Will the Samsung Galaxy S8 Trump iPhone 8 in 2017? New Features Rumored

Samsung Galaxy S8 with voice assistant and voice payment integration

The Samsung Galaxy S8 scheduled for launch next year may not be a full-on copy of the iPhone 8, but from what we’ve seen and heard, it looks like Samsung will pack some very critical features to help them compete on an even level with the tenth anniversary edition of iPhone, presumptuously being called iPhone 8.

iPhone 8 will reportedly come with a full glass front, an OLED display variant, dual camera models as seen on iPhone 7 Plus this year, wireless charging and a virtual home button.

Samsung’s new Galaxy S8, however, will bring in a voice assistant. They agreed to purchase Viv Labs earlier this year, and recent reports suggest that Samsung’s voice assistants (yes, there are two avatars) will be far ahead of Apple’s Siri. Incidentally, it was Viv Labs that developed Siri back in 2010, but Apple’s voice assistant hasn’t made much progress since then.

Voice Assistants and Voice Payment on Galaxy S8

If the reports are true, the Galaxy S8 voice assistants will be Bixby and Kestra, a male and female version of the same AI technology. But that’s not the best of it. Samsung is already in the mobile wallet space with Samsung Pay, which is a competitor to Apple Pay. On the Galaxy S8, we could see voice payment integration with Bixby, called Bixby Pay.

The key difference between Apple Pay and Samsung Pay is that the former only works with NFC, or near field communication, technology. Samsung Pay, on the other hand, supports NFC as well as magstripe, the magnetic stripe technology that most credit cards are based on. That gives them a much larger merchant acceptance base because they can be used at any retailer that has a magstripe card reader – and most do, nowadays.

But with Viv Labs taking the lead on the AI front, we may see some advanced features that Apple won’t catch up to with iPhone 8.

Can Samsung Galaxy S8 Seriously Compete with iPhone 8?

At the end of the day, it’s as much about branding as about the features. At least, that’s the way it is at the upper end of the smartphone market. Diehard iPhone users aren’t going to switch to Samsung’s Galaxy S8 even if it has superior functionality.

So what it boils down to is Samsung’s ability to reclaim the market share that it lost to Apple and Google because of the Note 7 disaster. That’s why they’ve been introducing new color options for the Galaxy S7, getting the S7 and S7 Edge on the new Android 7.0 Nougat and even enticing users with discounts, rebates and so on.

Next year will be critical for Samsung. If they can manage to bring out an S8 and possibly an S8 Edge that matches and goes beyond the capabilities of iPhone 8, they may yet have a shot at closing the gap with Apple when it comes to device market share in the United States.

Apple is currently in first place with 43.6% share, and Samsung is a distant second with only 28.5%. And with Google Pixel now in the picture and Microsoft’s Surface Phone likely to come out in the final quarter of 2017, Samsung has a lot riding on not only the Galaxy S8, but also the Note 8.

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