New Galaxy S8 Design Is Samsung's Biggest Gamble Yet

New Galaxy S8 Leak Reveals Stunning Potential

Samsung is already looking to drop the dual handset approach to next year’s Galaxy S8 and provide a single model with its identifiable curved edge screen. As one ‘dual’ option is removed, another takes it place as information suggests that the Galaxy S8 could ship with a dual-lens camera.

The information comes via Chinese microblogging service Sina Weibo and should be treated with some care. It is early in the process and there are no images or corroborating details. But it does pass the smell test, it feels like it could be right. Even if this stays as speculation the news should be taken as a positive for Samsung. In the September smartphone news cycle it needs all the help it can get.

D.J. Koh, president of mobile communications business at Samsung Electronics (Photo: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images)

GIven the lead time in developing a new smartphone it’s likely that Samsung could have settled the design of next year’s presumptively titled Galaxy S8 flagship handset. That means that information on the hardware will be in the production chain and as recent years have shown, that’s a rather leaky environment. Even if the design is not locked in and the South Korean company is testing multiple designs for the S8, it makes perfect sense for a dual-lens camera to not only be under consideration, but also that it would be useful for the geekerati to be aware of Samsung’s plans.

Although Huawei has already debuted a dual-lens Android smartphone, for a new technology to be established it really needs to feature in a Samsung or Apple AAPL -0.77% handset because of their dominant market positions. Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 7 Plus in early September with a dual-lens camera system, which means that the Galaxy S8 will have to fight the ‘me-too’ perception if this technology is used.

Samsung’s saving grace in the marketing is if Apple restricts the dual-lens system to the iPhone 7 Plus (which is the current expectation). Samsung’s dual-lens system will not be split between two flagship models as it rationalizes the Galaxy S8 to the singe edged model. A message of ‘dual-lens for everyone’ offers a marketing edge over the competition from Cupertino, on top of Samsung’s traditional strength in imaging.

Although the Galaxy Note 7 is going to be reaching the public in greater numbers over the next four weeks, the next month belongs to Apple and the iPhone 7 launch – which I believe is one reason why Samsung brought the Note 7 to the public’s attention in early August and not at next week’s IFA trade show in Berlin. If the idea that Samsung is coming with a dual-lens camera in the Galaxy next year becomes established, that might give a number of people pause for thought while deciding between a new iPhone now or waiting for something better.

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, introduces the new macOS Sierra software (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

With Apple offering more C-level interviews and profiles than normal, it is doing its best to convince the media that the iPhone remains a unique and innovative product. Samsung coming along and building on the dual-lens efforts from Huawei will serve as a reminder that Apple is following a trend that all high-end devices will be picking up over the next 12 months.

And Samsung should take that small wounding of Apple’s pomposity as win against the avalanche of positive iPhone media that is about to hit the digital wires.

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