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Samsung releases new Galaxy S4 commercial, targets the iPhone. Well.

Samsung has just released a new commercial for their new flagship phone, the Galaxy S4... and it's pretty good. The sheer size of the Galaxy S4 is evident in the ad, as are features like Drama Mode, which lets you capture a series of images -- think multi-exposure sports pics -- and Air Gestures that let you navigate without touching the screen with sticky -- in this case tasty rib covered -- fingers. Some of the other features, like Hover, which feels like a terrible violation of Fitts' law, and S Beam, which is like Bump over NFC, are a tad more gimmicky, and more demo-ware than software, but they come off okay in commercials for just that reason. (Samsung even suggests their screens support smell capture, which was probably a bad idea since injecting farce into an otherwise real, if strange, feature set only creates confusion.)

Samsung's also packing a one-two punch here: not only are they showing off what they consider to be feature differentiation, they're doing their best to make Apple and the iPhone look lame by comparison. Previously they attacked iPhone owners, which probably wasn't the best of ideas. Now the focus is more squarely on the iPhone as a product. Also, unlike the nowhere nearly as good Nokia Windows Phone commercial, they're doing it without promoting Apple's brand.

Apple has incredible brand power and image, and people want to own Apple stuff because of it. Every strength is a weakness as well, however, and attacking the brand, trying to make it seem like Apple is not as advanced or cool anymore, is an effective strategy. It makes Apple seem vincible.

So how does Apple counter-program assaults on its brand image? Does it make a similar commercial showing the Galaxy S4 not fitting in skinny hipster jean pockets, not working well one handed, harming eyes with vintage Soviet-era interface utilitarianism, and piquing frustration through seemingly random and unfathomable feature sets?

I'm not a huge fan of the GS4 in general. I find it too big, too plastic, and too incoherent as a product compared to other offerings on the market. But I do appreciate the sheer amount of technology, both hardware and software, Samsung is putting behind the GS4. Apple tends to be very conservative. Samsung is the opposite of that. They push out as many ideas as they can, as quickly as they can, and while not all of those ideas will be good, the ones that are will likely get picked up faster because of it. Sort of like the PCs of old.

Along those lines, it'd be fun to see Samsung as the new "beige box" of computing -- "I'm an iPhone... and I'm an Android phone...." That might make for an amazing call-back. Yet despite their phenomenal global sales, Samsung is still trailing Apple in the US market, and until that changes, we'll probably see Apple stick to subtler, more powerful commercials like their recent ad Photos Every Day.

Samsung has marketing dollars in the billions. They're going to keep pushing the Galaxy S4, and they're going to keep doing it at Apple's expense. So far, Apple hasn't spent nearly as much on commercials, nor focused anywhere nearly as overtly on Samsung. Check out the Samsung ad above and let me know what you think of it in the comments below. With Samsung targeting Apple's image, should Apple fight back and how?

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 131 comments. Add yours.

emjayess says:

Nah, ignore them. Then kill it with the next generation of cool stuff etc.

iSRS says:

It's clever, better than some previous itterations. However, the ones they really focus on, most are software, and ther is, indeed, an app for that. They don't go out of their way to tell you these are built in, as opposed to apps.

To be honest, Apple could easy release an ad highlighting the very similar functions and its strength - the App Store.

striatic says:

the problem is that apps suck at doing the things shown, because they only become convenient and useful when executed at a system level.

apps are not a panacea.

west3man says:

Striatic gets it right.

slackerjack says:

Yep they could...I'd argue its be less compelling when you started adding up the cost of all those apps to provide the functionality that comes standard on the gs4

iSRS says:

I am thinking of bump specifically. Free. Bump to any iPhone, android, or Mac/PC.

Built in functionality always wins over an app. But there is only a minor benefit to integrated for the apps outlined in the app.

Yes, there may be a cost to some, I am sure there are plenty of free alternatives, to.

,,,,,,,, iSRS,,,,,,,

Wesley Geddes5 says:

You seem to not realize what was happening in the commercial. Most of it was hardware. The iPhones hardware doesn't allow for most of those capabilities.

iSRS says:

I fully understand. But there are more than one way to skin a cat. Software or hardware. The question it what is the problem you are having? I also agree there is no way to replicate the "these aren't the droids you're looking for" wave on an iPhone.

Sharing photos by beaming? Check. Multi frame pictures? Check.

Wesley Geddes5 says:

But the "Beaming" on an iPhone isn't the same thing, it uses differently technology that isn't as efficient. But I get what your saying. I guess samsung has just made things more seemless....which is what apple is usually known for.

iSRS says:

Yes, from a hardware perspective. You could argue that Shared PhotoStreams provide the same, and again, cross device/platform, solution to the 'problem'

While I think the built in is better, and a cool use of technology, it, at least to me, is a 'justification' for tht NFC chip. NFC is likely going to be as ubiquitous as Bluetooth, but is still in the early stages and not as simple as it will be. So Samsung, to their credit, said "what else can we do with this chip?"

David Hroncheck says:

Efficient? NFC is only a trigger. Using it to share photos, NFC on both phones sets into action a wireless transfer protocol, in the case of the SG4 it's Bluetooth. Samsung's commercial makes this look like an instantaneous task when it actually takes much, much longer. NFC triggers Bluetooth address pairing and the media slooowly transfers over.

