Samsung still obsessed with Apple, screen quantity over quality

Samsung is continuing to use their expensive commercial time to promote Apple products, this time focusing on the difference in screen size between the 5.1-inch display of the Galaxy S5 versus the 4-inch display of the iPhone 5s and, what's more, the 4.7- and 5.5-inch displays rumored to be coming with the iPhone 6 this fall.

In its 30-second ad, Samsung shows two friends in a bar, one of whom is eagerly awaiting the next, rumored to be larger sized, iPhone 6. The other points out to him that he doesn't have to wait, large size phones are already here, thanks to Samsung. In addition to teasing Apple's next big thing, and encouraging everyone watching to wait and see what the fall might bring, it's interesting to note that every size phone is already here, thanks to Samsung.

And this, once again, highlights important differences between the two companies. Not just that Samsung shows off Apple products in their ads and Apple sticks to showing off their own products, or that Samsung uses plastic where Apple uses aluminum, or that Samsung uses SAMOLED where Apple prefer LED, or that Samsung has a bifurcated software experience, split between Android and TouchWiz and Apple has a coherent one, all iOS, all the time, but at their cores.

Samsung, like everyone's favorite crazy uncle, believes in trying everything and anything, throwing it all at the wall in hopes that something sticks. It doesn't matter if any one of those products is substandard or marginal, if things like PenTile pixel arrangements downgrade screen quality or some features exist only in their own apps and not Google's, preventing people from having a consistent experiences.

Apple, by contrast, stays focused. They take their time. They weren't first to phones or tablets or TV boxes, and they weren't first to phablets. They believe in quality over quantity. They had 3.5-inch phones for 5-generations, the 4-inch phones for 2. They went to Retina display, in-pane switching, 16:9 aspect ratio, and in-cell display. They didn't make many more screens, they made far better screens.

And according to the latest numbers, the iPhone 5s still outsells the Galaxy S5.

Many people simply don't want a bigger phone. They want something that easily fits in their hand or pocket or purse. For those who do, however, they currently have to choose between iOS on a 4-inch device or not-iOS on a bigger device. Imagine what will happen this fall, when they can get iOS on a bigger phone.

If history is any indicator, what Samsung's really going to need to make bigger is their ad budget. And better too. Way better.

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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Reader comments

Samsung still obsessed with Apple, screen quantity over quality


I'm happy with my 5s and know that if Apple goes closer to 5" it will be because they researched it first. Apple did right by going bigger incrementally rather than a huge jump in size. I am not a fanboy for either phone but didn't Motorola also have an Android phone closer to 5"?

Rene I love my Moto X's size. And it's a great android phone. But I will buy a iPhone 4.7" when it comes out. Having used both, I agree with your points in this article.

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iMore still obsessed with Samsung. iMore continues to promote Samsung products by showing Samsung ads on Apple centric website.

It amuses me to no end that that irony is apparently lost on iMore. Like the girl in the movie says, let it go.

What irony? My job is to do exactly this. I'm paid to do this. Media literacy and analysis (and a little fun) is a huge part of that. This is exactly what I'm here to do.

Samsung's job is to sell Samsung devices, not Apple's. And it's certainly not to Osborne their own phones.

Apologies if that went over anyone's head, or hurt any happy Samsung owner's feelings! Love up!

"Apologies if that went over anyone's head, or hurt any happy Samsung owner's feelings!"

It doesnt hurt Samsung owner's feelings. It only hurts iMore's credibility. The "screen size" debate is outdated because the world (including Apple) has moved forward.

If you feel "your job" is to tell Samsung to "get over it" on an Apple-centric website then you're doing great. But just keep in mind that Samsung isn't the only one that needs to grow up.

"The "screen size" debate is outdated because the world (including Apple) has moved forward."

Well, that's the point of Rene's article, isn't it? Samsung has not moved forward, as you claim. Samsung is heavily advertising screen size as an advantage over Apple. Rene is writing about it. If you were correct, Samsung wouldn't be doing this, and Rene wouldn't be writing about it.

It's apparent that the world has moved on because they are buying 9 month old iPhones at a higher rate than the brand new "Next Big Thing". So Rene is right on the money.

You would have a point if you weren't on this site. iMore / Rene do a great job in laying out the market dynamics of Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft, Blackberry, etc. There are plenty of click bait sites that are all about headlines with no substance to back it up but iMore is not one of them. Apple does not live in a vacuum so how can you reliably evaluate Apple products and marketing without looking at other companies? The harder Samsung attacks Apple on the marketing, legal and sales fronts, the more Samsung coverage we should see. That only makes sense.

