The 'Galaxy S5' problem

The 'Galaxy S5' problem

The Galaxy S5 has just launched to what can best be summed up as a collective "that's nice..." from the media and the industry at large. Much as last year's Galaxy S4 was referred to as the Galaxy S3S, this year the Galaxy S4S (Galaxy S3S2?) jokes are already in full swing. Apple suffers from this as well. The reason "S3S" or" S4S" are jokes at all is because every second iPhone delivers what's mainly an internal upgrade to the first, designated by Apple's addition of an "S" to the branding. It's a reflection of the times in which we live. All the major operating systems have already rebooted. The smartphone revolution that began in 2007 has stabilized into a steadier if less exciting evolution. And that has consequences. Last year, shortly before Samsung's Galaxy S4 event, I wrote about the "iPhone 5s" problem. Now Samsung and the Galaxy S5 have a much bigger problem, even if it is months away... the iPhone 6.

Here's an encapsulation of what I thought at the time would be the iPhone 5s problem:

  • The biennial of iPhone/iPhone +S had become predictable, which made their sales seasonal.
  • Competitors had learned to counter-program Apple, both by releasing in the spring when previous iPhones were old and new iPhones were not yet on the horizon, and by targeting bigger updates for the S-years to gain even more ground.

The iPhone 5 was almost completely re-engineered, including a taller screen, yet because it was still a rounded rectangle, it was considered boring. Knowing that what followed would be an iPhone 5s, a more iterative update, it seemed like Samsung would take advantage. It seemed like Samsung would use that predictability and the open window to really take it to Apple. To really leap ahead.

Only they didn't. They released the Galaxy S4. It was a perfectly serviceable phone, if not to my tastes. But instead of taking advantage, instead of leaping ahead, Samsung fell into the same pattern as Apple — iterating on their already best-selling smartphone.

What's more, phones that arguably did take bigger risks, like the HTC One and Nokia Lumia 1020 sold next to nothing compared to Samsung and Apple. They discovered this essential truth: Like major motion picture sequels, while everyone clamors for something new, what they really want is more of the same.

Look no further than the iPhone 5s. It brought 64-bit to mobile and made biometrics mainstream, yet it was the addition of a gold finish that really seemed to charge the masses...

The end result was, not only did Samsung not do as well as some expected, Apple did better. And that brings us to today, and to the Galaxy S5.

The Galaxy S5 brings a fingerprint reader and a gold color option to a market where Apple was-there, did-that 6-month ago, and by most accounts did-that better. There's also no 64-bit option, at least not yet, and Apple's had that going on 6-months as well. Samsung's focus on health and their tie-in to wearables have long been rumored as iOS 8 and iWatch features, which means differentiation will be tough at best. Most importantly, where Samsung played the larger sized display card years ago, Apple still has that card to play. And it's a big one. It's also only a few of the potential features we suspect right now.

Here's where I'll quote Tim Cook quoting Steve Jobs:

There are some interesting things about the Galaxy S5, from the water resistance to the heart-rate monitor to the camera software and more. Yet it's already being called the Galaxy S4S, it's horrendously design-challenged, and we're still 6 months out from Apple's traditional fall launch window.

Momentum is a powerful, subtle force. Who's seen as innovative, who's seen as trendy — it's something that ebbs and flows over the span of months and years. Right now, today, there was no Samsung slam dunk. There was nothing to increase the pressure on Apple. If anything, it took some of the pressure off, even as it left the door wide open and perhaps even raised interest in what Apple's going to do next.

And that's it. That's the biggest problem facing the Galaxy S5.

This isn't an S-year for Apple.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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The 'Galaxy S5' problem


Even though the S5 will sell like hotcakes I'm sure I can never wrap my head around Samsung's designs they are so ugly to me, especially that camera housing, just horrible LOL. I think it's funny that Samsung has wanted to be like Apple so bad they are starting to shoot themselves in the foot by succumbing to the so called "S" syndrome. I mean come on they're the only OEM on Android that makes a physical home button (I believe LG may have but can't remember right now) and the jabs they try to take at Apple like those two ads that Richard posted I mean come on Samsung do you're own thing and stop worrying about Apple. Hey perhaps now with the S5 Samsung can finally be called boring.

Define "hotcakes".

This time last year Samsung declared that they would sell 100 million Galaxy S4s.
By Holiday they said they'd sold 40 million S4s.
This year they said they had sole 200 million Galaxy S's

It's called moving the goalposts.

Last year they predicted 100 million Galaxy S4s.
That didn't happen.
BUT: 200 million S series phones sold!!!!!!! Win for us!!!!!!

tldr: The vast majority of Samsung phones sold are bottom-trawler low-end phones, despite what Samsung's marketing budget would have you believe.

BTW the new Galaxy look and feel? I fear that Band Aid should sue - at least 20 years of prior art. Especially in the gold one...

Apple, if I remember correctly, went from 45% to 65% of the over $400 phone market last year. That's not a good number for Samsung.

True LOL and Samsung if I remember correctly doesn't really reveal phones sold, right, only the amount shipped? The 5S and 5C definitely had a much better launch weekend then the S4 did and of course the same will be true of this year if not more so if Apple does release a 4.7" or 5" variant we'll probably see 10+ million iPhones sold during launch weekend, I know I'll be lining up for one.

As someone who has actually used the Gold Galaxy S5, you're wrong. It doesn't look like a band aid. It's the most ridiculous thing I've seen all week.

But hey, what do I know ;-)

Oh you mean the S syndrome Samsung started in the 80's and 90's? ...or the Galaxy syndrome they started around the same time as Apple started the MacIntosh craze? Galaxy Men's Suits became a trademark of 007 Pierce Brosnan and he's done many commercials for them. But most people don't know that Samsung has been in Fashion & Fabrics since the 50's and Space Age Plastics too. Heard about Samsung eMX S Concept car? Yeah they own major shares of Renault, Corning, etc in original joint ventures converted to shares. Supply every major Luxury car maker too!