Beaming with iPhoto uses WiFi which is, of course, many times faster than Bluetooth. However, the two parties sharing have to be on the same WiFi network; a pain to set up without an open WiFi signal.

Trade offs.

Wesley Geddes5 says:

You make a good point!!! Thank you for the new information. I didn't know that it was just a trigger. Cool information. Thank you.

iSRS says:

Yeah, thanks, David H. Good to know how the technology works.

David Hroncheck says:

No problem.

You could also make a case for PhotoStream here. The task in the advert requires two SG4s. With PhotoStream you still complete the task of sharing between ANY iOS devices. It takes a few minutes for the photos to show up in the other's PhotoStream, but who really needs a shared photo instantly? Besides, the two parties don't have to stay within Bluetooth range for the task to complete.

Derek Naulls says:

Actually the S Beam that you are seeing on the commercial sends pics/files/music through Wi-Fi Direct, not bluetooth. You are correct NFC does trigger the transfer, but it is through different technology. Most phones can transfer through bluetooth (ie: Bump) and yes, it is very slow... Wi-Fi Direct on the other hand is super fast!! BTW, all newer Android phones have the capability to send files through Android Beam which also uses Bluetooth, but only Samsung S3 and S4 can share files through Wi-Fi Direct. Slick way of sending business cards, photos etc.

David Hroncheck says:

Thanks, Derek. I won't bother linking to the site that I read it wasn't WiFi. So, it's exclusive to transfers between Smasung GS3,4 and Note 2. All other Android 4.0 and up uses Bluetooth.

There's also an app for iOS and Android called Bump which fashionably facilitates transfers initiated by "bumping" together, albeit not direct connectivity. If there was a TV spot for Bump, you could see an SG4 and an iPhone bumping to transfer and not, "Your phone doesn't do that".

Alu James says:

"sloooowly?" youre talking about sharing a 2mb picture over bluetooth 4.0 right? using such high end hardware, i'd say lightning fast

elpolodiablo says:

It shows some features which they really want to emphasize. However I'm not impressed if they want to unseat apple. When apple marketing was really successful there was an emotional connection to the product. I don't see that with the Samsung campaigns. They can keep on taking shots at apple, but if they really want to be successful and take that next step they need people to actually care about them.

vinny jr says:

"If they want to be successful and take the next step" You must be kidding right? They are the leading manufacturers of Smartphones, all phones in the world. The only market they are not # 1 in is the US market and they are very close to taking that market over as well. Don't know what you are saying but Apple needs to make a big adjustment, Samsung is killing it. Just My Opinion and I'm never wrong.

rogifan says:

Yeah but does anyone really have an emotional attachment to Samsung? It seems to me they could easily all of a sudden not be "killing it" because there is no loyalty to their brand. On tech sites it seems the reason people cheer on Samsung is because they're Apple's biggest competition (and have decided to take Apple head on).

Gregz0r says:

That's a very good point. Even owners of Apple products that I know, who have no idea who Steve Jobs was, and no idea as to the history, still have more of an emotional bond to their iPhones, iPad and Macs, than any other tech products.
It's uncanny, how Apple can do this.

west3man says:

They're working on it. People have fanatic enthusiasm for their Galaxy devices and Samsung is setting up shop in Best Buy stores, across from the Apple section, o breed more customer enthusiasm ...and loyalty.

Cameron Schubert says:

An "emotional attachment" can be a negative as much as it is a positive. With billions being spent trying to differentiate smartphone from smartphone it's very likely that Apple will and possibly has lost it's #1 spot. That doesn't mean they can't reclaim it again, and that also means they won't lose it again. I guess what i'm trying to say is screw brand loyalty. These companies deserve your money for the products you want.. not your loyalty. Emotional attachment, brand loyalty or nostalgia keeps people from making rational decisions. Then those people use irrational arguments to defend their purchase. Stop feeding the hate bro.

tool022611 says:

Will people really answer texts by holding their finger over the screen?

edhe says:

When they've just smothered their hands in cream, like in the ad? sure.

Alu James says:

say you have about 20 texts and youre trying to find one out of the confusing mess, instead of tap, not this, back,tap the next, you can just hover over each text instead to get a preview. looks to me like innovation. the holy grail

zdn1042 says:

Looks like fun. Though I don't think it will sway those who already has an iPhone.

jkellywilkerson says:

I switched from iPhone 5. I'm sure others will too.

ame says:

The size still is a dealbreaker. I can't deal with a phablet.

The only thing that really appeals to me about that phone is the touch to sync the photo. Wave to answer is ok but not something I'd probably use more than one or two times ever. Hovering my finger? No.

stephen007 says:

Ironically, the ONLY thing that appeals to me is the larger screen. It's the one thing that makes me want to jump iPhone ship.

jkellywilkerson says:

It's really not that big. Nowhere near the size of the Note or Note 2, which are in the 'Phablet' category. It's the same size as the S3, just a bigger screen, faster processor, more RAM, etc.

west3man says:

It doesn't matter to me exactly how many times per year I found myself trying to decide how to answer my ringing phone, as I look at my poultry covered or lotion covered or soap covered or barbecue covered or grease covered hands... when it happens, you wish that there were an easier way.