Apple news has been slow for several years now, so it is hard to find anything substantial to write about. It's a shame because, while I still consider myself a supporter of Apple products, the Apple-centric media (podcasts, bloggers, tech sites) really hasn't been able to evolve beyond gossip and sensationalism.

Apple news has been slow? I really hope you will elaborate on this as this just doesn't make sense. If you feel that Apple is slow or isn't innovating then you are just not looking close enough. What Apple is doing with their displays (when Android OEMs are simply throwing pixels at the problem), their cameras (again, when Android OEMs are throwing mega pixels at the problem and then doing a lot of software fixes behind the scenes to control light leakage), their processors (yet again, Android OEMs are simply throwing Mhz and cores at the problem when Apple's SoCs are stomping them in the dirt with half the cores and speed), and doing this all the while keeping the integrity of their eco system is nothing short of amazing.

Take a look back at the last three years and show me where any OEM or software maker is coming close to what Apple is doing. I can only think of one and that being Google themselves, but it is almost all for nothing as the world is continually flooded with Android skins that hold the platform back and introduce bugs while keeping their users from updating their phones let alone the fact that Android has not introduced any new features in literally years.

Apple is not only doing this with their iPhones, but continues their lead on the tablet market with their iPads (which no OEM is even close to in functionality and hardware). They also are leading the PC market with Macbook displays, trackpad (which they've owned since 2008 and still no one is even close) technology, processor threading, and overall build quality.

I could go on for an hour, but what is the point? The market still waits for Apple to innovate and then scramble to rip off the tech. Samsung and Google introduced almost word for word phones and OS updates as to what Apple has introduced this year in software and hardware. If Android is really a contender then why hasn't this ever changed? Apple has shown they are willing to spend the time and research to get their products right and continue to skate to where the theoretical technology puck will be while all other OEMs are simply reacting based on the current market. Mark my words there will be a shift in market share after this holiday season because of it.

Reminds me of the infamous night when WCW announced Mick Foley was winning the WWF title cause huge number of people switching over to RAW causing a ratings victory for the WWF.

I'm sorry.

Its a great ad for today. But the future looks cloudy for samsung as they'll see their most obvious and biggest advantage (besides targeting the cheap end) simply disappear.

Beyond hardware, there's not much left to like about samsung. It's always been too much crapware and bloat. And too much dependency on google who in turn doesn't want samsung ruling android.

They're facing 3 problems: Cheaper Chinese brands attacking them on the low-end, Apple potentially removing their last hold on the premium end (size), and Google taking over more of the Android experience, making it harder to differentiate on software (at least to provide a consistent experience while doing so).

It'll be interesting to see where they go.

Possibly the reason why iPhone 5s outsells Galaxy S5. They need to totally reinvent their next iteration of the S line to get back to the S3 glory days.

But their phablet line is somewhat of an antithesis to how Samsung has worked. They basically invented the form factor; differentiated the experience from that of stock android by providing really useful features (S Pen, tailored TWiz, etc) -- without really "copying" features -- which turned out to be a winner. We all need to appreciate them for that (not that iMore hasn't) .

You can't argue that their idea of "throw everything at the wall and see what sticks" approach hasn't worked for them. In fact, they are largely responsible for android being commonplace, and that in many emerging markets, android has about 80+ % share; making it possible for many people to own their first smartphone. It is now that these Chinese manufacturers have realised this market and hitting Samsung in the low-end market.

Agreed, The Note is by far their best product. I own the Note 3, love it, run my Construction Co from it daily. To me the S-Pen is so powerful. If U haven't used it, try it, it's amazing. Also have the 5S, love it. Going to buy the new iPhone 6 & the Note 4. I find the Samsung commercial very funny and clever. Samsung gives the Mobile customer choices, Apple puts one product out a year, different business. Samsung builds great phones, the building out of plastic doesn't bother me at all. The new Note 4 may be their first phone built out of metal. Samsung can always change their designs. The Samsung commercial is very funny, I think it's one of their best. I don't get bothered by trivial things like this, if it's funny I laugh. It's funny enough every website is writing about it. Samsung is doing something right.

Probably not at first? I would like a pen-based feature for both a bigger phone and a bigger tablet.

(I'm an illustrator/designer by background.)

These ads may succeed in preventing some of Samsung's current user base from switching to the next iPhone, but it does nothing to convert iPhone users over to Samsung. (It may be hard for geeks to believe, but most people are happy with a 4" phone.) It also does little to help those trying to decide between Apple & Samsung, except to convince them to wait and see what Apple announces in a few months. I think Samsung would rather people bought the GS5 and Note today.

I could see the note becoming more of samsungs focus, and them putting more time and effort into that with the increasing sizes of devices and keep with their lower end model and the a line just eventually dwindling to mid range meh devices

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I would add a 4th problem. That being Apple giving Samsung less business over the years which increasingly lessens their profit margins. Samsung year over year has less "play" money in a market where having slim margins is not good for business in the long haul.

