Samsung's Latest Galaxy Handsets Are Variations on a Tired Theme
NEWS ANALYSIS: The smartphone features war continues to stack up casualties while mobile handset makers struggle to achieve relevance, but mostly fail.A few days from now, on Aug. 20, Samsung will launch two of the latest smartphones that it plans to use in its relentless Android competition with Apple. At first, the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ will be released in Korea, then in the U.S. late in September. These two phablets will support Samsung's phone-based payment system, Samsung Pay. Samsung is making a big deal of its new payment technology, announced earlier this year, which is said to work with a much broader choice of credit card terminals than either Apple Pay or Google Pay, both of which use Near Field Communication (NFC). The phones that support Samsung Pay will be able to use NFC, but also something called Magnetic Secure Transmission, which simulates the magnetic field produced by the stripe on the back of a credit card.
At some point, Samsung Pay will become available to Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge phones in the U.S. through a software upgrade. These phones already have the ability to read fingerprints and that will be used for identity verification with Samsung Pay. Like Apple Pay and Google's Android Pay, Samsung's payment system will tokenize the credit card information to keep actual card numbers from being transmitted in the open.