Months before Apple could release a new iPhone that's all screen, glorious screen, Samsung beat it to the punch.
Many faithful iPhone owners have been putting off upgrading to wait and see what the company has in store for this year's model. Rumors include an edge-to-edge screen and the removal of the physical home button -- just like the S8. The new iPhone could also have wireless charging and a slew of high-end camera features. Apple might even skip calling it the iPhone 7S and name it something more dramatic such as iPhone 8, iPhone X or iPhone Pro.
The early buzz for the S8 has been mostly positive. That's a blessing for Samsung, which is still reeling from its disastrous Galaxy Note 7 launch last year. The company had to recall, then discontinue, those devices after faulty batteries caused sudden fires.
While it's first to the large screen, it's last to the virtual assistant. Samsung has jumped on the hottest tech trend and launched its very own voice-activated assistant, Bixby. But early looks indicate Bixby is no Siri. Or Cortana or Alexa. In fact, it seems to do less than other voice assistants while also directly competing with Google's (GOOG) own version which is part of Android.
Apple doesn't have to be first to a feature to sell it as revolutionary. In fact, many of its biggest additions in recent years already existed on other devices -- like waterproofing, stickers and animations in messages, and Live Photos, which are similar to animated gifs.
The iPhone won't be the first to have an edge-to-edge screen, but you can bet the company will describe it as revolutionary. Jony Ive might wax poetic in a video showing the manufacturing process. The key is making sure Apple executes the feature the best, perhaps by having smaller bezels or none at all.