One of the first rumors we heard about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S7 was that it may be heading to market a little earlier than expected and the latest mutterings add some more weight to this expectation. According to an anonymous industry insider, Samsung has already begun developing its firmware for the Galaxy S7, a whole month earlier than the company started work for the Galaxy S6. If we expect a similar development time, this would put the Galaxy S7 on course for a February 2016 release.
Given that Samsung released its Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ outside and ahead of a major industry event, IFA in Berlin this September, the company may be planning to make its announcement ahead of the Mobile World Congress in March.
It is also possible that Samsung may be starting this process early in order to accommodate for the additional hardware variants this time around. There are rumored to be two SoC versions of Samsung’s next flagship handset, one with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 and one with Samsung’s own Exynos chip.
Speaking of the custom Samsung chip, separate sources from Korea state that Samsung has now begun mass production of its custom processor, which again suggests that we could be closer to a product release than previously expected.
We don’t know a whole lot about Samsung’s new chip, which is rumored to be called the Exynos 8890, but it is said to feature an in house ARMV8 based CPU core design from Samsung called the M1, a first for the company. This custom core has apparently been in development for the past two years and will stack together to form an octa-core SoC. The processor will also be manufactured on Samsung’s 14nm FinFET process and will be the company’s first chip to feature an integrated modem, which is rumored to match the Catgegory 12 LTE modem announced to be inside the Snapdragon 820.
With mobile revenue in a tough spot and an increasingly competitive release schedule from its rivals, perhaps Samsung has good cause to step up the release of the Galaxy S7? What do you think about the early S7 rumors?