Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has already promised a major design revamp for its Galaxy S6 smartphone, to make it look unlike any other device in the Galaxy S line. But what if the Korean manufacturer has another design muse in mind? If a recent leak is legitimate, the Samsung Galaxy S6 could look much more like an Apple Inc. iPhone than an old Galaxy device.
“The Galaxy S6 will make its debut in two versions -- flat and rounded screens,” an executive at a parts supplier told the Korea Times Tuesday. “It will have a metal build, which will make it look even more like Apple’s latest models.”
The French tech blog Nowhere Else shared images Wednesday of a smartphone frame it claims belongs to a Galaxy S6 handset. The chassis looks strikingly similar to the design of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which Apple released last September. The frame is tall and slim, with rounded corners. At first glance, one might even think the components shown belonged to an iPhone and not a Samsung device.
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) February 4, 2015
If authentic, such a design could either be a bold move or a Hail Mary play on Samsung’s part. The smartphone maker suffered through a significant drop in sales in 2014 as its premiere device, the Galaxy S5, failed to capture consumers. Now Apple is outselling Samsung in China and the U.S. A fresh design, as well as the introduction of a phablet smartphone, helped Apple garner significant sales.
While it is commonplace for manufacturers to borrow from one another -- the HTC Corp. recently noted design similarities between its HTC One (M8) smartphone and the iPhone 6 in a rap video it released as a marketing tool -- Samsung and Apple have a long and sordid history of suing each other for infringement. But that hasn’t stopped Samsung from releasing other devices that bear resemblance to Apple handsets. The Samsung Galaxy Alpha, launched in August, looks an awful lot like an iPhone 5s, as do the Galaxy A3 and Galaxy A5 smartphones the company launched in October.
Another design change for the Samsung Galaxy S6 could have Samsung make its battery unremovable. Older Galaxy handsets have had removable backs, which allow users to switch out batteries as well as boost internal storage capacities with MicroSD cards.
Making the battery unremovable would not only take away one favored feature of Samsung devices, but also would make the Galaxy S6 even more like an iPhone, which has always featured an unremovable lithium-ion polymer battery as opposed to a removable lithium-ion battery.
“Batteries will be embedded in S6 as Samsung is putting more focus on strengthening the safety of batteries by replacing the flammable liquid electrolytes of conventional lithium-ion cells with improved polymer electrolyte cells, which are nonflammable and nonvolatile,” a source familiar with the issue told the Korea Times.
But Samsung still has some design ideas of its own. The Galaxy Note Edge, featuring a curved display on its right side, is an original design by the manufacturer. Some rumors indicate Galaxy S6 could have its display curve over both sides of the handset. Other rumors suggest the curved edges could wrap all the way around the Galaxy S6, giving the device a cylindrical shape.
Samsung will reveal the true design of the Galaxy S6 March 1 at a press event in Barcelona, Spain. It has already teased a device with a curved silhouette will be shown there. Meanwhile, analysts believe a revamp in the design of the Galaxy S6 could help bolster Samsung’s sales in the high-end smartphone market.