Later this year, Samsung Galaxy S3 users who bought the device when it first came out will be coming off-contract, looking for a brand new smartphone. They’ll have plenty of devices to choose from, Samsung Galaxy S5 included, but there will likely also be pull from another big name device, Apple’s 2014 iPhone that is currently dubbed, iPhone 6.
Let’s take a little trip back in history. In May of 2012, Samsung took the stage in London, England and announced a brand new smartphone called the Samsung Galaxy S3. The Galaxy S3 replaced the Galaxy S2 as the company’s flagship smartphone and it did it with style.
Samsung’s new device boasted a brand new design. It featured an upgraded screen, camera, processor, and battery. It came with a brand new piece of software in the Nature UX of TouchWiz. And maybe best of all, it touched down on shelves just a few weeks after Samsung announced it on stage.
By June, the Galaxy S3 was on shelves across the globe and quite a few people in the United States decided to sign a contract and make it their next smartphone. In just a few months, those people are going to be coming off-contract, looking for something brand new, and many probably have their eye on some of the big names from 2014.
One of the devices is likely the iPhone 6, Apple’s rumored iPhone for 2014. The iPhone 6 isn’t rumored to be an ordinary iPhone, no, rumors point to it growing in size to compete with the likes of the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 3. And that’s what has current Samsung Galaxy S3 owners so intrigued.
We don’t have all of the answers just yet as much of the iPhone 6 is still firmly in the shadows. However, there is a ton of credible information out on Apple’s next iPhone, enough to warrant an early comparison.
While this comparison won’t answer every single question, it will serve as a good starting point for those that are curious about the iPhone 6. Here now, we take a look at how the iPhone 6 currently matches up with the Samsung Galaxy S3.
The first question that we always get asked about the iPhone 6 is about its release date. Samsung Galaxy S3 owners want to know how long they potentially have to wait before they can get their hands on one of these flagships so the question is within reason. Unfortunately, it’s too early to provide a specific date.
From the looks of things, it’s going to be several months, at least, until the iPhone 6 touches down to compete for attention. iPhone 6 rumors currently center around two specific launch windows, launch windows that are probably familiar to those who know a thing or two about the smartphone world.
iPhone 6 release date rumors still haven’t agreed on a specific date but what they do do is point to a launch in the summer or fall. Previous iPhone launches have taken place during those two seasons so it should come as no surprise that every single iPhone 6 release date rumor points to an arrival in summer or fall.
At the moment, the majority of rumors hint at an arrival in the fall. The iPhone 5s, iPhone 5 and iPhone 4s all were launched and released in the fall and that, and the rumors, makes it a likely candidate for the iPhone 6 launch.
A short time ago, one of Apple’s key partners seemed to tip the iPhone 6 release for autumn rather than summer, throwing even more weight behind these iPhone 6 rumors. Summer hasn’t been ruled out though and there are still some who think that at least one new iPhone could come in July.
While it’s not exactly clear why we’re still hearing about two dates, we have some theories. The Wall Street Journal claims Apple is preparing two iPhone 6 models with larger screens and that the smaller one is “further along in development, and is being prepared for mass production,” while the larger iPhone 6 is in, “preliminary development.” That could explain it.
As we’ve pointed out, most of these release date rumors come from sources on the supply chain. Companies in the iPhone supply chain are likely on a need-to-know basis which means they’ve probably been given target dates for their own pieces to the iPhone puzzle but not the iPhone 6 itself.
The important thing that Galaxy S3 owners can glean here is that the iPhone 6 launch is probably coming in the summer, fall or both. That likely means that owners will be waiting until July, at least.
When the Samsung Galaxy S3 first arrived back in 2012, it was sporting one of the sleekest designs around. While it was made of plastic, the device offered users curves, a slim and lightweight form factor and some of the perks (microSD, removable back) that people have come to expect from a Samsung smartphone.
Since its release, companies like Apple and HTC have taken smartphone design to a whole new level with their beautiful aluminum designs. Plastic is still good, as evidenced by the Galaxy S5, but it’s simply not as premium as metal.
We still don’t have many of the iPhone 6 design details but there is a very good chance that it, like the iPhone 5s, will come with a premium design that trumps the Galaxy S3. It’s 2014 and this is Apple we’re talking about here.
iPhone design rumors usually won’t emerge until much closer to the actual launch. So, with an iPhone 6 launch rumored to be months away, it’s no surprise that rumors concerning its design are scarce.
The Wall Street Journal report claims that the iPhone 6 will use the same anodized aluminum material found on the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5. If true, that would mean its design would offer a more premium look and feel compared to the Galaxy S3.
The iPhone 5s is much slimmer than the Galaxy S3 and it’s possible that the iPhone 6′s form factor will be too. A recent report from LEDInside of TrendForce claims that the iPhone 6 will be thinner than the iPhone 5s (7.6mm). The report cites a possible shift from 0.6 mm thick LED backlights to backlights that are just 0.4 mm thick which could make for an extremely thin frame.
The Galaxy S3 is larger than the iPhone 5s due to its 4.8-inch display. Rumors point to a larger display on board the iPhone 6 but there is no guarantee that it will be any larger than the Galaxy S3.
We’ve theorized that we could see the new design arrive with thinner bezels, similar to what Apple did with the iPad Air. This would allow Apple to keep the increase in size to a minimum. A recent iPhone 6 concept shows what a larger iPhone could look like next to the iPhone 5s.
We also have come up with our own concept that shows how little Apple would have to change the iPhone 6′s design to accommodate the larger display. Our concept uses a 4.5-inch display, the smallest rumored iPhone 6 display.