Samsung has an easier way.

Bill Tng says:

What is Interesting to me is that for years, Samsung and it's fanatics have said the latest iteration of iPhones are similar just with added features. But now when I have seen the S4 Galaxy in demonstrations, I can say they have reached the point where the Galaxy S4 has reached the same plateau, just another iteration with new features added on.

slackerjack says:

Those fanatics are dumb enough to think that incremental doesn't mean "upgrade"... most product sequels are just that...

luqman24 says:

Lol all you Apple fanboys are in denial of the screen size until Apple releases an iPhone with a similar screen size. Its either you guys have really small feminine hands or your jeans pockets are too small. I'm always wearing fitted jeans and have never had an issue with my S3. Its just a matter of getting used to it.

Kr Is says:

Thats really rude. Stop trolling.

Derrick4Real says:

I'm not an apple fanboy. I do like my iphone though. But I don't want a bigger phone period. Regardless of model. It has nothing to do with idiotic brand lovefests. And yes i do think it's idiotic. And an iphone that got to 5 inches would just mean i stick with a smaller iphone or i buy a smaller android phone. Yes there is a size that is so big that i'd switch from my iphone. actually it's about 4.3 inches by the way. I've looked at 4.3 inch android phones and that's the biggest i'd want to buy. Though the size of the whole case is what matters to me. For me portability is much more important that screen size. simple as that. It's like retina displays. I don't care about retina displays. Cost is more important and storage. If it cost much more for a laptop with a clear screen i don't want it. it's not something i care about. Or graphics cards in my windows laptop. I don't play games on it anymore so a fancy graphics card adds no value. And i don't ever wear skinny jeans. Ever. I'm still morning the demise of Hammer pants. "Let's get it started. oh ooooh..."

luqman24 says:

I've said the same thing when I was using a blackberry torch last summer then gave in and picked up an S3. Sure it was big at first and felt huge but after a week or two I started liking it. More screen real estate too. The phone honestly doesn't look that big. It looks about average but the note and note 2 are too big I'm not gonna lie. Now using this phone for almost a year, I cannot see myself going back too smaller screen. I guess 4.8-5" is the sweet spot for most without making the phone look too big.

west3man says:

There is a good deal to like about my iPhone but one thing I do not like, at all, is trying to type in portrait mode. It is an absolute bear. And when you consider the fact that certain key iPhone apps, native and third-party, do not allow landscape typing, it's even worse.

Because then the challenge of typing in portrait mode isn't a mild inconvenience; it is a legitimate obstacle.

Derrick4Real says:

screen real estate isn't important to me. I don't want the physical size in my pocket as i also have keys, and a wallet, headphones. It's a simple issue of how much crap i want to carry and there's a limit for me. In fact the reason i got a smartphone was to ditch my camera and ipod that were also i my pocket. I have 4S now. It's not that i won't get a larger phone. It's that there is a point at which i won't go bigger than. I've used the phones, borrowed, tested. But it has nothing to do with the phone's maker.

khobia2 says:

Hey what's wrong with being an Apple fanboy. Troll.

dalvik says:

actually, I find my iphone 5 is a little too big for my taste, i think the perfect size was the iphone 4. and if apple will ever make a phablet I will continue using my iphone 5 just because i think any person holding a ginormous phablet next to his/her ear looks ridiculously stupid, I don't play any games on the phones so no need for a huge ass screen. Oh and the last thing, I wear jeans only on weekends, the rest of the week I have suit pants on me... just FYI.

ame says:

Well, I am a girl, and my pockets are girl sized, so the iPhone already doesn't fit.

tobias_i_d says:

Not me. If I want a bigger screen, I'll just grab my ipad

Kr Is says:

So basically they're showing it as a good camera phone and remote. That's all.

The next (too) big camera and remote is here :)

Derrick4Real says:

i like the commercial. Phone's ok except i don't want a phone that big. Also i don't think i'd use the swipe thing that much. It's sort of like gamecenter. It's there but i don't use it. Or newsstand on the iPhone.

How do you combat Samsung. Be better. Make better products. Make things people use. Fix niggly little things that annoy the hell out of people. Like i hate when i'm in one app, it gives me the option to go into my camera roll directly. I do but then i can't delete a pic. It looks exactly the same as the camera roll w/o the same functionality. No i have to exit, start the photo app, go to camera roll, scroll then i can delete. Silly. Make it so i can email as many pics as i want. How about some sort of file manager. Hell you could sandbox it. But just a place to store docs, images, or random files. How about when you change the look of stuff give us the option to switch back to an older skin. Like honestly i liked the white music app. I'd like to have that look or the option at least. how about fix the app store so you can find lots of stuff at once, that would help developers as now i dont' even search cause i'm not dealing with sifting through one result at a time. I ain't got time for that. Hey for a company releasing commercials about the camera the camera app sucks ass. Great camera, love panorama but add some features like white balance, filters (yeah i hate filters too), whatever, anything camera+ can do and the best stock android phone apple's camera should be able to do. I got something else. Apple you're filthy rich. You'll never do it but you should cause you don't need the money. Make Garageband, iPhoto, and Pages all free and part of the OS. i don't know what all they could do but the answer is simply be better.