Galaxy is as much a Samsung Trademark as MacIntosh is to Apple. S is as synonymous to Samsung as Mac is to Apple. But Apple only plays games as a Design House Only. They are totally out sourced like a Gypsy Con Artist selling snake oil, stolen from the Witch. Like Apple stole GUI and Mouse from PARC, calls from AT&T w/ BlueBoxes, Fingerprint Sensors from Moto and Samsung, etc et al! ....Samsung has been using Authentec sensors in Door Locks and Notebooks since 2004 Fingerprint Sensor both Touch and Slide since 2002! ^_*

First iPhone was actually Cisco's. First iPhone like smartphone was Samsung's SGH-Z610 out in Jan 2006 and it was Better Than Apple's iPhone (but too expensive). Samsung had 1st 7" (no buttons) Origami Tablet out in 2009. Literally everything Apple has done was BOUGHT, STOLEN or REBRANDED. Like Sony monitors and Samsung or LG screens to Retina! ....and yes that SGH-Z610 had a single Round Physical Home Button, 3G, 3.5" Touchscreen w/ Gestures, GPS, Dual Cameras, Stainless Steel band w/ external & internal antenna w/ rounded corners too!

Your incredibly wrong and this has been rehashed many many many times since the trial. Samsung was not even close to first with the SGH-Z610. They claimed it was in 2006, but it was in 2007 after the iPhone. The first showing of the phone was Feb 7, 2007 and in that article they called it a direct copy to the iPhone. Don't even get me started on your comment that is was better than the iPhone because it wasn't even close.

The rest of your comment is just as flawed as the above was. There is a huge difference between Apple outsourcing the building of parts that they 100% designed and them simply calling Samsung and saying they need a display or a processor. If it was this simple then Samsung really has to be the dumbest company on the planet. Why would they give their best ideas to direct competitors? The "magic" in Apple is not only using higher quality parts then every other OEM, but also getting it done at a cost that no other OEM can achieve. Just because we have places here in the states that make Honda cars doesn't mean America invented the Civic. I don't know why this is so hard for so many Android fans to understand. Apple not only does things great, but they do it better then everyone else and still manage to have the highest margins on their devices. Just because a company like Samsung could bring to market a competing display or processor doesn't mean they will or can because it simply isn't feasible in what they are trying to achieve. The biggest proof of this is Samsung's god awful plasticky designs. Sure, they can make a better build, but they can't get the profit margins to what they need to bring their phones to market. Even the praise they're given for bringing larger displays to the smartphone market are really just a feature they tripped over because they physically couldn't get a smaller battery to power their 4G devices. That is the opposite of innovation my friend.

You call Apple nothing more than a company that has stolen or rebranded ideas. This is exactly what the tech market has always done. The difference is Apple has done it right and continues to do it hand over fist better then their competition and also much earlier. The magic in Apple is taking a product such as a CD player, phone, laptop, etc and reinventing it into something that honestly makes our lives better. The stolen and rebranded then comes from Samsung and others after the fact. Yes, things like multitouch, 7" tablets, touchscreen phones, apps, etc have been done long before Apple, but what Apple did with these ideas pushed the entire market forward. Do you remember the horrible resistive touch screens from the old Windows Mobile days (which btw was also found in the SGH-Z610)? Capacitive multitouch displays changed smartphones and Apple was praised not for inventing the tech, but making it better. No one was making displays like Apple before the original iPhone so keep spouting off useless phones that no one remembers. What makes Apple products special is the care taken in even the smallest facets of the design of the hardware and software and especially in how it works together. This is still unmatched in the smartphone world. There is a reason that Samsung waits for Apple to innovate and thats because it makes them a lot of money. They've positioned themselves (and have actually done it brilliantly) as the Apple alternative and they've chosen to take a very different stance in their products.

Sorry but your wrong. You are referring to F700 that Samsung had proof it was patented in December 2006. A pre-release announcement was made January 12th by famous French leak source and on monday the 15th, Samsung went live on Korean TV announcing it with a picture of it. Pics had also leaked in October 2006 by the same source. Then Samsung showed the device in February 2007 and it went on sale over 15 days prior to iPhone in Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong. While iPhone didn't hit the market until June 29th.

Leaked french photos were published by Engadget in January the week after iPhone was announced (can't find that link any longer). But next thing we know Samsung also pre-release announced this phone model... (F520).... in February (similar to F700, but better):
(site won't let me put links in, so Copy paste shortened link in address bar and take out 1st space, put slash in 2nd space)

ow. ly u5WZQ
Here's another dated site report on F700 after Samsung Pre-release announcement (which proved they had already been working on it from around LG Prada Award Wins for 1st capacitive touchscreen. Before Apple and that can't be denied. But, Judge denied Samsung entry of proof their Patent existed in December 2006. Then... Apple dropped it from Design Patent infringement anyway. Those Design Patents were all DENIED by the JURY as well. Therefore.... NO illegal Copying ever took place according to that judge and jury. The jury only ordered Damage Awards for software "Method Patent" (which are infringements of Rights, not Copying):

ow. ly u5WLY
Now let's get back to Touchscreen Smartphone in the SGH-Z610 introduced in January and there is proof of this as well. But let's just get to the nitty gritty proof of it going through FCC here in the US in August 2006:

ow. ly u5VXt
Then we have this link from China with the battery pulled going through FCC in August 2006. But this phone had been offered for sale in Korea since April 2006! .....and Apple knew it existed in February. Prior to destroying those records and the judge let them off on that too. No doubt this will be brought up under Appeal in the near future as this case ain't over till it's over and that could be 10 yrs! :D

ow. ly u5WmZ
I could go on and on listing links on the the SGH-Z610 Smarter Phone than iPhone. Including having Korean and Singaporean Gaming friends, who bought one in 2006. But let's just say it was real and it's why Samsung offered Apple their auto switching internal to external stainless steel band antenna patent. So they could license it as a joke, when iPhone 4 launched with it's now INFAMOUS... AntennaGate!!!'s why Steve got so bellergent about that huge Korean Conglomerate and claimed everybody had Antenna problems. When it was only Apple!

