Rumor Mill: Samsung to bring forward Galaxy S7 launch to January

Samsung Electronics plans to unveil the next iteration of its flagship Galaxy S smartphone, expected to be called the Galaxy S7, in January, more than a month earlier than it has in the recent past, according to a report from South Korea's Electronic Times.

The report, citing unnamed sources in the components business, said that Samsung is talking to its suppliers and finished detailed plans for the Galaxy S7 line in September. Samsung representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but according to Reuters, a company spokeswoman declined to comment on the report. 

According to the report, instead of launching smartphones across three price tiers -- high end, mid-range and low end -- Samsung will use the S7 launch to add a fourth smartphone price category, which it will call "sub-premium," just below the premium tier. Samsung aims to grab more share at the high end of the market and compete with Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL).

Moving forward a smartphone announcement is not without precedent for Samsung. Indeed, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note 5 (as well as the Galaxy S6 Edge+) in August, several weeks before its usual September announcement.

Unveiling the S7 in January would give Samsung a jump ahead of next year's iPhone launch and other Android phones that might be launched at Mobile World Congress in February. If Samsung does announce the S7 in January, it likely will do so at a standalone event; (the other option could be to unveil it at the Consumer Electronics Show, though it could get lost in the shuffle at that conference).

Earlier this month Samsung forecasted a sharp jump in its operating profit for the third quarter, signaling that year-over-year profit declines might be ending. However, the growth in profit and revenue is expected to be largely driven by the conglomerate's components and chipset division.  

For more:
- see this Electronic Times article
- see this CNET article
- see this Reuters article 
- see this Forbes article 

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