Galaxy S3: Samsung go for Apple’s jugular- their fan base.
May 4, 2012 12:16 PM –
The Galaxy S3, Samsung’s new torch-bearer, was launched last night in pre-Olympic London after perhaps the most anticipation the world has ever seen for a mobile device. You’ve probably seen the specs, possibly seen some videos and perhaps even made up your mind over whether you want it as your next device or not… but I thought I’d share an opinion regarding the event, the launch and the device itself. In a nutshell, it’s my belief that Samsung are going straight for Apple’s jugular. Not content with competing, outselling and outperforming the iPhone, the new Samsung flagship has Apple’s own fans in its sights. Let me explain why.
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Some 3000 people or more were invited to the event itself and the presentation hall, surrounded by flowing white drapes, was well and truly packed. Blue lights spun slowly around as hundreds of personnel circulated with nibbles and alcohol. There was a mix of media, partners and Samsung representatives from all over the world. The only thing you can take from this is that Samsung wanted impact, and they really delivered it.
Venue was rammed with media, partners and Samsung reps from around the world.
The preparation time alone must have been epic, it was let slip prior to entry that rehearsals had gone on until 2am the night before so everything was about as slick and polished as you could expect. In many ways this replicates exactly how Apple launch a phone; lots of impact, plenty of lights and conjecture, rumours, excitement, vibe and anticipation. This is precisely the kind of thing that gets everyone’s attention, including Apple’s user base.
The launch even was huge. Massive stage, expensive lighting and even a prominent on-site orchestra provided the music.
The presentation lasted an hour, demonstrating the big features, skimming over the lesser ones and giving the world’s media lots of time to soak up images of the 4.8″ screen. Feature after feature was rolled out and shown how ‘integrated’ and ‘natural’ the device was. When the screen at the back of the stage lifted to reveal three brightly lit rooms full of display devices, plus several surrounding tables with around six devices on each, there was a veritable flood of people threatening to sweep MC Suzie Perry (presenter of UK-based TV show ‘The Gadget Show’ who, interestingly are notorious iPhone-fans) off her feet. For a moment it was bedlam, unruly and feverish… just imagine the scenes outside stores on the day of a new iProduct, but with journalists eager to get stories and videos out before anyone else.
Feverish backstage demo area.
What Samsung have done with the S3 is delivered a phone that shouts innovation but, while there are some new features we haven’t seen before, many either exist in app form already or are simply enhancements to existing concepts. Take S Voice for example. S Voice forces an immediate comparison to Apple’s Siri, but Android apps such as Voice Actions and Vlingo have much of this functionality covered. It’s perhaps an enhancement, but not new. S Beam takes Android Beam and makes it more relevant, integrating NFC technology and is given a nice label. The 8MP camera, boasting a slew of user-friendly features is similar in many respects to those within the HTC One X, although under a different banner. Pop Up Play is perhaps a new idea, but on a phone rather than a tablet, I’m not sure it will be utilized all that much. We’ve seen All Share Cast features before and I’m pretty certain there are some existing apps that can replicate the Smart Alert feature. I think it can be concluded then that many (although not all) features are simply enhanced and rebranded Samsung versions of existing concepts… which immediately struck me as familiar… and then the penny dropped. This is exactly the language Apple fans understand… it mimics Apple’s own techniques and, while Samsung do not arrogantly claim certain S3 features are ‘innovative’ (like Apple tend to with their own new features), they present them in a way that demonstrates the enhancements they have made and the level of integration this required.
Enhanced and re-branded features will speak volumes to Apple fans
The reason why Samsung is doing this is to well-and-truly knock Apple of its perch where it hurts them most- in their pockets. By providing an alternative to Apple’s Siri with S Voice, Apple fans have a direct comparison to make. With a big, highly anticipated and ingeniously marketed event, Apple fans will have taken notice too. Taking existing ideas, branding them and integrating them into a device is precisely what Apple do. If you’ve any doubt, check out this superb video which shows how iOS 5 essentially pinches several existing Android functions… it’s hard to argue against.
It may be a number of months before Apple release a new iPhone, but just a few short weeks until S3 devices hit shop floors. If Apple fanboys are ever to try Android out, when better to do so than now- with a phone that speaks to them on a level they can relate to? Samsung have created a phone that compares favourably with the current top Android device, the HTC One X, and yet in its delivery it challenges Apple on a global scale. Marketed correctly, I can forsee quite a number of iPhone users being tempted by the new Galaxy and, if that means they buy this instead of an iPhone 5 (or whatever they decide to name it), this will only hurt Apple more. The folks at Cupertino should be worried.
Samsung Galaxy S3... world domination beckons.