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Has the Samsung Galaxy S4 rattled Apple?

Apple iPhone page

By Barry Collins

Posted on 18 Mar 2013 at 09:55

Apple has cranked up the PR offensive against Samsung and Android over the weekend, with a new web page highlighting the benefits of the iPhone over its newly launched rival.

Ahead of last Thursday's unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S4, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller gave a rare interview to the Wall Street Journal, in which he launched a bitter attack on Android. Schiller claimed disgruntled users were deserting Android for Apple and reheated familiar attacks on the splintering of the operating system.

A further sign that the Galaxy S4 launch has rattled Apple emerged over the weekend, with the appearance of a new section on the company's website, spelling out the claimed benefits of the iPhone.

Titled: "There's iPhone. And then there's everything else", the page makes no direct mention of Android or Samsung, but repeats several points made by Schiller in his pre-Galaxy S4 launch attack. The page highlights awards for customer satisfaction, attention to detail on design, and apps "from one trusted source".

The Apple page also makes great play of the iPhone's Retina display, claiming its "pixel density is so high, your eye can’t distinguish individual pixels", and that "it remains a feature found only on iPhone and other Apple products". While that's strictly accurate it's disingenuous, since Samsung's Galaxy S4 delivers a much higher pixel density than the iPhone 5, offering 441ppi compared to the iPhone 5's 326ppi.

Response required

Market watchers are hoping that Apple - which has seen its share price plummet by 30% over the past six months - can respond with more than mealy mouthed marketing.

"It would be overstatement to say Apple is far behind," Forrester analyst Charles Golvin told Reuters. "If anything, what Apple needs to respond to is the cadence of its own releases, probably a completely new design every two years and a sort of speed bump every year is not an adequate cadence for Apple to remain at the forefront of smartphone innovation today."

Others are urging Apple to broaden the iPhone portfolio and offer consumers a cheaper handset that can compete with the mid-range Android models. "It [Apple] has all the components of the magic potion, which is the hardware-software ecosystem," Brian White, an analyst with Topeka Capital Markets told Reuters. "All it needs to do is take that potion and put it in a different segment of the iPhone market."

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User comments

Support in America...

may be, but here in Germany every other manufacturer has better support than Apple.

If an Apple iPhone malfunctions, they will send a courier to pick it up, then you will get it back 2 weeks later (maybe) fixed. My iPhone went back 3 time in 7 weeks (i.e. in the first 7 weeks of ownership, I had access to my iPhone for less than 7 days!).

With other manufacturers, like Samsung and htc, the courier comes out with a new handset and swaps it out on the spot, no waiting.

By big_D on 18 Mar 2013

How does PC Pro test battery life?

I just read the Apple page this article links to and it reminded me about the above question. They mentioned great battery life, which is utter rubbish. How does PC Pro rate battery life? I have a good reason for asking this.

My brother & sister have iPhone 5 and iPhone 4s, respectively. Another friend has a SGS3. I have had discussions with them about battery life and none of those 3 phones can last one day, even with relatively light use!! How on earth do you come up with figures like "70% battery left after 24hrs"? I do not know a single person with either an iPhone or a Samsung phone who can use it for a day without needing to charge it again. They all have terrible battery life.

By cooloox on 18 Mar 2013

@coolbox

I have between 50% and 60% left after 24 hours on my SIII and my old iPhone would do about the same.

Playing games will kill any battery in a couple of hours.

By big_D on 18 Mar 2013

A rattled Apple would be no bad thing IMO. Microsoft are a lot more bearable since they lost some of their market dominance. Maybe Apple could likewise become a bit less insufferable?

By Alfresco on 18 Mar 2013

iPhone 5S/6 Vs Galaxy S4

Owning an iPhone 4S (previously a 3GS) I am now looking seriously at the S4, as Apple long since stopped innovating and the huge price tag on their phones (£700) does not equate to quality and certainly not value for money.
If Apple are "rattled" they ought to be.
There are no exclusive features or must have Apps that I cannot get on an S4. Plus their "Mac OS only" line is very trying. I use a Windows PC (like most people) and the poor state of iTunes, the absence of photo management outside OSX and the lack of FaceTime for the PC are all things Apple could address, but choose not to.
I've had to load WhatsApp and Skype on my iPhone to address the deliberate shortcomings of iMessage and Facetime.
So my alternative is a cheaper phone with more features and fewer arbitrary restrictions.

@cooloox - My 4S can be left on all day and still have 90% charge after 24 hours. Typical usage for me is 50mins music via Bluetooth headphones, + 1-2 calls and that leaves me 77%+ battery life.

By cheysuli on 18 Mar 2013

@cheysuli - it's what you haven't told us, though. Do you have Wifi switched off? Do you have the screen brightness turned right down?

By artiss on 18 Mar 2013

Over the air?

"iOS updates download right on iPhone, so the latest iOS version is just a tap away"
What, just like my Nexus 4 and HTC Desire HD? But not like any version of iOS before 5? Anyone would think they'd nicked the idea from the "other OS". Like notifications. Now, all they need to do is find a way of pretending that they invented widgets and they might have a usable OS.

By KevPartner on 18 Mar 2013

What goes around....

Apple has had a very good run at the pinnacle of the Mobile device market. It has sold the most kit (over time) and certainly made the biggest profits.