And if you can prove otherwise.... let's see the links as proof!

btw.... I have relatives who have worked for Apple since # employee days. One was in the marketing department and she graduated Summa Cum Laude. The other was a developer working on original Apple software and left after Apple III failed. They are both avid Apple fans to this day. Since I was a kid, I've gotten Mac computers, Newton, iPods, original iPhone and iPads. I liked them all, but the screen got broken on iPhone in Europe Trip in Manchester Airport UK. The iPads I've sold all but original Mini. I now use Samsung smartphones, simply because of Apple's lame lawsuits!

Have a nice day but stay safe..... and don't use their spoofed n hacked to death fingerprint sensor. Samsung has been in fingerprint sensors used in notebooks, Security Locks on Banks and enterprise as well as Secure Locks with Round Touch Sensors made by Authentec since 2004. They been doing this since 2002, so they are PROS.... unlike Apple who just got into the Biometric scene last September! ;-)

Original Spoof and Hackers of iPhone are still at it:

(Search it or copy paste)
srlabs. de spoofing-fingerprints

Funny considering 90% of iphones user i see slap a big old ugly otterbox or plastic and rubber case turning their phone into a brick, rendering the build quality pointless. Also Now days Skins for smartphones are becoming popular you can get carbon fiber and brushes medal to cover the phone not to mention galaxy devices have removable back which you can switch out for different material backing which sell by the tons on ebay.

I will never understand why people use cases honestly, if people would just be a little more careful they would never have issues, I've had a htc one for most of 2013 and right now and I have yet to drop it and I don't use a case except if I'm at the gym or on my bike otherwise its off.

Samsung is making money while u r talking shit about them and u got nothing! people still buying their product across the globe.. u dont owned it that y condemn it too much while others are enjoying gs5 superb screen display, certified ip67 water resistant..

Rene, in your opinion do you think a bigger screen for the iPhone 6 is a lock?

Ofcourse nothing is confirmed yet but I just wanted to know your opinion.

I'm personally hoping for at least 4.6"

I'm hoping for a larger display, s well. Do you think they'll scale iOS to fit the display, or add more pixels? What are you expecting? I'd hate to see iOS scaled. I despise Android for it.

Awesome. Not that you should care, good sir. but I'm expecting some form of Star Wars link when the iPhone 6 is launched. Please don't let me down, Rene. :)

I expect the "iPhone Air" (4.7-5.2 inches) and the "iPhone Mini" (4.0 inches).

Keeps it aligned with the new iPad branding.

I'll bet marketing would want a 4.7 - they would then have a 4.9 and 5.1 in their back pockets for upgrades on 2016 and 2018

Oh..... is that part of Apple's "We want to be Bigger... like Samsung syndrome"? You know bigger is better like the Big 'S' in Galaxy 'S' being a Samsung trademark, as much as Mac or bitten apple is for Apple. Apple is the original Copyist you know? ......or is that Thief, as Steve Jobs has basically stated it as "Stealing", of the GUI and Mouse. That Microsoft then stole from them and got away with it as well as they did! ;-P

Now back to Bigger Screens..... when Steve Jobs notoriously exclaimed publicly, that Apple's users didn't need a screen larger than 3.5". Along with Flash being a more evil runtime than quicktime. That is still going strong on the web after he's turned to dust! .....and most of all, where is good old Apple's Mac Drag n Drop or True Pervasive Multitasking of Copland and NeXT? Well instead of NeXTStep's Preemptive Task Management that is, you have in iOS now (which is suspend one to run another one at a time).

Yeah... Apple couldn't figure out a way to use NeXT's Mach/BSD kernel on a relational database file system Copland already had. Copland also had virtual boxes to run legacy Mac API's, frameworks etc in. They ran on top of their Nukernel (Unix based) OS specifically written for IBM's then new RISC based PowerPC chips. That were also set to run 64bit with full Type 1 Hardware Virtualization, that Intel didn't get for ages! .....and people like you still like to think Steve's Elitist Niche Marketing and killing of the clones was necessary to gain market share and keep their status quo image going!

But to the contrary the killing of the clones, both prior to Apple III launch (reason it died) by suing Franklin Computers out of business and then after Steve killed the Clones in 1997, only facilitated Apple's fall in Software sales and market share (from 3% to over 10% back down to 3%). Software and OS licensing that has far greater potential for higher profit margins, than any piece of over priced hardware. Apple has always thought that was necessary to sell more of their own computers. Unadulterated Hog Wash!

Best ask Bill Gates the richest man on earth again.... why clones, software and greatest market share, is a far faster way to making money and maintaining growth. Certainly NOT only serving Elitist Users. Who are only a small percentage of ordinary people worldwide! ....if Apple isn't ready to come off their high horse and not only make iPhones with bigger screens, but make devices that more people can afford to buy (like original Apple computer and Mac were supposed to be), then they will be resigned to only Niche Market Status All Over Again!

Apple can be proud to be like Ferrari.... RARE and too high priced. But too high priced and Elitist for most people to buy or afford to drive. They need to be more Toyota or even GMC or Hyundai, if they want to compete against Samsung, Google, etc. Car makers and Tech companies, who all make cars and products for everyday people. As well as elitists, rich snobs, oldsters and techie wantabees! ;-P

It's amazing to me that people would like a bigger screen only when Apple says it's okay to have one. Before this expectation, no one wanted it at all. I've been saying it for years this was overdue.

I never understand why this statement is made over and over and over and over and over....again. Yes we didn't want a bigger screen but now that Apple is doing it we want the bigger screen. It's quite simple some people like the way Apple designs things, does things with little battery drain, uses qaulity materials, pays attention to the fit and finish, etc.

I still don't want a bigger screen, though I'll take a look at it if Apple puts one out. The current one is a tradeoff between comfort and size, and I find I can increase its apparent size without affecting comfort by *moving it closer to my head*.

