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  (Source: Mirror)
Apple may be in trouble as Samsung's flagship smartphones storms into the U.S. market

March 14 -- mark tomorrow night on your calendars.  That's when Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930), the world's largest smartphone maker, will unleash its flagship smartphone: the Galaxy S IV.

I. Galaxy S IV is Samsung's First Launch Held in America

Over the last two years Samsung has built a healthy lead in unit sales over archrival Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) iPhone.  And it's used attack ads -- borrowing a page from Apple's own playbook -- to slowly chip away at Apple's "cool factor".

Apple, for its part, has suffered from a less aggressive path of hardware development. While analyst still praise its App Store and developer ecosystem as the best in the industry, Apple's GUI as of iOS 6 looked increasingly long in the tooth, and the jump to a larger screen size was derided by Android fans as a "me too" move.

And yet Apple's supporters have plenty to crow about.  The company still has the strongest brand -- even if it has weakened somewhat amid the Samsung storm.  And Apple is more profitable than any other phonemaker, making approximately twice the profit that Samsung makes per quarter.

But analysts believe that for all Apple's success, it may be in trouble when Samsung launches the Galaxy S IV.  

The latest Galaxy phone is set to be unveiled at the Radio City Music Hall.  Capturing the carnival-esque vibe Apple once held during the iPhone launches of the Steve Jobs era, Samsung's blockbuster launch will be broadcast live in Times Square.  A simultaneous launch event will be held in London, the largest city in the European Union.

Times Square
The launch of the Samsung Galaxy S IV will be broadcast live tomorrow night in New York City's Times Square. [Image Source: Global Torusim]

The New York City event will be held just blocks away from one of Apple's busiest stores -- a gesture that has certainly not gone unnoticed.  Chung Chang Won, an analyst at South Korea's Nomura Holdings Inc. calls the launch a landmark event for a surging Samsung, commenting to Bloomberg, "The upcoming event in New York has big implications because it’s Apple’s home ground.  This is the first time Samsung has launched its Galaxy S phone in the U.S."

Past Galaxy smartphone launches have typically been held at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, at the IFA tradeshow in Berlin, Germany, or in South Korea.

II. Spec Sheet: an iPhone Slayer

Samsung is anticipated to serve up more than just hollow-hype.  It's expected to bring a much faster processor and a larger screen size.   Here's what we know so far about the device:

  • 5.0-inch 1080p display
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • 1.9GHz Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM) Snapdragon 600 processor (U.S.) or 2GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos 5450  processor (international) [source]
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16/32/64GB storage options
  • Removable SD card slot (up to 64GB)
  • 13MP rear-facing camera w/ "Orb" technology for compressed panorama shots
  • 2MP front-facing camera w/ "eye scrolling" technology
  • 4G LTE support
  • Multi-purpose / Dedicated camera button
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 3100 mAh battery
  • Plastic shell body

The U.S. processor (a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon), the 5-inch screen, and the new camera have all been confirmed by top U.S. news outlet Bloomberg, which is owned by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.

[Image Source: Sammy Hub]

Perhaps the biggest "wow" feature could be the eye-tracking technology, which will use the front-facing camera to track the users eyes allowing them to visually scroll through articles.  First reported by The New York Times, the hands-free feature has been reportedly in the works for a long time and has been perfected to be very fluid.

Bloomberg's sources dispute that full-fledged eye-tracking will appear in the GSIV, but says that simplified versions of the technology may appear in the device.  For example, if you look away from the screen, the phone may automatically pause the video you're watching.

The new spec appear to be well ahead of the iPhone 5 -- which only packs a 8MP rear camera with a (reportedly) smaller sensor, a 4-inch screen, and a slower dual-core CPU.

III. "Cooling Off" Apple May be Forced to Change Strategy

Park Hyun, an analyst at Seoul, South Korea-based Tong Yang Securities says that Apple will be unlikely to be able to muster its response (the iPhone 5S) until late this year.  He says that is bad news for Apple, whose once hot phone is seeing slowing sales.  He comments, "[The iPhone 5's] popularity has clearly cooled off."

