Samsung may be planning to offer a variety of body styles for its much-anticipated Galaxy S6, according to exclusive images obtained by CNET Korea and sister site ZDNet Korea.
The images, provided by sources at a South Korean electronics distributor, purportedly show five variants of the electronics giant's new flagship smartphone, including an Edge-style version. While the Galaxy S6 isn't expected to be formally announced until theevent held on March 1, the rumour mill has been running overtime on what the world's largest smartphone maker to revive its sluggish mobile-phone business.
The image shows five phones in what appears to be a 3D render. First on the left is what looks to be a standard Galaxy S6, while the second is the phone with a Verus-branded cover, one of the top South Korean smartphone cover makers.
But the fourth and fifth handsets show that Samsung may have an Edge version of the S6, echoing the sloped-screen designed of the. Looking closely, the image seems to indicate that this version will be dual-edged: on the fourth phone, the right side has a curved edge while the fifth show the same on the left, which suggests both sides are wrapped by the display. That, or Samsung will be making different versions for right- and left-handed people.
The fifth phone in the lineup also shows a metallic and thick-looking bezel, as well as a physical home button. The shape of the bezel seems very similar to the silver shape that's the focus of Samsung's Unpacked invite, adding some credence to the images.
It is unclear from the photo whether the Galaxy S6 and its edged brother are fully metal or whether it will be a unibody design, but it is clear that the outer rims are metal, much like the S5.
A source told ZDNet Korea that South Korean smartphone case makers are already mass producing cases for the S6 and its edged version based on the phones themselves and metal molds of them provided by Samsung.
Separately, Samsung insiders have told ZDNet Korea that the Edge version of the Galaxy S6 will be dual-edged and the edged sides will be symmetrical. It will also use aluminium in its construction.
CNET's analysis of the handsets depicted is based on reviews of multiple images, only one of which is published here, in order to protect the source's identity.
A Verus spokesman declined to comment. Samsung representatives in Korea and Australia did not respond to requests for comment.
Speculation and rumours have picked up frequency in recent weeks over what Samsung has planned for the Galaxy S6, the successor to the S5, which while viewed as an evolutionary upgrade to the Galaxy S4 is said to have. Samsung has not disclosed actual Galaxy S5 sales, but sources familiar with the company's plans told The Wall Street Journal that Samsung sold 40 percent fewer of the big-screen Galaxy S5 smartphones than expected.
Samsung, which has been struggling to compete against Apple in the high-end phone market and against newcomers such as Xiaomi at the low end,in operating profit year-over-year in January. The company's IT and mobile communications division, which typically accounts for two-thirds of the company's revenue, recorded a 64 percent drop in fourth-quarter operating profit, underscoring the continued pressures facing the smartphone king.
CNET Korea's Matt Kim contributed to this report.