Print 114 comment(s) - last by Pavelyoung.. on Mar 20 at 9:49 PM

  (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 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?

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

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