Jan Dawson, chief analyst at the New York City office of London-based telecommunications consulting firm Ovum, says Apple's best hope to stay competitive may be to try to release different versions of the iPhone.  She comments, "There’s been a drumbeat of rumors about Apple working on more than one version of the iPhone.  The thinking is, if Apple does several devices it would help dampen the singular effect of having only one phone a year."

Apple may be forced to launch a variety of iPhones to keep up.

But one must wonder if copycatting Android's approach of a broad range of phones will do more harm than good for Apple.  Apple's app ecosystem has benefitted from a homogenous screen size/resolution for each smartphone release; likewise its marketing has always focused on the simplicity of its phone offering -- there has always been only one iPhone.

Ultimately, though Apple may be forced to try to reinvent the wheel, as it sees Samsung stealing its thunder.  With over $100B USD in the bank, and an incredibly strong brand it's far too early to count the Cupertino, Calif. phonemaker out.  But the GSIV launch is certainly serving notice that Samsung has Apple pressed up against the ropes and is hitting it hard, in its home turf.

Source: Bloomberg

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RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/13/2013 2:57:54 PM , Rating: 2
After owning the Galaxy S3 and its constant lag and poor performance
Obviously something is wrong with your phone... that is not the norm.

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By SpartanJet on 3/13/2013 3:00:33 PM , Rating: 1
Have you used the international version of the S3 or a Note II? If not they you have no frame of reference.

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By retrospooty on 3/13/2013 3:19:55 PM , Rating: 1
I've used the US version GS3 extensively since July and have not experienced this lag you speak of. Everything on my phone happens immediately. Totally smooth and fluid. I can think of a few times before upgrading it to JellyBean it got a little bit choppy - needed a reboot, but that was like less than once a month at the worst.

What Cheese is saying is right... You need to look at your specific device, its not an issue with the product line. There are a ton of 2012 era phones that have the exact same CPU/GPU as the US GS3 without issues.

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By Pirks on 3/13/2013 3:54:56 PM , Rating: 1
I can think of a few times before upgrading it to JellyBean it got a little bit choppy
My fresh stock Samsung JB 4.1.2 on Note 1 is super choppy and lags sometimes in SECONDS (!!!) when it tries to connect to a network, like I pass by some open Wi-Fi spot, Note tries to connect, succeeds, starts syncing and... everything on the phone becomes slllooowwww... never seen anything like this on my 2 year old WP7 phone. Looks like it's time to evaluate Samsung WP8 phone again later, I see Android never going to learn multithreading hence all these quad cores are just marketing ploy for cheesywiz clowns and similar retards. Time to get back to WP8... when they will have some decent games available in app store. Still waiting for slow Emballmer to act.

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By GotThumbs on 3/13/2013 4:08:28 PM , Rating: 3
You need to check your settings....and possibly uninstall any garbage apps that reach out to the WWW when connected to WIFI.

Check your running apps.

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By Pirks on 3/13/2013 5:02:39 PM , Rating: 2
ya I know android supposed to be rooted to remove junkware or install custom rom, this is why I'll consider switching to wp8 the moment emballmer starts making some decent games, because I don't have to root wp8 or do any special body motions/dances to make it always work smooth and fast, just like iOS on high-end/recent iPhones, or just like QNX on Playbook and Z10.

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By Samus on 3/14/2013 12:03:02 AM , Rating: 3
There are dozens of YouTube video comparisons of the US GS3 and International GS3 that discount your experience entirely.

In most cases the US GS3 is actually faster IN applications than the International because of the additional RAM. The International launches applications slightly faster.

Neither phone could be considered sluggish. They are among the fastest Android phones in production.

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By maugrimtr on 3/15/2013 8:03:14 AM , Rating: 2
I've seen the iPhone5 freeze for up to 10 seconds opening settings. Apple beats the GS3 at everything! :P

Note: That actually does happen...

By CeriseCogburn on 3/18/2013 1:34:43 PM , Rating: 2

So does the iphone 4s BTW - freezes up , a LOT

for the guy who wondered about the cgpu differences, it's due to the wireless chip integration and the differing standards overseas VS USA.