I want a bigger screen but not a bigger enclosure. Bigger screen is good. Bigger phone is not good. It needs to fit comfortably in my Levi's 501 left front pocket. But a bigger screen with similar overall size is not possible using conventional LCD displays. There are electrical connections along the edgees of the screen for addressing all those tiny pixels.

But it might be possible with newer technology. Flexible AMOLED might do it, if the edge connector electronics can be bent downward at a 90 degree angle. That would allow for near-zero width bezels. The screen increases in size, but the overall iPhone size doesn't increase much because the bezels are eliminated. That's when "Apple says it's okay to have one."

LG G2 is a great example. 5.2-inch display with the slimmest bezels imaginable. I like smaller phones, but the G2 is the best compromise of huge display and manageable form factor I've come across yet.

The only things that I hope Apple tries to bring to the iPhone is a larger screen and water resistance out-of-the-box.

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Why? If it's to truly take advantage of the 64bit processor, they need more than 2. Apart from that RAM doesn't seem to be an issue for iOS.

Not really. 64-bit is more than just RAM addressing. There are performance gains to be had from larger registers and computing units in the CPU.

Ah definitely. I worded my response incorrectly. I wanted to know why he was interested in more RAM if not to take advantage of that characteristic of the processor. But I have heard that there are lot of other characteristics that make it (the processor) worthy.

Yes indeed. Maybe Apple will step it up this time. Though if they did, not sure they would announcment. I don't remember them mentioning ram before.

Ok here's what most people don't seem to understand, we've reached the point where specs have been maxed out for now but I was expecting a much better design than this from Samsung. Kinda how HTC "wowed" me with the HTC One. The waterproof feature is nice tho for those who will be upgrading from a 2+ year old phone.

But the iPhone does have a lot of room for upgraded specs. And this is probably why Apple is taking its precious time to come out with major upgrades to the specs, to avoid something like this where they'd maxed out their specs before anything big has come out like 4K screen resolution or major upgrade to mobile processors. Apple is smart in this sense. They can come out with a 5-5.5" 1080p screen on the next iPhone and still wow their fanbase where as Android has hit the limit and can only wow their fanbase by the appearance of the phone or the software.

I agree, I decided to look at the S5 forums over at AC and already a bunch of people were whining about how the S5 was underwhelming and what a bunch of crap it doesn't have liquid metal body, in 2014 unless some OEM magically whips together a Jarvis phone like Tony Stark we're going to be seeing a lot of this as technology is plateauing to where we're only seeing these minor increments in specs. Again though Samsung takes the cake with it's Feature overload on this phone I mean did you guys see the quick settings menu with 20 toggles?! Also ridiculous is the fact the 16gb storage is cut in half because of TouchWhiz and all the stupid baked in features no one uses with the exception of a few.

How about this spec: 64-bit hardware with full iOS compatibility.
Oh sure, there will be droids with 64-bit hardware this year.
But it could take Google years to release 64-bit-compatible Android.
That's a nightmare of an engineering project.
And it will take even longer for that 64-bit 4.x version to gain any install base.

Intel has no presence in the smartphone space. Not much of a threat & pretty meaningless for them to boast about designing a chip that nobody is using.

Agreed. Imagine then how long it would take a company who is actually familiar with the platform. Days maybe.

Interesting link you provided. But for Slashgear to claim it 'just works' on Android? Who are they kidding? Getting the hardware to work with non scalable 64 bit support in Linux, not Android, is going to be one hot mess. Android performs poorly enough as it is. This'll make it even more so.

And I speak from long experience with Android.

"Android is an operating system based on the Linux kernel,[12] and designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers."

Sorry to tell you but what ever experience you have must be with the wrong devices. Look at the nexus five and the motto x. Even fans of other OS s say it's great and fluid and fast.
"The recently released Google Nexus 5, for example, is a terrific smart phone."

You can even ask Rene. It's fast and fluid and he likes the moto x as well.

When Apple announced the introduction of 64-bit processing for the 5S, I seem to remember the head of Samsung Galaxy Division PROMISING the the NEXT Galaxy phone would include 64-bit processing as well!

No, although it's true that we have reached the saturation point where improvements are all about iterations, what's truly disappointing about the S4 is its design. They've kept the same cheap-looking design for 3 years.

And it's not true that Apple is purposely holding back major spec changes because they are afraid of reaching the saturation point. The A7 chip is the most powerful mobile chip for now. The screen quality is top-notch; the resolution bump is just useless for the current screen size. Specs don't equal real life experience and quality.

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I think samsung doesn't have to worry about apple because they are shooting for a different demographic. Samsung just wants to rule the android space (which they are doing) and with what is available right now in terms of specs, other than ram, it has essentially top of the line everything else. 2k/4k screens would be complete and total overkill right now. It will be interesting to see what apple unveils.

Good point, Samsung definitely wants to be top dog in the Android arena which they have achieved but it makes me sad for HTC, LG, Moto and the other OEMs for Android because they're being left in the dust and for what a phone that now looks like a Band-Aid haha after you said that RattyUK it really does look one LOL.

Samsung literally just hit every point to try and make itself relevant when Apple's iPhone 6 is announced. They're probably already writing the script for their Apple-mocking commercials.

The Galaxy S5 has a 5.1" screen, which will at least be 0.1" larger than Apple's 4.5-5 inch iPhone 6. For the sake of "my phone's still bigger"...technically.

They know Apple's working hard on health sensors, so giving the S5 a focus on fitness makes it seem like "been there, done that...six months ago!"

And of course the fingerprint scanner and gold option are to keep current, so there's no huge physical differentiator between the two. Such a 1980's Microsoft move.

That 'gold' option is nothing even comparable to the champagnesque gold that Apple offers. Man, all those back covers look really awkward with the exception of the black.

The iPhone's gold is far more subtle than what pictures, and marketing suggests. I advise you take a look at one in person. It's, for the most part, imperceptibly gold unless you're really looking. Samsung's gold looks more dramatically gold. Seeing it in person will be the best judge of character, but for now, it looks like a fashion statement. Boldly gold.