One of the more intriguing things about the iPhone 6 is the potential for a larger display than the 4-inch Retina Display on the iPhone 5s. From what we’ve heard, Apple is at least considering a bump that would put it in the realm of the Galaxy S3′s 4.8-inch screen size. Rumors also point to a higher resolution display than the 720p display found on the Galaxy S3.
Across the board, sources are saying that the iPhone 6′s display will be larger than the iPhone 5s’. The Wall Street Journal believes the company will deliver two iPhones, one 4.5-inch model in addition to a 5+-inch model. On top of that, respected firm NPD DisplaySearch believes that two iPhone 6 models with higher resolution displays will be coming in 2014.
On top of that, a KDB Daewoo Securities report uncovered by OLED-Display includes two iPhone 6 display sizes. And Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, a man who accurately predicted many of the iPhone 5s features ahead of time, thinks Apple is planning an iPhone 6 with a screen between 4.5-inches and 5-inches.
Here is how that breaks down:
- 4.5-inch display – WSJ
- 4.7-inch display – 1600 x 900 resolution – NPD
- 4.7-inch to 4.8-inch display - 1920 x 1080 resolution – KDB
- 4.5-inch to 5-inch display – Kuo
- 5+ inch display – WSJ
- 5.5-inch display – 1920 x 1080 resolution – NPD
- 5.5-inch display – 2272 x 1280 resolution – KDB
Most recently, we saw a possible iPhone 6 display component leak. The component shows off a large edge-to-edge display that measures close to 4.5-inches in size. The component hasn’t been confirmed to be from the real iPhone 6 though and could perhaps be from a prototype that Apple is considering.
The video below shows what iOS 7 looks like on larger screens from 4.5-inches all the way up to 5.7-inches and should give current Galaxy Note 2 users and prospective Galaxy Note 2 buyers an idea about the potential bump in screen size.
In addition to the larger size, Apple might be making some other additions. According to rumors, the iPhone 6 display may use a newer screen technology, similar to the technology found on the Kindle Fire HDX 7, to deliver a better looking display.
While the Galaxy S3 uses Corning’s Gorilla Glass, the iPhone 6 might use virtually indestructible sapphire. A 9to5Mac report recently revealed that Apple is fast tracking the output from a Sapphire factory that it invested in during its 2013 campaign. This, along with other credible rumors, suggests that Apple will use Sapphire on the front of the iPhone 6 in an effort to make the device’s display almost impossible to break.
The research note from KDB Daewoo Securities reveals a number of possible iPhone 6 specifications. Drawing from that note and from other reports, we have drawn up a list of features currently rumored to be aboard the new iPhone 6.
- Apple A8 64-bit processor
- iOS 7.2 or iOS 8
- 4.5-4.8-inch and 5 -5.5-inch displays
- 2GB RAM
- 16GB / 32GB/ 64GB / 128GB storage options
- 3.2MP front-facing camera
- 8-10MP rear-facing camera
- 1,800 mAh battery
- 802.11ac WiFi
- Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor
Samsung Galaxy S3
- Snapdragon S4 Plus Processor
- Android 4.3 Jelly Bean / Android 4.4 KitKat
- 4.8-inch display
- 2GB RAM
- 16GB /32GB Storage Option
- 1.9MP front-facing camera
- 8MP rear-facing camera
- 2,100 mAh battery
- 802.11a, b, g, n WiFi
- Regular Home Button
The Samsung Galaxy S3 is about to turn two which means that its software support from Samsung and its carrier partners is bound to run out soon. From the looks of things, it will get at least one more major update as Samsung USA has confirmed Android 4.4 KitKat for arrival. Android 4.4 KitKat isn’t expected to bring a ton of features and certainly won’t bring any major Galaxy S5 TouchWiz features along with it.
So the Galaxy S3 feature-set probably won’t change too much in the future and Android 4.4 KitKat probably will be its last update. Those are key things that Galaxy S3 owners need to keep in mind heading into the new year.
New iPhones typically arrive with new software on board and get three years of software support before they are dropped. That means that the iPhone 6 will likely get iOS 9, iOS 10 and iOS 11 down the road. It also means that it should come with a piece of brand new iOS software from Apple.
At the moment, iOS 8 is rumored to be the next iOS update. According to 9to5Mac, the iOS 8 update won’t bring a huge visual changes to the iPhone and iPad.
Instead, it will pave the way for health and fitness tracking something that makes sense given that Apple is rumored to be working on an iWatch, a device that will almost certainly appeal to active consumers. Apple is also reportedly working on an app that is code named Healthbook which may connect with sensors in an iPhone 6 or iWatch to help users track and manage a number of things including steps taken and calories burned.
We saw Samsung debut some health related software features with the Galaxy S5 but it’s not clear if those will emerge for the Galaxy S3 in the future.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 is old which means that it’s absurdly cheap. The retailers that still carry it are basically giving it away for free which makes it a budget option worth looking at.
Those who currently own the Galaxy S3 should be prepared to shell out some cash for the iPhone 6 though a specific price still hasn’t been discovered.
Apple tends to price its iPhone starting at $199.99. And while that’s possible for the iPhone 6, one analyst thinks that we could see a price hike up the usual price tag.
Chris Caso of Susquehanna Financial Group thinks the price of the iPhone 6 could jump up as much as $100 from the price of the iPhone 5s. Caso sees “the potential for the iPhone 6 price point to move higher,” adding, “we think Apple could get away with a $50 to $100 premium for a larger screen size iPhone 6.”
If Caso is correct, it could mean that the iPhone 6, or at least one iPhone 6 model, could arrive with a price tag that’s in the vicinity of the Galaxy Note 3.