All that being said it would be kinda funny to see a commerical ala the iphone guy vs windows guy but with samsung guy and samsung guy snaps his larger phone cause his jeans are too tight.

"Can't wear skinny jeans cause my knots don't fit."

exwindzzz says:

I thought the advert was pretty good, it highlighted the cool gimmicky features of a phone that people might like, I personally like the bump sharing, my parents both have iphones with bump and use that to share their photos all the time, but looks like Samsung lets you share pretty much anything. The TV remote is so-so as you gotta have a compatible tv, but the hover features or swipe to answer could be good, as many of times I've had greasy hands in work and it would be awesome to be able to do that. Not saying the phone is better than the iPhone or the iPhones better than this phone, but some of the features are pretty damn good.

slackerjack says:

I challenge you to find a TV that's incompatible...even the 5 year old Vizio in my kids room is supported and works just fine

west3man says:

It seems weird that it would support Vizio TVs. I thought it would only support Samsung televisions.

David Hroncheck says:

For the remote controll feature, the SG4 brings back hardware that was mothballed years ago in phones and computers; Infrared (IR). I used a Nokia back in 2003 along with some Symbian app to control TVs in bars. Worked with just about any set I wanted it to. IR's primary functions in phones back in the day were tethering data and wireless transfer.

west3man says:

I remember them but they were weak. Enter IR blasters, right? Anyway, I remember that my Treo's needed to be right by their target to be succeed.

David Hroncheck says:

Yes, IR Blaster. Though the "blaster" part makes IR sound better. It's the same IR as your Treo. Anyway, you still have to discover the brand and model of the device you want to control. Sometimes it's as easy as the TV, but other times the config in charge of the TV is another device, like a DVD player or cable box. The Samsung commercial overlooks these.

It certainly could NOT control my Apple TV setup, other than turning my monitor on/off. ;-)

Kent Maitland says:

Product features are never as flawless as they appear in commercials. Remember how useful Siri looked in its ads? I would not be surprised, if, for example, it was actually NOT possible to randomly walk up to someone else's home and start using the phone to control the TV without first either getting an app or linking the device to it. Assuming this were right, then already the commercial is disingenuous.

Samsung shows exactly why markets need disruption in the first place: at some point, product-makers become more interested in throwing whatever they can into the market to set themselves apart, meanwhile overly complicating the user experience in the process. The S4 is about a mile wide in miscellaneous features that look good on paper; meanwhile they are an inch deep in terms of how useful they will actually prove to be to the average user. The commercial is ideal, but not reality.

west3man says:

I didn't think it was saying you would just walk up to the somebody's TV and control it. I thought it would need to be a Samsung TV and maybe that a given remote would have to be synced with the TV – like with the Apple TV remotes.

SockRolid says:

Note to Samsung's ad agency: you mention iPhone, you lose.

pappy53 says:

Yeah, Samsung is really losing/smh.

SockRolid says:

Yeah, Samsung's U.S. smartphone market share is steadily dropping.
They're losing it to Apple/smh.

igrar#IM says:

"vintage Soviet-era interface utilitarianism" hahah what is that?

slackerjack says:

I'd agree...the iPhone's interface is more like an appliance than a smartphone...

Leo141 says:

Nice ad. But the question is... Will it blend?

Leo141 says:

I hate the plasticy oversized s4. What fascination does the industry have with making these huge phones? I'm baffled.
The only android phone which I love is the nexus 4. It doesn't feel cheap like samung's products.

slackerjack says:

At a guess...people keep buying them?

moroboshi says:

The screen size is very nice, but the plastic body and Samsung junkware, not so much.

Personally I'd be much happier with my iPhone if I could just transplant Google Now into the notification centre pull down, or replace Siri with it. Let me customise my damn phone Apple, it's mine, not yours.

striatic says:

right on.

the problems with the iphone exist at a system level, and are software related.

the Samsung ads don't ever explicitly point to the larger screen because honestly that is a turn off for a lot of people.

what they do point to is *convenience*. this is something that apple has failed at over the years. Siri is laggy compared to Google Now. Drilling into and out of apps to use functionality, not to mention having to be aware of and find these apps in the first place, diminishes convenience.

at a system level, iOS feels fiddly and laggy when compared to the image [albiet heavily idealized] presented in samsung ads.

moroboshi says:

Funnily enough I was just doing some comparison speed test of Now vs Siri this morning, and the difference is very noticeable. Google Now was coming in 3 or 4 times quicker than Siri on every search, and crucially the results were clearer, more concise, much more accurate, and visually far superior too. Google Now is simply a far better product at the moment, and if Apple can't make Siri as good, then they should let me remove Siri and replace it with Now.

striatic says:

the difference in performance is akin to the difference between a native and web app.

apple triumphs the importance of lag free, responsive interface, but when it comes to their own network interface, google eats their lunch.

cook once said that apple is "doubling down" on siri. they'd better. also, siri is not just about speech. a lot of the time i want to use a siri or google now type interface to find information immediately instead of drilling down into a mobile browser app. i also don't want to talk to my phone at that point in time.

apple needs to decouple siri from voice, while also speeding siri's responses up.

speed and convenience! speed and convenience!

west3man says:

I heard that Tim Cook said that Apple was doubling down on secrecy not that they were doubling down on Siri. Did he really use the phrase "double down" more than once in interviews or press releases?

