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Samsung's Galaxy S7 may be cheaper than Galaxy S6

The South Korean mobile phone maker may try to better compete with its low-cost rivals on price, judging by a China-based analyst's prediction.

Could Samsung lower the price on its next Galaxy S flagship phone?

CNET

You might be able to get Samsung's next Galaxy S smartphone for less.

The company could price the Galaxy S7 around 10 percent lower than its Galaxy S6, according to China-based analyst Pan Jiutang as reported Monday by the Times of India.

That wouldn't be unprecedented thinking for Samsung. In July, the South Korea-based electronics giant said it would adjust the price of its Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge to spur sales.

A lower price tag on its flagship phone could give Samsung a much-needed boost in the smartphone arena. The company has been struggling for months with weaker sales and declining market share amid competition from Apple on the high end and from Chinese vendors, such as Xiaomi and Huawei, on the lower end.

Assuming Pan's prediction is accurate, a price drop would make Samsung's next flagship phone cheaper than rival phones from Apple and other Android vendors. Lower prices could give Samsung an edge in markets like India where the iPhone 6S is priced out of reach for many consumers.

Samsung did get a bump in the third quarter of the year, saying it a "significant increase" in smartphone sales. Shipments rose for the Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 Edge+ and the midrange Galaxy A and J series. But the price adjustment of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge and higher shipments of midlevel and low-end smartphones caused overall revenue to rise only slightly and profit to decrease.

Lowering the price on its flagship phone is a tricky move. The strategy could boost sales but simultaneously cause a decline in Samsung's profit margins.

Another rumor suggests that Samsung may push up the launch date for its Galaxy S7 to January to compete with Apple in the high-end market. The company had already completed the design for the S7 at the end of September and is currently getting the components it needs to enter production, South Korea's Electronic Times said on October 20, citing "many people in [smartphone] parts industries."

A January launch would be unusual as Samsung traditionally unveils its latest Galaxy S phone at major tech events. The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge debuted in March at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Samsung did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.