It’s all about 2017. At least, that’s what the major players in the world of mobile want you to think.
While officially Samsung and Apple are gearing up for the launches of the Galaxy Note 7 and iPhone 7 respectively, both already have their eye on next year, with what promises to be a string of game–changing devices.
Want to know whether it’s worth holding out another 12 months before you upgrade? Read on and we’ll reveal what's happening next year.
1 Flexible Samsung Galaxy phones
Samsung is said to have two revolutionary products in the works. Both are being produced under the codename Project Valley, according to insiders. And both feature bendable, flexible screens.
This tech has been trailed before at trade shows, but now it seems Samsung is ready to deliver it to the masses.
One device is said to be like a flip phone, opening out into a smartphone from a device the size of a compact mirror.
The other is believed to be an 8–inch tablet which can be folded into a 5–inch smartphone.
2 All–screen iPhone
It seems highly likely that Apple’s forthcoming iPhone 7 will be little more than a minor update to 2015’s iPhone 6s.
However, the company appears to be racing ahead with plans to create a major new iPhone for 2017. A recently discovered patent points towards this being a device with a curved screen.
That said, unlike Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge, this would wrap all the way around the device.
That means there would be no physical buttons, with volume controls and Touch ID controlled by holding down specific areas of the smartphone’s display.
3 Bezels be gone
The standard smartphone design has changed little since Apple first introduced the iPhone in 2007.
It may have got larger to accommodate bigger displays, and thinner as components shrunk, but by and large, we’ve had the same rectangular look.
Both Project Valley and Apple’s new iPhone seem to do away with this look. As screen tech improves, the need for bezels around the edges disappears.
That means the new iPhone, as seen in patent drawings, offers more screen real estate, despite the fact that it is no bigger than existing Apple handsets. Samsung’s efforts are likely to follow the same route.
4 Face and eyeball tracking
Samsung is likely to come to the party early with this feature.
Its Galaxy Note 7, due to launch on August 2nd, is said to have eyeball recognition tech, designed to add extra security. This is a feature it has tried on previous Galaxy phones with little success.
Apple’s 2017 iPhone is believed to have face tracking skills to detect where a user is looking at any one time, so the phone can show off content perfectly.
This will be essential if that phone comes with a wrap around screen.
5 A curved future
What’s clear is that having won critical and commercial acclaim for its Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung has pushed the idea of curved screens into the mainstream.
Now it appears that both it and Apple are going to run with the idea in a bid to innovate their way out of a saturated and stagnating smartphone market.
LG has already released a curved phone and will doubtless be doing the same again within the next year. Where Apple and Samsung lead, others will follow.