There’s an epic battle brewing for the title of Best Smartphone of 2017. The favorite at this point is Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) 10th-anniversary iPhone 8, due out in September. It’s going up against the Galaxy S8 from Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (OTCMKTS:SSNLF), the company’s first big release since the botched Galaxy Note 7.
But Samsung can’t seem to keep its forthcoming flagship under wraps. The latest Galaxy S8 leak reveals the new smartphone in all three launch colors, plus its pricing.
Galaxy S8 Leak Shows Colors, Price
After the last Galaxy S8 leak from Sunday, we now know the available colors of Samsung’s next smartphone, as well as the launch price. Evan Blass took to his Twitter account to post images of the Galaxy S8 in Black Sky, Orchid Gray and Arctic Silver.
And how much will consumers have to shell out for the hot new phone? Blass says the Galaxy S8 will start at 799€, while the larger Galaxy S8+ will retail for 899€ and up. In U.S. dollars, that’s approximately $859 and $1075, respectively.
The new DeX docking station for the smartphones will reportedly go for 150€, or about $161.
Samsung Even Leaked Its Own Smartphone Details
Samsung has had a tough time keeping the lid on its newest flagship smartphone. In fact, at this point there’s not much we don’t know about it. But, this isn’t because of shadowy supply chain sources like the ones AAPL has had to deal with while trying to keep the iPhone 8 under wraps. Rather, more than a few Galaxy S8 leaks have included actual detailed photographs of the smartphone and its key features, videos, slip-ups from carriers who will be selling the phone, and even Samsung itself.
It was Samsung that accidentally posted on its own website that the new AI assistant on the Galaxy S8 will be named Bixby, and that Bixby will integrate with a new Samsung Pay Mini service.
Other key Galaxy S8 leak details to date include:
- Launch date of Mar. 29 in New York, worldwide starting April 21
- Minimal front bezels
- Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon 835 and Samsung Exynos 8895 CPUs
- 5.8-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED display (6.2-inch for Galaxy S8+)
- Virtual on-screen Home Button replaces physical button
- Fingerprint scanner on the back
- Iris scanner
- USB-C, wireless charging
- 3.5mm headphone jack
Does the Latest Galaxy S8 Leak Help AAPL?
The more AAPL knows in advance about what will be its primary competition in the battle for best smartphone this year, the better. The latest Galaxy S8 leak provides some seemingly useful information, in particular the price.
There’s been a lot of complaining about the suggestion that AAPL might launch the new iPhone 8 at a starting price of $1,000 or more — a huge jump over the usual $649 base for an iPhone. If Samsung charges in excess of $1,000 for the Galaxy S8+, that will take some pressure off Apple.
An $859 Galaxy S8 may be even better news. If AAPL keeps its traditional pricing model for the iPhone 7s — its “regular” smartphone release for 2017 — a new Apple iPhone would slide in with a $200 price advantage over the Samsung competition.
Apple also could choose to mess with Samsung’s release timing. With the Galaxy S8 launch on Mar. 29 and release on Apr. 21, Apple could hold its own big product event in that same time frame (something it’s actually expected to do). Doing so would surely take some of the spotlight off the Galaxy S8 during what’s sure to be a critical launch window.
Of course, the more information AAPL has about its competitor early on, the more time management has to fine-tune the iPhone 8 prior to release. Galaxy S8 leaks already show a near-bezel-free smartphone with Iris scanning, wireless charging, no physical Home button, a very powerful CPU and an all-new AI-powered personal assistant.
In other words, the iPhone 7s is going to face competition that outclasses it in many respects, while many of the expected iPhone 8 features are already going to be available from the competition. Perhaps it’s time for AAPL designers and engineers to double down on the iPhone 8 finishing touches.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.