Typically, when a company is on the verge of releasing a new product that is shaping up to be a smash hit, it’s bad news for the company’s rivals. The logic there seems fairly obvious. LG, for example, is in a world of hurt because its sleek new G6 flagship phone is about to be completely eclipsed by Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. Interestingly, however, the world’s top insider issued a new report on Wednesday morning that suggests the opposite will be true for Apple. While he does believe Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 and S8+ will be wildly popular following their release in just two days, he thinks that Samsung’s imminent success is actually great news for Apple and its upcoming iPhone 8.
We published our in-depth Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ review on Tuesday, and we were quite clear in our conclusions: these new Samsung smartphones are amazing. From design and build quality to displays and performance, these hot new handsets have everything going for them. Mix in some solid bundle offers at launch as well as Samsung’s multi-billion dollar marketing budget, and you undoubtedly have a recipe for success.
Isn’t Samsung’s success a bad thing for Apple? According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, no, it’s not.
Kuo issued a pair of new notes to clients on Wednesday morning. The first covered Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 8, and Kuo had some interesting details to share about that upcoming phone. His second research report covered the Galaxy S8, which he thinks will be a huge success. So much so, in fact, that he increased his sales estimates for Samsung’s new flagships, even though they were already quite high.
“According to our survey, market feedback to Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ has been better than expected since their unveiling,” Kuo wrote in the note to clients, which was seen by 9to5Mac. “We attribute this to a better- than-expected selling point in the full-screen design. For this reason, we revise up our 2017F S8 shipments from 40-45mn units to 50-55mn units.”
Hitting sales of 55 million units would be a record for Samsung, which sold an estimated 52 million Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge units, combined — and Kuo’s estimates only cover 2017 sales.
Where Apple is concerned, this is apparently a good thing. Kuo’s research found that the Galaxy S8’s Infinity Display design is the key driver for demand. Of course, as we’ve all read in dozens of reports at this point, Apple’s upcoming new iPhone 8 is also expected to feature a new design with a much higher screen-to-body ratio. Kuo was one of the first insiders to report that Apple will adopt what he calls a “full-screen” design on the iPhone 8. In light of sky-high demand for the S8, he thinks the new iPhone 8 design alone will be enough to send demand through the roof.
“We now expect full-screen design will accelerate penetration of the high-end smartphone segment over the next few years, thanks to adoption by S8 and the new 2H17F OLED iPhone model,” Kuo added.
Apple is expected to release three new flagship iPhones in 2017. Two will apparently be iterative updates currently referred to as the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, though they may feature slightly tweaked designs with glass backs, which is something we haven’t seen before in an “S” update. The third new iPhone — dubbed iPhone 8 for the time being — is expected to feature an OLED display with a “full-screen” design, as well as a number of other new features.