striatic says:

yes. in the same interview no less.

vinny jr says:

Yes, Apple should fight back. Start by innovation. They haven't shown smartphone customers anything New in 2 years. This Samsung commercial was a home run. It is comical how you can twist a very funny commercial into anything but. Apple may out sell Samsung in the US but they better not wait to improve their OS much longer or they will be in 2nd place in the US as well. Don't know what they are doing but get off the can and get on the stick. The bottom line is the commercial is funny as hell and will sell a shit load of phones.Just My Opinion.

dc9super80 says:

There is little innovation in what Samsung is doing. They are just throwing a set of gimmicky features in a phone, that people would hardly use when they actually buy it or probably won´t work as flawlessly when they actually do. They then put everything in a GIANT plastic case and everyone screams, of love live innovation. Talk about sheep. Apple has focused on making sure their stuff works even though they sometimes don´t hit the home run (as in Maps, but what a great undertaking neverthless) but they have to do alot of work on the sidelines. iOS is theirs, Samsung builds on Android, the main job is done by Google. Apple´s industrial design is second to none, and it takes great engineering to do what they do in that area.

Samsung is fooling everyone with their silly bling & plastic sandwich.

jkrough0728 says:

dc9super80... you sir are a moron... It is very ignorant to say either company isn't innovating or doing well for that matter. I have used both platforms and both have something to offer that the other doesn't. Those "gimmicky" features will be used by people whether you think they will or not. Samsung is doing quite well with their features and don't care what you think because the phone sells... And I really find it shocking how many people complain about the plastic, have you actually used one for over a month? I LOVE the feel of them compared to metal/glass designs and it goes in a plastic case anyways lol. I dropped my GS3 multiple times from all different heights and never cracked it once, the third day I had my IP5, I dropped it from a foot with a case on it and it landed on its back and shattered the entire screen, plastic absorbs better. It is pathetic to be so loyal to a certain company and bad mouth all others, you have to be open minded or you are helping destroy innovation as you put it.

dc9super80 says:

Yes I have, granted it was a Note. Now I don´t like the plastic, I don´t like it AT ALL. I don´t like Touch Wiz. I haven´t used the GS4 but there is only one feature I find awesome, and it is the air gesture thing, as I can find that very useful in the lab. My all glass iPhone 4s has gone flying and fell on hard / asphalt and didn´t break, so don´t even start with with that. That has to do more with how it falls. But I don´t usually throw my phone around, nor does it fall often (Once in 2 years basically). I place high value on nice design. It is a personal choice, maybe that is not something you need. What´s more even the term "nice design" is subjective, as you might find the GS4 nicely designed. I would feel better spending my money on the HTC One, than the GS4.

I don´t like that awful plastic Samsung uses, I think it is disgusting. I don´t have a problem with plastic per say, as there are well made plastic phones, but Samsung´s design choice is horrible. But that is my opinion.

I am not impressed with Samsung, but that doesn´t mean you can´t disagree, or that I have to agree with you.

jkrough0728 says:

I didn't say you have to agree with me, every one has their own opinion and that is great. But you were blatantly going off like your comments were fact when the market disagrees with you. You are calling people sheep when you are in fact arguing for Apple based on your opinions. Samsung and Apple are both great companies and have great benefits to their users. Just because in your opinion the features are gimmicky doesn't mean you speak for the world, you made no valid points but defended Apple when it was a very good commercial.

dc9super80 says:

If you and I were talking the conversation would have turned out differently, but I was responding to what I consider an idiotic comment, with another unproductive idiotic comment. My bad. At the end of the day, I share your opinion though our tastes might differ.

west3man says:

If your phone didn't break despite being made of glass and hitting an asphalt surface, count yourself lucky, don't consider it a feature.

vinny jr says:

I agree, the most important features about polycarbonate made phones, they still look brand new after years of use, the iphone 5 for example is scratched and nicked out of the new box. Metal phones will always have some kind of signal issue, whether it is GPS or just ordinary data. I have both the SGS3 and the iphone 5, I sent my black iphone back because it would scratch just looking at it, ended up buying the white version. My SGS3 after almost a year using it without a cover still looks brand new. Metal phones just don't hold up like the modern polycarbonate made devices. Just My Opinion.

dc9super80 says:

That´s true, metal phones do have problems in that regard. The best material, at least for the back of the phone in my opinion, was the soft touch material I had on the back of my Motorola Droid 2 Global, or what´s on the back of the original Droid Incredible. Not sure if the successors had it. Anyhow, which those phones I could rest them down just about anywhere, carry them without a case, and at least where that material was concerned it held up well. It also looked nice in my opinion.

slackerjack says:

Yep increasing system performance, adding features and providing a better screen and form factor...clearly there is no added benefit of a gs4 over a gs3...All generational device upgrades are incremental...that's actually what it means to "upgrade" a product offering.

kataran says:

now thats a commerical they never really showed the iphone but you knew it was one....

thumbs up on advertising

metllicamilitia says:

Features, features, features. I guess if you love features this will appeal to you, but if you like a stable OS and stable build quality it won't.

jkrough0728 says:

lol stable OS? My IP5 has had more software issues than my LG Optimus G, I guess depends on the user but Android (for me) has been more stable, so...

slackerjack says:

Yeah...those gs4s are completely unstable...they totally explode all the time?

