh, who formerly oversaw the development of the Tizen mobile operating system and Samsung Pay mobile payment service, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The reshuffling of executives comes after two years of poor sales of Samsung’s handsets, including 2014’s Galaxy S5. The S6 suffered a supply-side issue where the handset maker misjudged demand for the S6 Edge and the S6, which left it with a shortage of S6 Edge handsets and an oversupply of the flat-screened S6.
For now, Samsung still maintains the top spot for smartphone shipments in 2015, according to IDC. But its lead has been threatened over the past couple of years as pressure from Apple’s iPhones as well as lower-priced handsets from Xiaomi, Huawei and Lenovo threaten its growth in China and other developing markets.