I have seen the 5s in person I agree it is more subtle. But I am still just not a fan. But this is coming from the guy who has only ever owned a black smartphone over the years. And yes I think Samsungs gold is more a statement. It is more like: "oh you guys want a good phone? Boom, here is a GOLD phone!"


Haha yeah dude that Gold is laughable. I've always hated Samsung's backs of their phones psh I've just hated the designs of their phones period even their tablets just look like blown up Galaxy Phones.

Actually there is. The finger print scanner works with more than one wallet. Apple's doesn't. Samsung's let's you use Google wallet and PayPal. I'm not sure what else but how apple locks you in really make me not want their products.

It doesn't work with Google Wallet unless that changed in the last 8 hours. It only works with unlocking the phone, Paypal and verifying samsung account.

Yeah that article only says Google Wallet is on the phone not that the fingerprint scanner works with it. Only at this time is it available with PayPal. You can't even use in the Play Store to verify purchases.

Maybe you need to look at all the videos of hands on testing of that fingerprint scanner. It's a dud & isn't working much at all. Typical of Samsung's phones though.

It's not waterproof, it's water resistant! Don't like S5, at least Apple always put better hardware.. This phone was a joke.. At least I was expecting ois in the camera..

A joke is going a bit far. It is without a doubt a bump up from the S4. Whether that is enough is up to the customers. People will vote with their wallets. And I think the s5 will sell just as well or even better than the 4.

But no ois on the camera is disappointing. I got a lg g2 recently and the ois is definitely cool.

Of course it will.. Most people buy it because the marketing. And Samsung is the best in it.. You see Galaxy S5 everywhere you go, on every tv channel, every sport event.. People think it's the best phone.. They don't watch reviews or know the specs.. They see on Tv and ads one great device.. But it's great only in ads.. :-)

We need to remember that just a bigger screen isn't going to cut it. Every other manufacturer has been there done that.
I think Samsung stepped up to the plate. Did they hit a home run? No. But in my honest opinion the 5s was no home run either. They are both commendable advancements of their current lines, but not earth shattering. The 5s set up some new ground work with the 64 bit, but it's implementation is minor, the 6 needs to expand on it.
If the 6 doesn't have a bigger display I think there will be a lot of people sorely disappointed.


When I watch the address of the S5, there was nothing exciting or that made me want the device. Not that I would want a Samsung phone anyway. I just didn't see anything special. What happen to the next big thing? I've never been a fan of samsung devices design. There product always look cheap to me. So this will be an interesting year for samsung!

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Wow. And you thought Microsoft had no taste.

"The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste."
- Steve Jobs, 1995

If apple does come out with a larger screen then there's going to be a lot of angry soccer mom's and grandma's. I can't even imagine how huge it would be once it's put into its protective shell of a case.

I don't know about soccer moms, but grandmas will be happy. Grandmas LOVE big screens. Four inches is way too small to see very well at that age and they need to show off pictures of their grandkids as impressively as possible. My mom has been disappointed with the screen on her MotoX, she is jealous of her friend's Note 3.

My expectation is the iPhone will break into 2 size ranges, just as the iPad has. I will be curious to see if they make the small version around 4.5" and then introduce a 6" or so Phablet, or keep the small one 4" and the large one around 5". I don't think other combinations would make sense, unless they break into 3 ranges.

It's amazing how the S5 looks like the current iPhone. oh wait. That was like three or more years ago. Since then it seems like they have been doing fine. Oh. I forgot apple created the large size phone market. Maybe Samsung should pull an Apple and cry how everyone is copying their large 5 inch plus rectangle. Seemed to work for apple.

Ok we get it. You've come to troll an Apple blog with "Samsung is the bestest" drivel. You're wasting you're time.

Which tells you that the average consumer is a mindless sheep with no capacity to diversify or think outside of the box.

The S5 is going to sell millions of units, as will the next iPhone, because, like you said, the sheep don't really want innovation, they want more of the same.

I don't think it's fair to call people mindless sheep just for wanting more of the same. People want devices that work with some degree of simplicity. After 150HP, most car buyers don't care what's under the hood but they do care about the things that really affect their lives like cupholders.

All devices work with simplicity. I have used every modern-day mobile OS and none were/are hard to use.

As to your point about cars with cup holders, I don't hold that opinion in high regard. I get what you're saying. People want their big screens, touchwiz, etc. But a what cost (I don't mean literal cost)? The S5 was supposed to push its biggest competitor, Apple's iPhone, to its limit, thus resulting in exemplary products for the end-user. That hasn't happened. Instead, this device is just more of the same.

Which is an extension of my larger point. The average Joe won't use his time to research to see if there are any viable options (there is nothing new in the S5, really) on the market. He's just going to get the S5 because it's the newer version of what he already has.

That is a sheep in my opinion.

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Things like multitouch have brought much simplicity to all devices but they can go much further. And they are but you can't get a revolution every year or even every other year. Things like Siri and Google Now are a good start but you're still taking phones out of your pocket and interacting. I think wearables in conjunction with mobile devices show great potential for the next 5-10 years. As far as shel and consumers, I guess I'm a sheep too. I research phones but always land back on iPhone for the past 6 years. If I'm buying the same device as all the uninformed consumers out there, does it really matter? To you, I'm just another sheep.

"I research devices"

That right there makes you a person, not a sheep. Nothing is wrong with going from the S3 -» S4 -» S5 or the iPhone 5 -» 5S. As long as adequate thought is put into it, it's perfectly fine.

My issue is with the people who mindlessly upgrade year after year without giving other devices/platforms a moment of their time. People like that ultimately hurt, not help, the industry.

I really wish the mobile marketshare was equally divided amongst all the major platforms. That way, the S5 couldn't be passed off as the best new thing.

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Your comment seems to be directed at nobody and yet everybody at the same time. This is a forum after all. Why does it bother you that it bothers them?