However What goes around, comes around, and Apple's seeming lack of direction at present suggests that its days of wine & roses might be coming to an end.

Apple has, in a sense, shot itself in the foot by ruthlessly driving down costs and maintaining margins.
The £600+ iPhone looks pretty expensive compared to the £550 (or less) competition, especially when that competition is thinner, lighter, has a bigger screen with higher pixel-density etc.

The big killer appears to be flogging the 'phone +'Services'. Samsung has chosen to append 'Life companion' to the name G4, which sounds stupid to Western ears, but summarises where Samsung believes its going.

Apple already has a well-established business with iTunes, and its AppStore. They're nice little earners, but are heavily tied to iGadgets and don't seem to be going anywhere much.

So to summarise. Apple has rested on its laurels in most departments. The Physical Design of its products is still competent and elegant, but no-longer carries any frisson of excitement.
They're gadgets for your Mum & Dad (& Grandad).
iOS is, if anything, in a worse state. It hasn't changed much in 6 years. Compared to WP8 its a dog, and a manky old one at that.
Samsung has started the explicitly selling 'Services' (apart from media) ball rolling. Google\Motorola is waiting in the wings with rumours of sub-£200 top-end smartphones tied-in to a raft of existing, and as yet unannounced Google Services.

It's not so much the G4 that's got Apple 'rattled' it's more the intensity of competition, and the high-quality of that competition, from nearly every other player which is threatening its comfy i-Empire.

By wittgenfrog on 18 Mar 2013

In a word...

... Yes.

I would agree they have been seriously rattled and about time too! They have had a good run, but I don't think they hold the top spot anymore in terms of innovators. They certainly don't invent anything new, just produce some nice products with nice designs.

They have been very greedy in terms of keeping prices (far too) high across their entire range (particularly the iPhone - especially when you consider that an iPod Touch is half the price and only lacks the cellular bit of the phone - hardly expensive equipment to warrant doubling the price!!) and not upping their game enough to keep ahead of Samsung & HTC. Good value for money for the customer does not seem to important for them (great shame that).

I recently upgraded to an iPhone 5 from a 4 and I would that just about makes it on par with the Galaxy S3. Personally for me the S3 is too big, but that's just personal preference.

I was more interested in getting into the Apple ecosystem as I have a Mac, Airport Extreme & Expresses and it all works together pretty well. But I also recognise that Apple is not at the forefront of technology anymore.

Anyway I tend to hang onto my phones for a couple of years (or so) as they're so darned expensive, so only upgrade when a new design comes out, rather than the souped-up version.

Microsoft has eaten a lot of humble pie in recent years and is now producing great software at somewhat affordable cost with incentives (Windows 7 & Office 2010 for sure - Windows 8 & Office 2013 I'm not quite so sure about) and I'm hoping the same will happen with Apple.

At the end of the day, the only person that can benefit from all of this is the consumer which is a great relief.

So I'm looking forward to great new products based on iOS / Android / Windows 8 at less crazy prices and serving the consumers (us) as they should be, rather than their shareholders.

My £0.02 worth to the debate ;^)

Oh and big_D - perhaps it's the service agreement in Germany, but whenever I've had to have an iPhone replaced, the courier will generally bring a replacement and I swap it there at the time, no fuss. The same goes with going into an Apple Store (it gets swapped there & then).

By mrmmm on 18 Mar 2013

Not just Apple !

I would sugguest that if the next Nexus (no5) is released later this year is similar in price to the 4 ,and of course is actually available to buy ! ;-) then they may well get the whole Phone Market Rattled...not just Apple!

By Jaberwocky on 19 Mar 2013

It's always worth checking first!

@Jaberwocky I'd recommend checking first... https://play.google.com/store/devices/details?id=n
exus_4_16gb. The Nexus 4 is in stock and available and has been for a while now.

I've had mine since the beginning of the year. Combined with a £6.90 p/m 3 Sim it's amazing value and a fantastic phone.

David.

By artiss on 19 Mar 2013

are you in the uk?

@mmmm are you in the uk? my daughter has a iphone 4s and it was overheating badly and wouldn't hold the charge we took it to the apple shop as it was still in warranty and they claimed they could see water damage by looking in the docking port and charged us £130 for a replacement,they suggested it was caused by condensation?
Delbob

By delbob_1 on 21 Mar 2013

water damage scam

This iPhone water damage scam is something I have also been fobbed off with by dealers. A quick check round colleagues showed all their iPhones had the same reddish colour as mine and none have been droped in water, used in rain or the bath. Load of rubbish.

By fortysix on 21 Mar 2013

water damage scam

This iPhone water damage scam is something I have also been fobbed off with by dealers. A quick check round colleagues showed all their iPhones had the same reddish colour as mine and none have been droped in water, used in rain or the bath. Load of rubbish.

By fortysix on 21 Mar 2013

One of the problems Apple has now is that of how their releases are perceived. With a segment of the market asking for bigger screens, and another segment asking for cheaper handsets, Apple can either deliver neither, or be accused of being a follower since other manufacturers already address those markets. Apple really needs to do what it used to - give the market something they didn't realize they wanted. But what could it be?

By poglad on 21 Mar 2013

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