CORYK333 says:

Have you taken it upon yourself to reply to every negative comment geared towards Samsung? To each his/her own, but.......WHY? There's no need to be the "voice of Android/Samsung" on an iOS-centric site, you're not gonna change anyones opinion. Obviously you would be happier & a lot more comfortable on Android Central homie. I find it to be the most level-headed Android site & lots of good discussions going on over there, just a suggestion.

EauRouge says:

typical Apple defensiveness is all pervasive

SpiceRak2 says:

The whole thing seemed gimmicky to me. Although the features in this commercial were innovative, I see all kinds of accidental stuff happening if the the phone responds to waves and hovers...and I still see Samsung attacking iPhone owners in this spot.

west3man says:

So it's innovative and yet it gimmicky? That seems like a contradiction.

And how is Samsung attacking iPhone owners by simply saying your phone doesn't do that when an iPhone user mistakenly thinks that they can touch a Samsung phone and have NFC functionality? That's not an attack. That is a clarification of features.

Vanti says:

Trying to be completely objective and not bring in any personal feelings i think that was a decent commercial on Samsungs part. They highlighted some of the features which the current iphone does not have which i also believe the S4 only has. They also did an ok job of presenting them and showing how they can be used in every day life. Now Apple the ball is in your court, Wow us with the 5s

tobias_i_d says:

IMO iphone photo every day ad is MUCH better than the s4 ad.

Dark_Blu says:

How does Apple fight back? With commercials that claim that more photos are taken with iPhones than any other camera. That's it? If that's all Apple's got, it's going to be a rough year before they finally release an iPhone with that new "flattened interface" in iOS 7. Not sure, "Flat" is what they'd want to go for but, whatever.

Christopher Tilley says:

Samsung is telling 2 stories here.

Firstly, their phone has lots of features the iPhone doesn't.

Secondly, the iPhone is for old people and the unhip.

Both are pretty effective but it's unlikely that an iPhone user will switch but might convince a new smartphone user to go with the S4.

Jenna Jameson says:

The whole size thing is personal preference, and the bitching back and forth between GS4 and IP5 fanboys is getting old and stale. Use what works best for you, shut the hell up and move on.......

Reminds me of a story I heard when the late and great Milton Berle was talking about a bunch of dudes having a penis contest while he was in a locker room. His response to the group was this - "guys, I take out only enough to win."

CORYK333 says:

Jenna Jameson "Voice of Reason"

jorge2363 says:

Apple should stop holding back!

Team George says:

I think the S4 ad is pretty lame and definitely very gimmicky. Doesn't make me feel I NEED an S4.

vemshnub says:

'they're doing their best to make Apple and the iPhone look lame by comparison'

The iPhone IS lame by comparison.

everton86 says:

Nice to see Samsung show why the S4 is better/different than the competition (not just iPhone) while still poking a little fun at the iPhone which Samsung love to do. Microsoft could do with paying attention, its not just about poking fun its about doing it in a way that makes your device look better/differen

.garridarko says:

The fact they never mentioned it was an iphone, but you still new it was an iphone means Apple's work here is done. If you saw the crappy plastic back of a samsung phone in an iphone advert in the same context, would you immediately know it was a samsung? Nah prob not.

Oh, and if these new features are SO COOL they would sell themselves, there would be no need to diss Apple in the process. They shouldnt have to make apple look bad just for you to think they are good, they should just be good.

SockRolid says:

Exactly. And don't forget that Samsung's marketing budget (including TV ads, sponsorship of video blogs like Geek Beat, and paid shills / trolls in forums) is about 12 times Apple's, nearly $12 billion. If HTC had spent the same, they'd still be the #1 Android hardware maker. Same crap, different brand.

Exercise for student: count the number of times you hear the word "android" in the Samsung ad. Count the number of times you hear the word "galaxy." Different much?

REBERY says:

I like the retro look of the iPhone. Who wants all this new stuff. Takes too long to learn it all.

Ipheuria says:

I lost respect for the Samsung brand the minute the said I'm lame because I spend my hard earned money on the smartphone I choose. The ad was entertaining but a little long because after awhile it just tells me that the people who use a GS4 are vapid partyers who wouldn't know how to use the features anyway.

MT Fry says:

Apple doesn't need to fight back regarding the Samsung ad. Apple just consistently makes a solid, dependable product they totally stand behind and its millions of users know that, continue to buy it, and recommend it!

sanc333 says:

Samsung proves that their phone is going to be used by girls who are busy putting on nail paint, guys who are busy eating on the lunch table and old people who want to see bigger text on their phones!

ChrisFricke says:

Which happens to be a lot of people. Millions of females wear nail paint, billions of males regularly eat lunch, and have you counted the baby boomers recently?

That's a lot of potential S4s...

sanc333 says:

millions of females also have shorter hands as compared to males. so I don't see them holding a big clunky piece of plastic.
per the gimmicks that are in the s4, after 3-4 months you'll forget that these even exist in your phone.
and since you appear to be a samsung fanboy let me tell you
1. Air gestures do not work in most of the apps and if you want to use air gestures and your hands are dirty. there is no way you can launch an app without touching your phone. And if your thinking of S voice then for that you have to press the home button which also makes you touch the phone.
2. Smart pause feature works only in good light conditions. If you are sitting in low light then there is chance that the camera would not be able to detect your eyes. Also, the phone has to be at a particular distance and at some angles to make it function perfectly.

and lastly this phone includes the "easy" mode. which makes an EIGHT core processor phone act like a dumb phone.

