Samsung Galaxy S7 may be announced early, in January

Smartphone will come in two versions - Premium, with Samsung's Exynos M1 processor, and Sub-Premium, report says

Samsung is reportedly announcing in January its next Galaxy S7 smartphone, which would come in two processor versions: Premium and Sub-Premium.

If the report Tuesday in the Electronic Times News is correct (as that news source usually is when reporting Samsung news), the Premium version would represent an important value for enterprise buyers seeking greater processing power for support of background functions, such as encryption, without "grinding down" performance, said Phil Hochmuth, an analyst at Strategy Analytics.

"From a business perspective, the premium version of the phone will very likely be the device corporate IT and telecom managers will choose for corporate-liable deployments of Samsung/Android, or for pre-approved lists of choose-your-own device (CYOD) programs," Hochmuth said.

Samsung's reported two-version Galaxy S7 is "an example of Android and Samsung in particular looking to challenge Apple in the enterprise," Hochmuth added. Samsung's Knox security protections, its partnership with Red Hat on enterprise apps and new security protections in Android version 6.0 (Marshmallow), like 128-bit full-disk encryption, all point to Samsung wanting to take on Apple for enterprises, he said.

Apple has sold low-cost iPhones alongside new high-priced iPhones, going back to the budget-value iPhone 5C that was released in September 2013, alongside the higher-end iPhone 5S. It isn't clear how different Samsung's two-version smartphone strategy might be, however.

According to the ET News report, the premium Galaxy S7 would have a Samsung-made Exynos M1 processor instead of an ARM core. Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, said Samsung's approach "makes perfect sense, as this is what every other processor designer does. Qualcomm, Apple and Intel all have different tiers for different levels of smartphone."

Hochmuth added: "High-powered CPUs in general, like the Samsung Exynos M1, will appeal to enterprises as they will be able to support more background security functions, such as encryption and threat detection, etc., without affecting performance," Hochmuth said.

The report also said that Samsung confirmed that the Galaxy S7 announcement will happen sometime in January. The launch is earlier in the year than Samsung typically announces new phones. The Galaxy S6 was released in March 2015, and the S5 in February 2014. The earlier release would help Samsung take on the iPhone 6S, which launched last month. Both Samsung and Apple lead the smartphone market and have battled directly on new features in their high-end smartphones.

A U.S.-based Samsung spokeswoman did not confirm either the January announcement of the Galaxy S7 or any details about the dual version release. "Samsung does not comment on rumors or speculation," the spokeswoman said via email.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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