Mindless sheep?!! ROFLAMO

Look around kid. The whole android culture has been a mindless sheep trying to copy iOS. Don't take my words for it .... use your fav search which I am sure it's google! LOL

Think outside of box?!! ROFLAMO Yep ... stick with google and let them shove their Ads to pay their copycat developers.

Samsung surely sells millions of their S5. After all, selling crap with no profit is not that difficult and I am sure there are a few millions like yourself who don't mind collecting them .... ROFLAMO

Come on let's be honest nothing going to make people forget the iPhone, the iPhone is an iPhone it's that simple. The problem is people expect huge jumps now but let's be honest here to hardware specs have plateaued in away and it's all software now. Something getting ms faster here there means nothing now cause everything is fast enough. Again I disagree with the galaxy 4 and 5 being s iterations based on hardware. The spec jump from the s3 to s4 was much bigger than the 4s to the 5 and arguable the 5 to the 5s. There was less jump from the 5 to the 5s. The jump from the galaxy 4 to the 5 is similar too. Is it fair to say a bigger screen iPhone is a trump card and is a big improvement when Samsung is doing it and has been doing it for years. My point is that if you just look at the s5 it's just a small upgrade, but if you really look at it it's not. water and dust, 16mp that's actually good, heath features built in, unique battery saving mode, displays, Finger print sensor yes apple has had it but now so does samsung it's like when apple go bigger it won't be a unique selling point of Samsung same goes for the finger print. Forget what works better the point to mass consumers is that it's not a differentiater anymore. Is it fair to call out Samsung on using the same design style when apple do the same and so do nokia. I mean us techies always complain, whether it's a iPhone or galaxy, or it looks the same, or its plastic or its only a tall iPhone etc etc but the mass consumers still buy them.. With Apple it seems like unless they become more like Android ie default apps, file manager and gets bigger the tech crowds not happy, with Samsung if they don't use stock android and metal design the tech crowds not happy.. I think what techies think is right and what actually sells are too different thing. Techies think they know what's right for everyone but they don't. Consumers like having the new stuff, doesn't matter if the changes are small or not especially when it's a brand. Everyone knows what a galaxy and what a iPhone is and that's one of the big reasons why the 2 sell to the mass consumers. Mass consumers love branded stuff and what's popular. It's why the likes of HTC struggle no matter how good there device is.. HTC could make identical phone that looks like the iPhone and galaxy 100% and mass consumers will still prefer the iPhone or galaxy. It's funny that here we have people complaining oh the change isn't big enough or the specs are not that big a jump when iphone owners forever have said specs don't matter. My only disappointment with the s5 is that the bezels didn't get smaller than the s4. Loving the water and dust feature, the 16mp camera with its live hdr preview and 0.3 af, the kid mode, fitness, battery saving mode etc but just wish those bezels were smaller.

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Lol I know after I posted it I thought bloody hell that's long. When I was writing it didn't seem that long.

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Thanks, need to better with my grammar though, it is terrible lol

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Oh please .... don't remind me about my terrible grammar. LOL

Don't worry about it .... it's Internet after all .... freedom of speech and no spell / grammar Nazi is welcome here! LMAO

"And that has consequences."? To whom Rene? You guys and other blogs that make their dime off of talking about it? Wall street idiots who think phone companies are somehow worth more than car companies, or GE, or oil companies? Another ten years from now, these companies stock prices probably won't move more than a few ticks a year, like car companies now, unless a disaster strikes.

All this talk on here of Samsung biting off of Apple's heart rate stuff? They had to have stuff in the pipes for years to make these devices a working reality. If they DID hear a sniff of a rumor, it was years ago. Phone companies are now like Movie studios, they all come out with their version in the same year (Armageddon and Deep Impact).

Samsung will sell tons of these phones, and Apple will sell tons of whatever it makes. It's time to give it a rest already.

And besides, outside of the first iPhone, none have been that spectacular at launch outside of the 4 because of the great camera. Every iteration has been a huge let down for people; antennae gate, broken back glass, plastic 3's and 3S, only a 4 inch screen and no NFC on the 5, scratched backs on the 5 and 5S. It's always been minuscule upgrades for all the brands.

And Rene, please please please hire a copy editor. Feel like I'm reading a high school paper with all those copy edit mistakes. Your lack of effort screams "lack of respect" for your reader's intelligence.

Hey man. You don't have to make personal attacks. We all can disagree and even find a classy way to bust a writer or a commenters balls but we never would do that by dissing their job. I for one am happy he's here. I must be dumb since I didn't notice any errors.

I'm not busting on Rene, just calling him out for making the SG5 more of an issue than it really is to the normal non-tech nerds like us of the world.

The copyediting stuff just bums me out across the net. At this phase of iMore's b-model, I expect better, because they mostly (including Rene) deliver.

Maybe this will be a good opportunity for Sony to break into the flagship market with their new Z1 compact and Z2, but I'm not optimistic

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Better camera, SD slot, better specs compared to either. Depending on phone wireless charging, screen size, soft-touch back are also advantages.

Whether or not those things matter to you is irrelevant. There are obvious differences that will appeal to different people.

iOS 7 may be a dud according to some, but at least Apple was willing to shake things up. Apple does have some stupid things it bizarrely refuses to change (IMAP idle supposedly uses up batteries, so Apple demands mail apps poll for mail instead, which is far harder on the battery), like not letting consumers choose whether they want to install apps that have background networking enabled.

One of the problems Samsung has is it's perceived as being a Chevy, and Apple a Mercedes. Though both have air conditioning and automatic transmissions nobody would think them comparable. That's what you get when your primary marketing is a spec war.