So it's not a conspiracy or a dissing, it's the cellular networks blah blah vs blah blah and the chips made that jibe with the processors in question...
Okay so maybe it is some conspiracy because whomever is failing to make the com chips...

Whatever, that's the excuse, no compatible com chip

By Cheesew1z69 on 3/13/2013 3:21:17 PM , Rating: 2
I don't need to, my phone is not slow/sluggish/laggy in anyway, nothing, it works perfect. And there are others on here with the S3 that is the US version that I am sure will state the same.

Again, sounds like you had a problem with your phone.

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By nessman on 3/13/13, Rating: -1
RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/13/2013 3:57:05 PM , Rating: 1
If that was the case, dumbass, everyone would be having the same issue. DERP! And we aren't.

And yes, low quality workmanship makes a phone laggy /me rolls eyes...

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By nessman on 3/13/13, Rating: -1
RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/13/2013 4:04:58 PM , Rating: 3
It's no mistake that you are sounding like a AppleTool right now...

Also, if you want to prove something you claim, it's not MY job to look it up. Want to prove your point? Back it up, but like most AppleTools, you will repeat the same shit over and over without any actual proof.

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By nessman on 3/13/13, Rating: -1
RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/13/2013 4:49:56 PM , Rating: 2
You have posted that at least 3 times now in the same post Tony... we get it, you love Apple.

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By nessman on 3/13/13, Rating: -1
By Reclaimer77 on 3/13/2013 5:08:18 PM , Rating: 2
Right you made a new account and posted 13 times, all about Samsung, because you're trying to "cool things off" lol. Good one!

By chick0n on 3/13/2013 10:19:20 PM , Rating: 5
Used Note2, no issue

GF's S3, no issues

you? retarded.

Agreed everyone ?

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By Reclaimer77 on 3/13/2013 4:08:01 PM , Rating: 5
It is no mistaking that Samsung's phone satisfaction rating is very low as compared to the iPhone. That is from actual facts not reporters quoting their opinion. Look it up!

Okay I looked it up.

OOOPS!! Sorry I'll take the word of an independent professional testing organization over the myopic statements of a few biased people.

The iPhone is the worst. Fact, look it up!

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By nessman on 3/13/13, Rating: -1
RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By SPOOFE on 3/13/2013 4:28:58 PM , Rating: 2
And yet you cited a Fixya blog post below that is far more problematic and egregious in methodology than CR's take on the issue.

By nessman on 3/13/2013 4:39:59 PM , Rating: 1
Data comes from the actual manufacturers, this stuff is readily available ...

"Apple's iPhones were found to be nearly three times more reliable than Samsung's smart phones, according to a FixYa study.

Using 722,558 combined problem impressions, FixYa calculated scores by taking manufacturer problem impressions divided by sample problem impressions (impression ratio), normalizing market share amongst competitors for comparison (sample market share, combined total is 100%), and dividing sample market share by impression ratio.

Apple scored 3.47 for reliability; whereas, Samsung scored 1.21. Higher is better."

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/13/2013 4:51:49 PM , Rating: 2
Btw, this is a new account just created. Wonder which of the 10 stooges it is.

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By cyberguyz on 3/14/2013 6:49:30 AM , Rating: 2
Easy to figure out. Right Tony ;)

By Cheesew1z69 on 3/14/2013 12:24:27 PM , Rating: 2
It certainly does look like his style.

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By nessman on 3/13/13, Rating: -1
RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By SPOOFE on 3/13/2013 4:26:20 PM , Rating: 2
What the hell is a "problem impression"? I scanned your link, and even visited the actual article your link references ( ) and I have absolutely no idea A: how they arrived at that "score", B: what that "score" is supposed to mean, or C: how they could objectively translate the various pros and cons they list into an apples-to-apples comparison.

I don't think you really examined your own cite.

By Cheesew1z69 on 3/13/2013 4:35:49 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think you really examined your own cite.
Like most AppleTools...

