After the Galaxy S22 series blunders, Samsung assuredly can’t wait to release a traditional smartphone that consumers can actually get excited about. Add to that the incredible iPhone 14 Pro sales and Apple’s manufacturing issues in China, and Samsung has plenty of reasons to launch the Galaxy S23 series as quickly as possible next year.
A report from Korea says the launch event will take place in the US in early February. But we don’t have an actual date for the event yet.
We’ve always expected the Galaxy S23 series to hit stores in the first quarter of 2023 after a two-week preorder period. That’s been Samsung’s strategy in recent years. But this is the first time that a more specific launch window has leaked this early.
According to Korean media, an unnamed Samsung executive confirmed the launch period.
“The S23 series will be shown during our own Unpacked event in the United States, which will be held in February,” the person said. They didn’t mention a date or city, but local media said the Galaxy S23 launch event would take place in San Francisco in the first week of the month.
February 1st falls on a Wednesday next year. If the claim is accurate, Samsung will launch the handset by Sunday, February 5th. Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S22 on February 9th.
Galaxy S23 Plus renders reveal redesign. Image source: @OnLeaks/Smartprix The Galaxy S23 could hit stores before the 2023 edition of the Mobile World Congress kicks off in Barcelona on February 27th. MWC was once the home of the Galaxy S launch event. But in recent years, Samsung moved away from the big Spanish mobile show.
The report notes that the Galaxy S23 series might be more expensive. But the good news is that Qualcomm’s brand new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will power all Galaxy S23 models. This should prevent any performance issues similar to the Galaxy S22 series.
Galaxy S22 issues aside, Samsung’s mobile business isn’t doing great compared to Apple’s iPhone. Samsung handset sales fell 11% last month, according to the report. Apple’s iPhone sales rose by 10% as the company launched the iPhone 14.
Demand for the iPhone 14 Pro remains high in December, as Apple is dealing with massive COVID-related production issues in China that have further delayed shipments. An early Galaxy S23 launch might help Samsung take advantage of that.
Samsung has yet to announce anything officially. Invites for the Galaxy S23 media event should go out in January if the early February launch event claim is accurate.
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Samsung has been trying to beat the iPhone for years. And it has failed for years. Apple still makes the most coveted flagship phones in town, and Samsung is still a fast follower in the business. Even now, in 2022, Samsung continues to copy Apple’s new iPhone features all the time. The iPhone 14 Pro’s success is another pain point, and it must hurt Samsung even more considering the Galaxy S22 series’ blunders.
Samsung might criticize and mock the newest iPhones publicly, but it probably loves the success of Apple’s new iPhone series. That’s because Samsung happens to be a massive supplier of a critical component that Apple uses to manufacture iPhones: OLED screens. And the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max got even more sophisticated OLED panels this year. The big winner? Samsung Display.
Even before Apple’s early September iPhone 14 launch event, reports claimed that Samsung would be the main supplier of Apple’s OLED panels. LG and BOE would also supply displays for certain iPhone models, although Samsung would get the largest share.
A new report from The Elec claims that Samsung will supply over 70% of the OLED panels Apple needs for the iPhone 14 series.
Apple is expected to need about 120 million OLED screens for the iPhone 14 series, and Samsung will reportedly account for more than 80 million units. LG Display will supposedly make 20+ million units, while BOE will ship 6 million screens to Apple. LG and BOE reportedly encountered setbacks that allowed Samsung to increase its share.
iPhone 14 Pro on a throw. Image source: Jonathan Geller, BGR The report notes Apple needs two types of panels. The low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) thin-film transistor (TFT) OLED equips the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus.
The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max feature low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) TFT OLED panels. These are the displays that support 120Hz dynamic refresh rates. The refresh drops as low as 1Hz, enabling the always-on display functionality exclusive to the Pro models.
Samsung supplies OLED panels for all four iPhone 14 models. But some 60 million Samsung OLED panels will serve the iPhone 14 Pro versions. These should be the most expensive OLED panels that Apple utilizes this year.
A report from Nikkei said recently that the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s cost of parts rose to $501 this year, a $60 increase over the iPhone 13 Pro Max. The A16 Bionic chip is an expensive component, according to the report. But 24.8% of that cost goes to South Korean suppliers.
Samsung and LG are two of them. It’s unclear how many other South Korean suppliers make parts for the iPhone 14 Pro Max. But the OLED display is one of the iPhone’s most expensive parts no matter what company makes it.
Per The Elec, LG makes OLED panels for the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 and the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max. BOE only scored contracts for the 6.1-inch iPhone 14. This indicates neither company is ready to challenge Samsung in the short term.
At the end of the day, the iPhone 14 series will add billions of dollars to Samsung’s earnings. That’s a great perk to have from a smartphone that outsells Samsung’s own flagship Galaxy smartphones by an order of magnitude.
Of note, Samsung will probably continue to benefit greatly from iPhone sales in the future unless LG and BOE can significantly up their game. All iPhone 15 models launching next year will feature OLED panels.
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The Galaxy S23 series that Samsung will launch in the first quarter of next year should feature satellite communications support, just like Apple’s iPhone 14 and Huawei’s Mate 50 series. While a report says that Samsung has been developing the feature for a couple of years, Samsung is still following Apple’s lead in the industry. But if there was one feature every Android vendor should copy, it’s support for satellite communications for emergencies.