This phone just looks terrible and I despise the UI. As always, well-put Rene - love the closing statement. Apple FTW

Sequel, sequel, sequel..... it's a missed opportunity, I hope that it won't be another long 12 month cycle of boring. There's only so much you can do but both companies should know that it's not the hidden 64 bit chip or a better camera that will sell more devices. The design must be changed even if you struck gold and people love it, you simply must risk almost everything and change it so people will get excited about the unexpected (iPhone 4/4S/5/5S is just a slightly tweaked build with fresh colour and even if lightning won't strike twice it has to go). People want new possibilities and experience but not many things offer those (bigger displays are one and that's why it was awesome in 2010, waterproof is useable and handy but quickly becomes a standard after it is implemented once).

I recently switched from a Nokia Lumia 1020 to an iPhone 4S on Ting. I got over the smaller screen in about five minutes. Screen size doesn't matter. Ecosystem is what ultimately sells a phone.

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Rene, let's not forget that their are plenty of Android manufacturers making good products and if the un think able happens and the advertising doesn't sell this phone as well as before then HTC, Motorola, and even the nexus phones will be their to take the sales. This isn't an either Samsung or apple thing. I have a friend who had a 4s and his wife had a 4 and he had 2 apple TVs, a macbook air, and iPad mini. iOS 7 came out and made there phone run show and crashed. There contacts had another year on them and they felt like apple gave them the finger by making their phone a horrible experience. I suggested the nexus 5 since it's 350 off contact. Now the have 2 nexus 5s. Sold their apple TVs and just his wifes 1st gen iPad mini and bought 2 LG 8.3 Gpads and two chromecasts using Plex server. iOS 7 caused this. All i'm saying this goes both ways. No Samsung involved here. He liked the nexus 5 so much he switched it all.

I love the Nexus 5. Not so much for the phone itself, which is good but not great, but for the business model. It's a wonderful thing for consumers.

Build quality belongs to Apple. There nothing out there that comes close. Samsung still playing catch up with smoke and mirrors. JMO

I have always preferred Nokia to Apple on this score. Even my current iPhone's Home-button feels flimsy and soft, not clicky, and the power-button rattles in its socket. And this is a thousand dollar phone. And the one hundred dollar Nokia feature phone i got for my mum seems to use better aluminium.

"The smartphone revolution that began in 2007 has stabilized into a steadier if less exciting evolution. And that has consequences. Last year, shortly before Samsung's Galaxy S4 event, I wrote about the "iPhone 5s" problem. Now Samsung and the Galaxy S5 have a much bigger problem, even if it is months away... the iPhone 6."

Comments: I think the smartphone revolution has plateaued and basically there is nothing new. But i disagree that the iPhone 6 is some major problem, well any more than it normally is for competitors, for the same reasons. Smartphones have plateaued. The last iphone was meh. I'm gonna bet the next one won't have anything ground breaking either. I think all phone makers will struggle to make their phones standout and be head and shoulders over the others. Honestly i have seen a must have feature in any new phone by any brand since LTE. And that's on every new phone. But everything coming out is status quo for me. Iphone has a lot of fans and so it will keep them. Android phones too.

that gold one is even more ugly and gaudy than the gold iphone. all phones should be black. if you want a different color, buy a case for it.

Samsung's phones really do look cheap & 'plasticky' if you catch my meaning. If people like that more power to them. Buy what you like. But I prefer my tech products be more refined & feel better in my hand. And don't even start with that ugly gold they are trying to pass off as classy.

Oh & save the typical response that some may have about "Well my Android does such & such & your iPhone only does ________. Roxxxxxers!"

Most of these mobile operating systems are at parity now, except for Windows Phone as of yet, it's a matter of what one prefers. But frankly after years of having to tinker with Android to get it to work just to make & hold a phone call with the junky antennas Samsung is notorious for, switching back to iPhone was the single smartest move I made. Samsung TVs & appliances, I own both, are quite well designed & work great. Their smartphones are just crap with Touchwiz & the build quality.

No. It's far more than the internal updates that constitute an "s" update. It may look similar, but it's all new.

Personally, I care more about the functional improvements than the design. I absolutely hate designs like fragile glass backs and reception-degrading metal frames. That's so pretentious, it's a phone, get over yourself.

While I don't really care for the looks of the S5, the size, specs, SD card, optional wireless charging, soft-touch back and water resistance are pretty much exactly what I'm looking for. And I don't think it looks bad. Functionality has its own beauty in my opinion.

TouchWiz is really the only hangup I have remaining with it because it is almost gauranteed to be annoying and glitchy, especially over the course of a two year contract.

That's the joy of Android, though. You don't like Touchwiz? There are excellent alternatives a tap away in the Play Store.

What I'm curious about is why do they have to call it an 'S5', why can't they give it another name, I don't know, like the nova, or the void, or the cushion. Why does it have to be 's5'. I'm sure the marketing boys at Samsung can pull their finger out and think of another name besides copying other names and other things from other companies...

It is called Galaxy S5, because the previous one was called S4, and the one before it S3... all the way back to Galaxy S. It is not rocket science, as they say, and not copying anyone, obviously. Apple, for instance, knew Samsung would be launching S5, yet they still went and named their phone 5S.

Honestly what I can't get over is that Samsung really said their casing has the "glam" look. I mean really is that even a thing? I know I'm a little biased but looking at the S5 I just thought it looked meh. I've seen Android devices that I was like wow that is a nice piece of hardware. So it's not like just because I wouldn't buy it I can't appreciate it.

Samsung sold 40 million S4s in the first 6 months. That was as of October. They sold 10 million note 3s In the first two months of launch as of January. Which is part of their flagship Galaxy line. How on earth are people saying Samsung under performed? That is like saying Apple under performed. It is simply not true. The S5 will have record sales. Don't forget the current rumor going around that the off contract price of the S5 will be lower than the S4. On top of this, when the iPhone 6 comes out with a larger screen, with it will be a Galaxy Note 4. I would be utterly shocked if samsung doesn't break every company sales record they set again this year. There is simply no evidence to support that samsung is in a downward trend or that iOS sales has any impact on Samsung sales.