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By nessman on 3/13/13, Rating: -1
By chick0n on 3/14/2013 12:08:31 AM , Rating: 2
FixYa? Seriously ? wow you are sad.

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By JPForums on 3/14/2013 11:27:29 AM , Rating: 1
In your rush to play victim, you didn't answer the question:
What the hell is a "problem impression"?
I get there were almost three quarters of a million of them.
I get that they score by dividing manufacturer "problem impressions" by sample "problem impressions" and normalizing by market share.
Putting aside the validity of the sample set, I get that Apple scored a fair amount higher than Samsung for "reliability". Frankly, it wouldn't really surprise me given the number of low end plastic phones Samsung sells.
What I don't get is:
What the hell is a "problem impression"?
Until I understand that, I can't really quantify what this really means for reliability.

By CeriseCogburn on 3/18/2013 1:55:45 PM , Rating: 2

It appears a problem impression is when the incapable apple phone can do just the bare basics, and the apple nerd frat knows how to show the other apple tard how to click an appletard icon - this is considered NOT A PROBLEM and a perfect score, therefore.

Then you get to the complex and awesome and hackable android OS and customized screens and launchers and idroid boots and kernel replacements and 5 different OS OOB customizations, so the new user says:

The problem I had was the home button wasn't a button but was on the screen ( HTC or whatever)

This is thus scored as a "problem reliability report".
It's not a learning curve on a new innovative OS feature.
It's a fragmentation issue, a way for ios fangirlboys to win.

Thank you apple for stone cold dead mind interface and borg like equality...

By JPForums on 3/14/2013 12:05:30 PM , Rating: 1
Also, keep in mind that the context of this discussion is Samsung's high end polycarbonate phones. They are most certainly more reliable than the lower end plastic phones that make up the majority of Samsung's international sales. The article your reference counts both.

By Pavelyoung on 3/20/2013 9:49:42 PM , Rating: 1
LOL I love that bit of magic shuffle they have going on there. They are comparing the iPhone to every single Samsung "smart" phone instead of just the GS3. If you read the Samsung comment they have nothing but praise for the GS3.

Oh and Tony, why is it you felt the need to create several new accounts to post with? You do understand that we know its you the moment you post anything dont you?

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By KoolAidMan1 on 3/13/2013 5:43:33 PM , Rating: 1
I've had two Samsung phones and they were both crap. Android is just messy, bloated, and buggy. Three friends have the S3 and they've grown to hate it due to crashes, terrible battery life, and how clunky the UI is. Two have traded in for iPhone 5s, one is putting up with it, and I'm on a Lumia 920.

I wonder if the Samsung defenders here even know what smooth performance looks like.

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/13/2013 7:40:16 PM , Rating: 2
Sure do, because my S3 doesn't crash, I get a full day of battery life, and the UI, isn't clunky. Sounds like you haven't even touched one and they have issues with their particular phone.

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By KoolAidMan1 on 3/14/2013 8:08:08 AM , Rating: 2
I have used then many times, and multiple people all have the same problems documented in many other places. Things like battery life and the screen are known problems. Either you don't really use your phone much or you don't care.

In the end it is clunky and choppy. Lots of you don't seem to mind a second rate device though. It looks like Samsung's marketing to people with low standards has worked well, brainwashed you good.

By xti on 3/14/2013 10:33:56 AM , Rating: 2
yeah, the battery issue is my only real gripe about my gs3 - i don't want to reduce brightness to 30% to just get thru the day, and simply because i can swap out batteries, doesn't mean i want to. Samsung had that 50% off thing and i picked up the charging station + spare battery

i wish i had waited for the note 2 - obviously with more real estate they addressed the well documented gs3 battery issue.

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/14/2013 12:13:11 PM , Rating: 2
In the end it is clunky and choppy.
Again, your device. Mine isn't.

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By KoolAidMan1 on 3/15/2013 3:58:57 AM , Rating: 2
I just watched a video of the GS4 and even that lagged with scrolling and pulling down the navigation bar. The GS3 hardware and software is even older.

If that is fine for you then I don't think you know what a smooth UI looks like.