In September, Apple announced support for satellite communications for the entire iPhone 14 lineup, but the feature just rolled out a few days ago. iPhone 14 owners can test the feature to see how Emergency SOS over satellite works. Unlike Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity, the iPhone 14’s satellite connectivity will only work in case of emergency.
Specifically, people in distress who can’t connect to Wi-Fi or a cellular network to call emergency services will be able to text them via satellite. The iPhone 14 lets users share their location with loved ones when they’re off the grid.
According to ET News, Samsung is working with satellite communication company Iridium, which has 66 low-orbit satellites around the planet. The plan is to provide voice and data communication services.
Samsung has been developing the feature for a couple of years, looking to overcome the difficulties associated with satellite communications. The company reportedly wants to transmit text messages and low-resolution images over satellite. This would be an upgrade over what the iPhone 14 can do.
The biggest challenge is miniaturizing a satellite antenna to fit inside a smartphone like the Galaxy S23. Voice and high-speed data communication over satellite require large antennas. These are features that aren’t coming to smartphones anytime soon.
Locating a satellite on iPhone 14 for Emergency SOS communication. Image source: Apple Inc. Even though Samsung appears to have bigger goals for satellite communications, it should still replicate the iPhone 14’s primary use for the technology. Adding satellite support to a phone for emergency services would be a welcome first step toward bringing more sophisticated satellite communication to smartphones.
The report says that Samsung should release its satellite communication products in the near future due to pressure from Apple and Huawei. Therefore, flagship phones like the Galaxy S23 series should be the first to support the technology. Still, it’s too early for Samsung to talk about these initiatives. An official refused to confirm or deny the feature.
Samsung should unveil the Galaxy S23 series in February or March.
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The iPhone’s A-series System-on-Chip (SoC) is the mobile processor that sets the tone in the mobile industry. We’ve been waiting for years for rivals to come up with a decent alternative, and we might finally have one. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 that will power 2023 Android phones like the Galaxy S23 series might deliver a great challenge to the A16 Bionic inside the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.
Qualcomm’s newest flagship processor will power every Samsung Galaxy S23 variant. Moreover, the silicon Samsung is getting might be exclusive to the S23 series. Whatever the case, the base Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip already looks impressive. The first Geekbench 5 benchmarks indicate that the processor can almost match Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro.
Geekbench 5 is a popular benchmark tool that provides scores for single-core and multi-core CPU performance. The benchmark tool also covers GPU performance. We’ve been looking at these scores for years, and brand-new SoCs appear on the benchmark site long before the launch of commercial products.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max scored 1884 (single-core) and 5431 in a recent test. That might be a modest but notable performance bump over the A15 Bionic in the iPhone 13 and affordable iPhone 14. But it’s still well above what other 2022 flagship smartphones can offer. For example, the Pixel 7 Pro is no match for the iPhone 14 Plus.
The Galaxy S23 launch might be several months away, but we’ll see other Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered phones before then. The Vivo X90 Pro+ is one such device. Well-known Samsung insider Ice Universe posted Geekbench scores for the handset, revealing the new SoC can reach 1462 in single-core tests and 5182 in multi-core tests.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 can almost match the iPhone 14 Pro’s performance in single-core and multi-core tests. The future Galaxy S23 chip outscores the iPhone 14 Plus in multi-core performance but still can’t match the single-core scores.
Geekbench 5 benchmark scores: Vivo X90 Pro+ Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs. iPhone 14 Pro Max A16 Bionic. Image source: Geekbench With that in mind, the same leaker also teased the Galaxy S23s massive performance and efficiency gains.
Ice Universe noted that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 powering the Galaxy S23 will deliver 45% multi-core gains over the Galaxy S22’s Exynos 2200 in European and Korean Galaxy S22 units. When it comes to GPU performance, he teased 60% improvements over the Exynos 2200, plus energy efficiency gains of up to 88%.
It’ll be interesting to see the actual Galaxy S23 benchmarks, which have yet to leak. If rumors are true, the 2023 Samsung phones will get an exclusive SoC variant that’s optimized even better. That means the handsets might score even higher in benchmarks than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 variant in the Vivo phone.
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While the global smartphone market recorded its third consecutive decline this year, Apple remains the only company to register positive growth. This time, the new iPhone 14 lineup, in addition to the previous models, helped Apple to be the only vendor in the top five to record this positive growth.
According to Canalys, Q3 2022 registered a drop of 9% in a year-on-year comparison, marking the worst Q3 since 2014.
Samsung still maintains the leading position with a 22% market share. Apple, as pointed out by the analysis, “was the only vendor in the top five to record positive growth, improving its market position further with an 18% share during the market downturn thanks to relatively resilient demand for iPhones.”
Image source: Canalys While iPhone 14 Pro models are surely helping Apple to maintain its position, several reports show the company is struggling with the base models iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. A new DigiTimes story (via MacRumors) shows that “several supply chain makers” received a notification from Apple to cut iPhone 14 Plus production by around 40%.
Not only that, but DigiTimes’ sources show that Apple will revise downward the total shipments of iPhone 14 Plus to around 10 million units for 2022. At least, it seems the company is moving its production efforts to the iPhone 14 Pro models.
Recently, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple failed with its product segmentation for the base model iPhones as the iPhone 14, the iPhone SE 3, and even the iPhone 13 mini sold poorly.
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