When the Samsung Galaxy S7 launches early in 2016, it could cost 10% less than the Galaxy S6. These are the claims of analyst Pan Jiutang and would put the entry-level S7 at just over £500.
When the Galaxy S6 launched in April, it cost £559 for the cheapest 32GB model, but this was soon cut to £499 and now sits at £479 on Samsung's official website – although it can be bought for around £100 less elsewhere. Given the rumoured 10% discount, this would put the S7 at £503 at launch, before falling to around £430 after six months on sale.
The claims were made in a post on Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter, and translated by G For Games.
The claims fall in line with comments made recently by Samsung Electronics vice chairman Kwon Oh-Hyun, who admitted "smartphones, TVs, and other key IT products are entering a slow growth phase", while the company's rivals such as Sony, Apple and Huawei introduce "new technology and business models". Not mincing his words, Kwon ended ominously by saying: "If we resist changes, then we won't survive."
Samsung could also make other changes following the reorganising of its corporate management, which is due to take place in December. Changes to the smartphone division could see a rethink for how the Galaxy S7 (and Galaxy S7 Edge) are priced, marketed and sold.
Samsung could well be feeling pressure from low-price Chinese companies such as Huawei and its sub-brand, Honor, as well as Xiaomi and OnePlus, all of whom offer high-end handsets at much lower prices than Samsung and Apple. Samsung faces the choice of lowering its price to meet these rivals, undercutting Sony and others in the process, or sticking to iPhone-matching prices at the top of the market.