ChrisFricke says:

Really? I don't know the exact demographics but if Samsung has sold dozens of millions of "big clunky" pieces of plastic then it stands to reason that there are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of smaller handed people that use them.

Relax, hater, I'm not being a fanboi. Just pointing out that even IF Samsung was only targeting the people you described, which they aren't, that's still a huge number of people. I'm not really interested in the specifics of when certain advertised features don't work that well. I even agree with your opinion that some of Samsungs features are gimmicky (like Siri).

Every advertisement on the planet shows the idealistic fantasy version of the product image. You don't think that Big Macs actually look like that do you? Or that hordes of women will actually chase you if you spray on some Axe?

Advertising is not about reality, it's about image. I think Apple is better at this than most but clearly Samsung is learning.

sanc333 says:

the people who are committed to android preferred samsung flagship phones to any other maker but that was last year, but this time the htc one which is more appealing than the s4.

I believe you just compared Siri with S voice.
I know google know is better than Siri but S voice ? Duh it sucks!

And let's face it Samsung is trying to do what apple did to Microsoft.(I'm a mac)

ChrisFricke says:

The HTC may be more appealing to you (and probably me if I was buying a phone right now) but the market will ultimately decide... Personally I'm thinking Samsungs momentum will be too much for HTC to even slow down. HTC would make more money if they shifted strategy and started making hardware for Samsung.

I didn't compare Siri to S voice. Just a comparison of what features feel gimmicky in general (to me). Samsung has a bunch of them and Apple has a few as well. That's all. What's a cheesy gimmick to you or I might be the killer feature for someone else.

And yes - you are absolutely right about the attempts at "cool vs uncool" advertising. It'll be interesting to see if it works or if they end up mucking it up. I think the best thing for Apple is not even play that game at all - which so far they haven't.

So there you have it. We agree on stuff... mostly.

Gregz0r says:

The best way for Apple to 'fight back' right now, is to keep tugging the emotional heart strings, like they've done in the past, and are doing, with their latest ad.

Gregz0r says:

... Emotion will always be more powerful and longer lasting, than a spec sheet.

Anthony W says:

It wasn't a bad idea to attack iPhone users in their last batch of ads. Samsung knows the people who wait on line to buy an iPhone will never buy any other phone. They were trying to appeal to people who weren't devoted to an iPhone.

Also, Apple does a good job appealing to those people who would wait on line to buy their phones.

west3man says:

I didn't see anyone mention this in the comments or what I remember from René's article, but the lady who tried to hold her iPhone against the Samsung phone, was the same lady (in the same couple) from the Samsung commercial that made fun of the long lines of people waiting to purchase an iPhone. They were the older couple of iPhone users - the ones who shocked everyone when it turned out that someone else was holding their place in line.

maclovn says:

I think they need to simplify their ads, there is just too much in your face features. Now if they did a series of ads, each showcasing a particular feature, that would be more powerful. Think the ' I am a Mac and I am a PC' ads. Each targeted a particular feature, getting the message across without other feature distraction. If anyone is like me, when ads come on 70% of my attention is elsewhere

CORYK333 says:

The good old "everything but the kitchen sink" strategy

maclovn says:

Yup! It is an interesting approach, since the bottom line for most Asian design is the ethos of 'less is more' or is it because America is seen as 'a country of excess' they feel it is appropriate. Question, do they play similar commercials outside the Americas? Interesting thing is, I was at the National Zoo (DC) and 80% of the teens ( not scientific) were carrying iPhones. With this population growing up with iPhone and its great retention rate. Samsung needs to target them Vs targeting college - young professional crowd to be relevant in the future. IMO this is where apple is winning.

rkevwill says:

Problem is, 50% of their software doesn't work 90% of the time.

jpf22467#IM says:

it is interesting to read the two perspective. On one hand, you have the Apple lovers, they are so committed, they would go down with the ship. On the other hand, you have the Apple haters, they are like the little kid that can finally beat the bully at something. but they wont shut up about it

Bottom line, both sides are missing the point of the ads. They are pointing out how Apple is no longer the leader. Yea, yea, I know, Apple is still leading the way (for its die hard followers), but they have not introduced any substantial new features on a phone since Siri (two years ago), and some could argue that Siri is just a little different then the other talk features that have been out there.

iamtina says:

I thought the commercial was "cute." It is obviously marketing towards young people. I have had the opportunity to use many operating systems. Right now the phone I am using is an iPhone 5. I like it and it does what I need. If I want to share a photo I usually just text it to my friend(s) without much trouble. The bumping thing (especially by a pool) makes me think the thing will hit the ground or the water and kill my phone, so I personally think I would prefer to text than bump. Remote for the TV is cool, but I don't know how much I would really use it. Not having to touch the screen to answer the phone seems like that would be good except what if I did it on accident when I didn't want to use that or if it was still in my purse/pocket. I have used a knuckle if possible if my hands are wet or messy, or call back if necessary. Reading a text on the iPhone is possible just looking at the screen, or at least part of the text. I believe one would still have to type to reply or press something for voice activation. It is always nice to have features and options though. One I had back when using Palm phones was an app called Butler that would turn my phone off at a designated time and back on so I didn't have to remember to do that. I wish somebody would come up with that feature or app. If there is one, someone please let me know.