By Cheesew1z69 on 3/15/2013 8:44:09 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know how else to tell you, but I don't experience that... and others here have the S3 and don't have that issue either.

I know, you are an AppleTool, looking for any excuse to knock the Samsung, but your experience, isn't the norm but troll on, troll on.

By JPForums on 3/14/2013 11:59:52 AM , Rating: 2
I've been on both sides of this situation. Battery life is a constant and won't last for people who use their phone extensively. This "problem" is very well documented in both reviews and forums so I'm going to let you broaden your scope if you want proof beyond the personal experiences of my family and friends. Unless you have an extended pack, I have to believe that you either don't use it as heavily or don't have to go a full day (I need 15hr sporadic usage) without plugging it in.

Out side of that, how well the phone (both U.S. and International) works depends almost entirely on usage patterns. How many applications are running? Which applications in particular are you running? How much effort to you put into managing resources? How much storage is in use? Is your phone rooted? Have you made changes at a lower level? Do you have a custom ROM? Which one?

Interestingly, I see little difference between the U.S. and International versions other than the memory limitation of the International version requires more resource management. The only other constant is that (regardless of version) when storage usage gets high enough, IO tasks take longer to complete and can cause stutters giving the phone a sluggish feel. That said, not everyone encounters this (seems to be half and half in my sample group) and the sluggishness is curable if you spend the time to learn what is causing it.

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By chick0n on 3/13/2013 10:31:29 PM , Rating: 2
you gotta stop drinking koolaid

I wonder why my gf's S3 never had any issue. nor my Note2.

Must be miracle, right ?

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/14/2013 12:15:48 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder why my gf's S3 never had any issue.
Exactly.... mine works perfectly and they can't seem to accept it.

By CeriseCogburn on 3/18/2013 2:06:12 PM , Rating: 2

Yeah my Note 2 is great.

I'm no mobile phone expert but I'm a massive computer expert.

In fact now I'm almost an android expert, not massive, but can whip 99% of the public.

It's been just great - I can even switch front and back cameras while in video chat - now that's been a great feature.

The latest update on the GN2 turned the wifi from good into a smoking lines monster of compatibility.

My only complaint is screen brightness on a bright day while driving with the GN2 angled to not straight on in the dashboard holder dealie.

I had a few instances of trouble viewing the screen with my dark shades on (other times not must have been position of sunshine I guess), that was before the latest update

By cyberguyz on 3/14/2013 6:25:22 AM , Rating: 2
I have both US and International S3s. I find performance of both phones pretty much the same. No lags.

i747 (US) Pluses:
4G LTE support
2GB Memory (huge plus!)
+100Mhz speed (not that huge of a diff)
wider memory bus
I see better voice reception using this phone
A little better supported in XDA due to more open hardware support

i747 Minuses
Due to lower worldwide popularity, harder to find customized roms that work - end up depending on samsung too much
Most of these are provided by carriers which means unlocking necessary. Sometimes carriers can relock them if you apply their firmware updates.
Seems to use more battery on idle - perhaps to support the 4G and extra memory hardware.

i9300 (INTL)Pluses:
A couple extra cores
Better graphics processor
Available as an unlocked phone straight from Samsung
A little easier on the idle battery usage - the extra cores use very little power unless they are called upon.

i9300 (INTL)Minuse:
Slower processor speed
Narrower memory channel
1GB memory (I am constantly having to clear it)
Reception not as good as i747 in fringe areas
Slower getting non-samsung firmware due to Samsung's closed policy for hardware driver info - frustrates opensource devs.

Of the two I find I use the i9300 more often though I will switch them around depending on my mood.

RE: Disappointed in Samsung gimped US version
By robinthakur on 3/14/2013 8:28:42 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, I owned an international version of the S3 briefly and also found it laggy and slow when you start using up more than 50% the capacity of the internal storage. I happily went back to the IPhone 5 on its release, so it isn't just his phone.

By xti on 3/14/2013 10:35:53 AM , Rating: 2
i try to play with my wifes iP5 every now and then since there are so many apple store exclusive games, but man the screen size alone is just hard to go back to.

"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot

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