Apple makes a perfectly crafted device. So they can afford to innovate for 2 yrs with a design like the iPhone 5's that holds up and is still top notch. When the iPhone 6 comes out it'll be that much better than everything else as well. Samsung makes inferior products and cannot floor this same pattern, or maybe they are just waiting for Apple to design their next phone like usual haha

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A 4.3 to 4.7 screen for the 6 is perfect make it a little better not be 4.3 to 4.7 in tall and thin lol

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The complexity and chaos of several competing phone and tablet makers. Clustered around a central software [sorry SEARCH] Company; with its own diverse and covert needs. Maintaining an open source OS project - Android. Looks utterly crazy. But, this mass of contradictions and bickering crazy, greedy people has real benefits over the rigid vertical silo at Cupertino.

As long as Samsung, HTC, Sony and MANY others, feeding at the Google-Android trough, are FORCED to cooperate (to a degree) and thus survive. This more natural - wild - ecosystem; generates more positive public ideas, in a given time period. That is why I think you may be wrong about the results.

Apple has just as much chaos; but its all internal. We only ever see the winner; not the interesting options that NEVER made it passed Johnny Ives desk. Apple remains a dictatorial monoculture; competing with a diversified "wild" rain forest. Many assume that means Apple is much stronger. I think the rain forest is the more supple and adaptable ecosystem - it thrives.

Naturally, the rain forest is full of creepers, fungus, leaches, rotten branches, jaguars and sudden death! But there are also more opportunities, more options and more actual life - in the forest! Android (as an ecosystem) will survive; it will produce beauty as well as monsters. Even when the monsters seem to win! Judging Android by just looking at the Sammy GS5 is like judging the condition of the rainforest by looking at one branch on one one big tree.

Sorry Rene. I think your view above is too limited. Samsung is just one tree and the GS5 is just one branch. The iPhone 6 will be about one third of Apple's entire ecosystem. That is the difference.

here's the 'Galaxy S5 Problem' in short: It's so ugly I'd rather poo in my hands and clap than being seen with that monstrosity in public.

I guess your text is a bit more elaborate, Rene, but it really boils down to the same. =)

As someone who uses iOS and Android devices and switches them like a pair of socks I find it so comical the stories that get written up about Samsung and their same old, same old devices. Apple rolls out a identical device but ads new colors and a fingerprint scanner and its innovative and new. Sorry to say but its no better than what Samsung or any other OEM is doing. There really isn't much room for innovation or wow features anymore. That's my take and my opinion and I use any mobile OS anytime on any device.

I find it somewhat amusing that everyone wants a bigger screen. I totally agree that the iPhone needs a bigger screen, but doesn't anyone want the ability for more user customization? I mean, everyone goes crazy for gold hardware? Really? Don't 99% of people just cover that up with a case that they like anyway? Hmmmm... that's kind of like customizing the look of the phone itself, isn't it? Don't you want the ability to do that with your interface, and customized notification tones, etc?? Shouldn't that be built into the OS by now?? That's OK Apple. Just get us a bigger screen. Then we can finally feel like we don't need the hands of a 12 year old to type on our phone, We can finally lose the screen envy we've had for YEARS over other phones. Work on the customization thing another time. I mean, it only took you how long to let us send pictures via text message...

I would like to see some degree of design creativity from samsung, its simply necessary if they want to entice people into upgrading to their new device, idevices change their design every two years thats always been their product cycle. People only started paying alot of attention to Apple's "s" models because Samsung upped the anti by introducing a new flagship phone every 12 months, its not that apple has been doing something wrong, it just does things its own way.
Besides most people don't upgrade until their two year contract is up anyway. The biggest design changes on samsung were between the galaxy s vibrant and the galaxy s2 and its variants. Its no different with cars or televisions, design is important. I think this situation provides the biggest opportunity for HTC and Sony products to take more marketshare from samsung in the flagship race.

why not? Just because Apple chooses to ignore the competition doesn't mean Apple centric sites have to do the same. It's about the mobile phone industry as a whole after all.

The S5 was launch and the crowd of 5000+ was'nt very impressed! We will have to wait for what the competitors has to offer to decide. It is really a pity Samsung that you did not sell us S5 without any doubts. This launch should have been bang and WOW that cause all potential buyers to just forget about any other competitors and just go get the S5. But at last, this is not the case in this bad launch. If they think they have a premium S5 set under wraps, that would be a very bad and unwise marketing strategy as the whole world was waiting so eagerly for this S5 and it drop like a "Oh well just another high end phone, nothing really special". Have'nt they read of the saying strike while it is hot!!!. If the Ram was 3G and battery was 3200mah, I would go for it even if it is not so nice in design. But then, there are no redeeming factors on S5. What main features available on S5, they are on the other similar competitors handsets (LG Pro G2, Xperia Z2, HTC M8). This is a
sad story for S5 launch.

Heart beat and finger scanner is just gimmicks. I do not have top secret info to hide and what makes you think your phone can be protected by the finger scanner when any app can easily access your contacts or browser history or SDcard if permission is granted. No smart phone is completely secured. The finger scanner is just a sales gimmick! Do not let this be a purchase factor. Screen size, Battery capacity, System memory and less bloat ware is what counts.

I know this is an old thread but I have to reply because all the friut fans and the author got it wrong now that the 6/+ is out it is being campared to the s5. I find it amusing that the fruit fans are talking smack on Samsung's s5 for doing what Apple does for their all their models, small incremental changes. Well, the 5s and 6+ is now being compared while Samsung has already made the Galaxy active, alpha, and note 4...(take foot from mouth) Besides this article is logically flawed as it is a false dilemma. It isn't Apple against Samsung until Samsung makes their own OS. It is IOS vs Android in which each Android gives you freedom. IOS is a dictatorship that is outright abusive to its followers and the followers have to pay high fees to join the fruit club. That is why you will always be a sheep especially if you haven't used both OS's. You have to admit you are paying more for less when there are plenty of alternatives with features to suit your needs. You really are just paying to be part of the cool club because you lack knowledge of creative, practical, useful technology caring more about what color is your Idevice.