Besides Galaxy S6, Here's What to Expect From Samsung Unpacked

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-02-26
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Besides Galaxy S6, Here's What to Expect From Samsung Unpacked
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    Besides Galaxy S6, Here's What to Expect From Samsung Unpacked

    By Don Reisinger
  • Previous
    There Will Be More Phones than the Galaxy S6
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    There Will Be More Phones than the Galaxy S6

    The Galaxy S6 is expected to be the headliner at Unpacked, but several reports have suggested that it won't be the only smartphone on display. Samsung is believed to be unveiling at least two, or perhaps even three, smartphones at its Unpacked event, including a slightly modified Galaxy S6 that would feature an edge-to-edge screen. It's also unclear whether the silhouette of the handset in the event invite is actually the Galaxy S6 or another smartphone the company is working on.
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    Expect Talk of Smartwatches
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    Expect Talk of Smartwatches

    Smartwatches played a major role in last year's Unpacked event, and considering the market is expected to take off in 2015, one should expect them to again be important at this year's show. Samsung is rumored to have a new Galaxy Gear in the works that it will show off in tandem with the Galaxy S6. Exactly how that will fare against the upcoming Apple Watch and Pebble Time remains to be seen.
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    TouchWiz is Going to Look Different
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    TouchWiz is Going to Look Different

    Several reports have surfaced saying that Samsung's software, TouchWiz, which sits atop the Android platform, is getting a much-needed overhaul. The Android skin will come with a refined interface that makes it easier to move around between apps, as well as a virtual keyboard that will respond more quickly and correctly to user inputs. Samsung's new TouchWiz will come with both design enhancements and functionality improvements, the report said.
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    Is That a Microsoft App We See?
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    Is That a Microsoft App We See?

    There is one odd rumor that just won't go away. There has been speculation that Microsoft and Samsung have partnered to bring Office apps to the new TouchWiz. The companies recently settled a patent battle, and there is some speculation that part of the deal was Microsoft getting its Office suite onto the new TouchWiz, and thus, the new Galaxy S6. It may seem unlikely at first blush, but stranger things have happened.
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    Samsung Could Ditch Bundled Apps
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    Samsung Could Ditch Bundled Apps

    Samsung has offered its own bundled applications with previous versions of its smartphones. The company has the S Voice personal virtual assistant, as well as a host of other tools, including a note-taking app, a music player and more. According to some reports, Samsung has decided against bundling the apps in TouchWiz to make its operating system feel cleaner and less bloated at boot-up. It's an interesting idea that suggests the company is rethinking its software strategy.
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    Look for a Revised Mobile Roadmap
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    Look for a Revised Mobile Roadmap

    Samsung Mobile has been suffering through difficult times. The division has watched worldwide market share fall, profits plummet and interest in products falter. At Unpacked, Samsung is expected to unveil its roadmap for 2015 to allay investor fears and show how the company believes it can regain some of its losses. This will be the boring part of the Samsung announcement, but for investors, it will be a crucial part.
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    Samsung Isn't Turning its Back on Fitness Trackers
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    Samsung Isn't Turning its Back on Fitness Trackers

    As noted, Samsung has eyes on smartwatches this year. However, the company is rumored to be working on new versions of its fitness trackers, like the Gear Fit. Nearly all industry analysts say that the wearables market will be dominated by fitness bands in the next few years, so investing heavily in that space seems like a smart move for Samsung.
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    Expect Lots of Talk of Sensors
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    Expect Lots of Talk of Sensors

    In recent blog posts and interviews with the press, Samsung executives have been talking extensively about sensor technology and how things like fingerprint sensors, iris scanners and other components can enhance the mobile experience. The Galaxy S6 could come with at least one of those sensors, which will prompt all kinds of talk about how sensors can be used in tech.
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    Samsung Pay Will Play an Important Role
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    Samsung Pay Will Play an Important Role

    Samsung Pay will make an appearance at Unpacked. The mobile-payment solution has been designed to take on Apple Pay and provide an easier way for people with a Samsung handset to pay for products with their mobile devices. A recent report said that Samsung and PayPal met to go over the specifics of Samsung Pay. That report was just another in a long line of rumors suggesting Samsung Pay will be a big part of Unpacked.
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    There Will Be Fewer Devices Overall
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    There Will Be Fewer Devices Overall

    Last year, Samsung said that it will not release as many mobile devices in 2015. The company found that by offering too many products in 2015, it spread its cash too thin on those products that sell well, and the company ultimately suffered. Samsung is planning to cut its smartphone production by a third this year, and it's likely that Unpacked will help kick off the "new" Samsung that focuses more on a select few devices.
 

Samsung will hold its annual Unpacked event on March 1 in conjunction with Mobile World Congress, which convenes starting March 2 in Barcelona, Spain. Naturally, the big news that everyone expects from the Unpacked briefing is the introduction of Galaxy S6 smartphone. Given how important the Galaxy line is to Samsung, the long-awaited handset is getting all kinds of attention from industry analysts, prospective buyers and mobile carriers. But as history has shown, Unpacked isn't just about a single product. Samsung uses its time on the stage to discuss a wide range of devices, services and software, and inform investors on its plans for the future. Unpacked is a crucial event for the company because it's the single day of the year where Samsung holds the mobile market spotlight without fear of being upstaged by competitors. But there has already been a lot of discussion about the Galaxy S6, so this slide show will focus on the other things that Samsung is expected to reveal besides a new flagship smartphone. Here's what else to look for from Samsung Unpacked 2015.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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