Galaxy S8 Retail Price to Significantly Undercut Premium ‘iPhone 8’

Fresh leaks of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8 have revealed that the de facto "iPhone 8" rival will come in three colors and cost upwards of 799 euros ($859) when it goes on sale next month in Europe.

Serial mobile leaker Evan Blass revealed the news in a Sunday tweet, which included an official press image of Samsung's new flagship phone in colors described as Black Sky, Orchid Grey, and Arctic Silver.


A second tweet offered the pricing details, with the 5.8-inch S8 starting at 799 euros and the 6.2-inch S8 Plus going for 899 euros ($967). Blass also revealed the prices of a handful of accessories set to launch with the phone, including a DeX docking station (150 euros/$161), a new GearVR headset (129 euros/$138), and a Gear 360 camera (229 euros/$246).

While direct currency conversions are no guarantee of actual prices outside of Europe, the phones still look likely to undercut Apple's upcoming 5.8-inch OLED iPhone by some margin.

Tentatively dubbed "iPhone 8" by media outlets, the tenth anniversary edition model could cost upwards of $1,000, according to one report claiming knowledge of Apple's plans. The premium tier device is expected to feature a radical redesign with a flat edge-to-edge OLED screen, a virtual home button and some form of wireless charging, launching alongside more typical "S" cycle iPhone models to succeed the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

Samsung's S8 will feature iris scanning and facial recognition technology in addition to fingerprint recognition, with a new virtual assistant called "Bixby" also to debut. The Korean company will launch its new phones at an event on March 29, with the devices said to ship to consumers on April 21. Apple's 2017 iPhones are expected to launch in the fall.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017)
Tags: Samsung, Galaxy S8, Samsung Gear

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Apple Watch Dominated Holiday Season With Estimated 5.2 Million Shipments

Apple shipped a record-breaking 5.2 million Apple Watch units last quarter, making it by far the most popular smartwatch of the holiday shopping season, according to the latest data from research firm Strategy Analytics. Apple captured an estimated 63.4% of the worldwide smartwatch market during the quarter.


Apple's closest competitor Samsung shipped only 800,000 smartwatches in the quarter, for an estimated 9.8% market share, according to Strategy Analytics. All other smartwatch vendors, such as Garmin, Fitbit, and Huawei, combined for an estimated 2.2 million shipments and 26.8% market share.


"Demand for Apple's new Watch Series 2 as a holiday-season gift in Western markets was surprisingly strong and it enabled Apple to clear a large backlog of smartwatch inventory during the quarter," said Strategy Analytics director Cliff Raskind.

It is important to acknowledge that these are estimated figures, and that shipments do not necessarily reflect sales.

Apple does not break out Apple Watch sales like it does with iPhones, iPads, and Macs, and instead groups the device under its "Other Products" category. Given the category also includes the Apple TV, Beats products, iPods, AirPods, and other accessories, figuring out Apple Watch revenue is deliberately challenging.

Apple only elected to share that the Apple Watch set all time sales records during the first quarter of its 2017 fiscal year, with CEO Tim Cook noting holiday demand was "so strong" that Apple "couldn't make enough."

Strategy Analytics will not disclose its exact methodology for competitive reasons, but executive director Neil Mawston told us the company uses "a blend of channel checks, financial analysis, and other sources" to estimate Apple Watch shipments. "It is the same methodology we have used for phones since the 1990s and for wearables since the modern market first emerged circa 2013."

Apple saw its "Other Products" revenue drop 8% to $4.02 billion in the quarter compared to $4.35 billion in the year-ago quarter, a sizeable decline that Apple financial chief Luca Maestri attributed to declining Apple TV sales.

Strategy Analytics said the smartwatch industry is showing "tentative signs of recovery" this year, but Raskind noted there remain "several barriers to growth" that must be addressed.
Smartwatch vendors like Samsung need to launch more exciting or cheaper models, Apple must engage closer with mobile operators to stock or subsidize its popular Watch portfolio, while component makers need to develop more accurate sensors for health and fitness tracking that consumers will trust and use more.
Apple Watch shipments totaled 11.6 million units in 2016, or slightly more than half of the estimated 21.1 million smartwatches shipped by all vendors in the year, according to Strategy Analytics. The firm's data shows a slightly lower 20.8 million smartwatches were shipped globally in 2015 for comparison.


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Samsung Releases iOS Apps for its Gear Family of Smartwatches

Samsung today announced the first iOS apps for its popular Gear family of smartwatches, which were previously only compatible with Android phones.

The Samsung Gear S app brings iPhone connectivity to the company's Gear 2 and Gear 3 wearables, while the Gear Fit app offers similar compatibility for Gear Fit2 watches. The apps allow device owners to monitor features and manage applications installed through the Gear appstore.

Samsung Gear
While features and functions will vary by device, iOS users will be able to enjoy the Samsung Gear S3's timeless and stylish design, IP68 water and dust resistance, as well as the built-in GPS, Alti/barometer and Speedometer apps.

It is available in two bold models – the Gear S3 frontier, which takes inspiration from the active explorer with a rugged design, as well as the Gear S3 classic, featuring an elegant style with the balance found on luxury timepieces. Users will also be able to track their fitness by monitoring distance and route traveled, running pace, calories burned and heart rate.
Apart from being able to manage apps on their Samsung Gear devices, users can also adjust individual app settings, control update notifications and enable/disable automatic updates, as well as use the Find my Gear feature for lost watches. Syncing health and fitness data with S Health is also supported, as are iPhone notifications on the wearables.

Samsung Gear S and Gear Fit apps are available as free downloads for iPhone and iPad on the App Store.


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