Pundits constantly talk about the companies Apple could buy to leverage new technology in the iPhone, but Samsung is also throwing around cash to gain an edge in the Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6 comparison that shoppers will make in the coming months.
On March 1st we expect to see Samsung announce the Galaxy S6 at a special event in Barcelona, Spain during the start of Mobile World Congress 2015. This announcement will come hours after HTC announces a new device, and months after the iPhone 6 release.
Samsung announced that the company is in the process of buying LoopPay, a mobile payment technology that works practically anywhere you can swipe a credit card.
Earlier this year, Galaxy S6 rumors pointed at a device with LoopPay inside, and while Samsung and LoopPay announcement doesn’t include this information, it is as close as you will get to a confirmation of Galaxy S6 features until Samsung takes the stage.
The Apple Pay service is available on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and will come to the Apple Watch later this year. With Apple Pay users need a card from one of the less than 100 Apple Pay banks and can only make payments at Apple Pay stores that are ready with NFC based payment technology.
LoopPay already works with over 10,000 banks and cards and at around 90% of retail locations. Instead of using NFC to make the payment, LoopPay sends a wireless signal to the magnetic card reader. The company already sells a standalone product that works with many Android phones and the iPhone, so the technology is already in working order.
According to the rumors, Samsung will build the LoopPay technology into the Galaxy S6. If this happens the Galaxy S6 can deliver more payment options, from more banks, in more locations than Apple Pay on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Watch How LoopPay works, sending magnetic stripe information to the reader.
“This acquisition accelerates our vision to drive and lead innovation in the world of mobile commerce. Our goal has always been to build the smartest, most secure, user-friendly mobile wallet experience, and we are delighted to welcome LoopPay to take us closer to this goal,” said JK Shin, President and Head of IT and Mobile Division at Samsung Electronics in the announcement of the acquisition.
The ability to make payments with your smartphone is growing thanks to Apple Pay, but Samsung’s purchase could deliver a big boost that Apple will not immediately be able to catch up to. If making payments with a smartphone is a big deal, the LoopPay solution is something shoppers will need to think about greatly in any Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6 comparison early this year.
Samsung clearly sees this as an Apple Pay competitor that works in more stores right out of the box. “We are excited to take our relationship with LoopPay to the next level, by bringing consumers a mobile wallet solution that is not just safe and reliable, but also widely accepted at more locations than any competing service,” said David Eun, EVP of Samsung’s Global Innovation Center.
We expect to see a swift Galaxy S6 release date, possibly in March or April in the U.S. The LoopPay feature is not the only upgrade to expect.
So far the Galaxy S6 rumors point to an upgraded 5.1-inch 2K display, Exynos 7 processor from Samsung, 16MP to 20MP rear-facing camera with Optical Image Stabilization, a 5MP front-facing camera, many storage options, a Micro SD card slot and Android 5.0 Lollipop with a slimmed down version of TouchWiz. We also expect an upgraded metal design and a Galaxy S6 Edge model with a curved display on at least one side.