Samsung Electronics Co.'s latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S6, may include a host of surprises, including two curved edges and a companion waterproof version, the S6 Active. The phone may be unveiled March 2 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Korean publication the Chosunilbo reported Wednesday.
The Galaxy S5 was Samsung’s first flagship smartphone to feature an IP67 certification, which means the device can withstand submersion in up to 3.2 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. Despite making Galaxy S5 waterproof, Samsung also launched water Galaxy S5 Active and Galaxy S5 Sport models in 2014, intending to reach niche audiences.
This time, the manufacturer may forgo a waterproof certification on the original Galaxy S6 to set a clear distinction between the flagship and Active models. A second waterproof Galaxy S6 Active version is expected to come at a later date, according to Italian publication Webtrek.
Samsung has said it will cut at least 30 percent of the worst-performing devices in its product line as part of a 2015 product restructuring plan, but the company appears to be re-filling its product pipeline. Some analysts have proposed that niche devices like the Active, Mini and Zoom spinoffs of flagship devices may be among those on Samsung’s chopping block. But others say Samsung’s niche smartphone markets are still vital.
“I liked the Active, Mini and Zoom, even though they were very specific in their market targeting. I do applaud what they were intended to do,” said IDC analyst Ramon Llamas. “A water-resistant phone? It’s actually more popular and well-received industrywide than many believe.”
Samsung also plans to revive its brand by launching more devices with updated designs and hardware specifications. But a shiny new flagship, in particular, may not be enough to save Samsung from continued sales slumps in 2015. The manufacturer is expected see a net profit of 20.8 trillion won ($1.91 billion) this year, which is down 6 percent from last year’s 22.1 trillion won estimates, the Korea Herald reported Wednesday, based on a median of analysts’ projections collected by market tracker FnGuide Inc. Samsung will announce its fourth-quarter earnings Jan. 29, which should include details on total profit for 2014.
Still, the manufacturer is moving with plans to bring much-needed updates to its devices. The Galaxy S6, nicknamed “Project Zero,” is expected to be like no other Samsung flagship released thus far. Among its rumored specifications are a Quad HD (2560 x 1440) display, a 64-bit processor, increased storage capacity, a powerful camera and a single chip to house all of its sensors. Its design may include two curved edges, a metal frame, a glass back panel and a non-removable battery.
Samsung has not yet sent out invitations for press events at MWC, but the Galaxy S6 has been rumored to launch at the tech convention in Barcelona, Spain, for some time. The Samsung Galaxy S5 launched at MWC last year, and the Samsung Galaxy S2 launched at MWC in 2011.