MacTaylor says:

This is hilarious, I have to weigh in on this.

First off, people need to slow their rolls. iOS vs Android will always be a staple of discussion these days but people need to stop taking these squabbles so seriously. Unless you work for these respective companies, it shouldn't instigate an enraged verbal feud... what do you accomplish? Nothing (much like this comment haha) In any case; no phone will truly be better than the other. There are many advantages and disadvantages to both. Obviously people will always have preference to one or the other. I have owned two iPhones in the past and now I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 2. For the purposes I use my smartphone, the size is perfect (yes it fits in my pocket, no it isn't overly difficult to type one handed). The reason I jumped ship was because of the customization capabilities (don't get started on malware or viruses because it's rather difficult to get one unless you're a moron). If I'm paying for a phone, I'd like the option to customize what I want without needing to jailbreak and voiding the warranty of my device. That being said, I rather enjoyed the proven and firm security Apple users enjoy (not that there isn't any on my Note 2). I use a MacBook as well and still love it because PC's just don't serve my purpose. Apple had a great run with their devices but they need to keep up with the times. People want phones with easily removable batteries, slots for extended memory and tech (you call it gimmicks) that is up to par with other device offerings. One thing that really irked me was the fact that every software update slowed the iPhone down significantly over time and required the purchase of a brand new phone to get the extra features and to keep it from slowing down. My Note 2 has undergone 2 updates and has yet to slow down even the slightest. Don't get me wrong, this isn't an Apple bash by any means as I miss my iPhone camera (I personally think it was the best in the smartphone world), my apps which are iPhone exclusives, metal/glass body and screen quality (I could see my screen in sunlight even in low brightness settings). Just saying Apple is going the way of Blackberry... Remember? Motorola > Nokia > Blackberry > iPhone > Android Phones? Just the way it happens.

cgs101 says:

Like anyone would buy a phone just for the "waive hand" way of answering a call/text.

Existence_Inc says:

What I find most interesting is that all of this "innovation" is stuff that I was doing with my Nokia N9 for quite some time now. Even some of the no touch controls via Nokia's Air UI.

NealMaxwell says:

I love my Apple products and wouldn't make a shift to Samsung very easily, however I think that the iPhone 5 is aging very quickly and if Apple do not innovate at a rapid rate and give its customers what they want, people will start to think twice. For instance, Apple have stuck by their guns and been very hesitant to give us an iPhone with a much larger screen, even though this is what the majority of customers want. It's almost as if they will have to admit that they were wrong about all the reasons why they made the iPhone 5 longer but kept it the same width, because we supposedly all only use our thumbs.
I find it strange how fanatically some Apple users support Apple, almost as if they have to choose a side. Why do people feel they need to defend the iPhone all the time. If Apple is slipping up a little, they need to listen to their customers. If a company builds a great product, people will buy the product, and Samsung has created a fine product in the S4. It's their best phone yet and if Apple only release an updated iPhone 5 this year, there is no doubt that Samsung will gain ground on Apple.

Apple needs to give us an iPhone that has all the hardware features we want including a larger screen, a new IOS 7 with a fresh look, but yet provides a blank canvas for developers to create great apps. The apps ultimately make the phone great, and Apple needs to leave the app innovation to great developers.

ChrisFricke says:

Why? Apple is selling iPhones in record numbers. They don't need to change a thing. The Galaxy S4 is an incremental upgrade to the Galaxy S3. It will probably sell in record numbers as well. The rumor mill says that the upcoming iPhone will be an incremental upgrade to the current one. guess what? It will probably sell in record numbers. If Samsung sells more phones than they did last year that doesn't mean they are "crushing" Apple because Apple is doing the same thing.

This is a growth market. It will be for a long time. There are plenty of buyers to go around to make all of the platforms successful.

Incidentally I use a GS3 and an iPhone (for work). I'm not in the market for a new phone for another year but I'm interested to see what both Samsung and Apple (and others) have to offer in the meantime.

NealMaxwell says:

Yes, maybe they are still selling plenty of phones, and based on history over the past couple of years, I would agree with you, however pressure is mounting on Apple within the industry and the community to bring more to the table in terms of innovation. With Apple, perception affects their share price more so than the amount of devices they sell. There is no doubt that the perception out there is that IOS needs a refresh and that Apple needs to bring something new to the table.
I love Apple products, but no one can deny that Samsung is bringing a serious alternative option to the table, and most people are not like you and have one of each. I love my iPhone, but can't deny that I'm a little envious of my friend's Galaxy S4. It's a very nice phone. That's the first time I can honestly say I have felt that way over Samsung.
If Apple release an iPhone 5s or equivalent this year, watch their share price post the announcement and you will see how the market reacts. They may sell lots of iPhones 5s' but Samsung will grab more of the market share if they are competing with an iPhone 5 which has a better camera, faster processor and fingerprint reading tech.
That's my 2 cents worth in any case.