Technically, the ad rings true. Apple HAS been dragging their feet the last 2 years by not offering a major "feature" the public so obviously wants - a larger screen. While I get where the ads are coming from I personally find them to be a bit condescending and insulting and it doesn't really make me want to go out and buy a Samsung device.

- 2 years ago, the public didn't "obviously" want it.
- Apple isn't just going to add a feature without thinking/caring about how works for the end user. If they simply put in a bigger screen, you'd end up with blown up phone interfaces, or compressed tablet interfaces. The tools and infrastructure has to be in place to support the screen size. And the APIs in IOS8 and tools in XCode 6 allow developers to make suitable interfaces for the screen size. This means that the user experience will continue to be superior on an Apple device, even though we had to wait for it.

The public didn't obviously want it, based on sales of premium handsets, until this year.

Apple exists in the real world, not the online geek world :)

I know plenty of people, all iPhone users hoping for larger screens and these people couldn't tell you anything tech about any mobile phone or tablet. There are many iPhone users out there wanting the larger screen, not only the "geeks", I hate using that term. If that wasn't true Apple wouldn't have a larger screen phone coming out in September. It takes at least a year or more to design and build a quality product. Apple has had this larger screen on the stove for some time I would guess. Maybe I'm wrong but 4.7 is the size I hope for my new iPhone 6, along with maybe 128gb of internal memory and let's throw in 3gb of ram and maybe beef up the camera. Quad core, I could go on, trying to future proof, and yes throw in every possible HSPA and LTE radio. What a beast. Take my money.

Forget the specs. It will be exactly what it needs to be. Nothing more or less. And whatever it is will make them more money than all of Sammy's Galaxy products combined. Higher margins = better profit. That's all that matters.

Also, add my voice to all of those saying that I never hear average users at all wanting a bigger iPhone. Hell, I got a Lumia 1520 with its 6" screen and kinda wish I hadn't. Big phones aren't really for everyone, and most people know that.

That's why the reality is that big ass phones are still a small segment of the market.

Now a full size iPad with SMS (and voice, sure, for the 3 times a year I use that) is a different story.


But they keep buying what apple puts out instead of changing platforms. Money talks! I hope that if they do go bigger that the 4.7 is the size of the Moto X. That thing is still easy to use with one hand. I just want more storage, couldn't care less about size at this point.

Exactly. Some (I think a minority) "have been asking for larger screen iPhone". Emphasis on iPhone. If they simply wanted a larger screen smartphone, then the iPhone wouldn't have 90+% customer retention.

Somehow, were the corporate positions reversed, and it was Apple with the big screen first, I think you might be talking about how Apple skated to where the puck was going to be... :)

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I don't wish to get into an argument with someone I don't know. I can't though agree that the iPhone with its smaller screen being the best selling smart phone = the public obviously want a phone with a bigger screen.

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From what I have read, the phones with screens of 4" or less make up two-thirds of the smartphone sales. So, there goes your larger screen theory. But the market is starting to lean toward bigger screens, and a large screen iPhone will have record sales along with a ton of Android jumpers, IMO.

The ad is true. I have so many iFriends who've been waiting for Apple to release a phone with a bigger screen. Some of them stopped waiting and just jumped ship. I'm glad they finally are (if all these rumors prove true) but it took them too long. And this ad was made comparing the iPhone 5s to the Galaxy S5, not the other 30 phones Samsung makes, so I think that's pretty irrelevant to this situation.

Brought to you by the Nexus M8

That previously you had to choose between a iOS and a bigger phone, like many years ago you had to choose between iOS and a phone on Verizon.

Soon you won't have to choose anymore.

So you're basically saying that we no longer will have to choose for a phone with a bigger screen because Apple is going to introduce a bigger phone? They automatically will become the default choice?

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No. What I'm saying was previously if you wanted iOS and a bigger screen, you couldn't get an iPhone. You had to choose. If a bigger screen was more important, you chose the not-iPhone with bigger screen.

Soon you can have both, if that's what you want.

So right now Apple has 0% of the bigger than 4-inch smartphone market. Any doubt that'll change?

Depends what you prefer in a screen. If you like oversaturated colors than Samsung oled screens are for you. I personally can't stand their screens, I prefer more accurate colors tones.

Pretty sure I'm not wrong since I said is that it depends you prefer in a screen. The very first line of the story you linked says best is a subjective term. And I don't want to have to go in and adjust settings to dial down Samsung's oversaturated primary settings. My personal preference is I will still take a top notch IPS over a top notch amolded screen. Colors are more accurate and don't suffer from blowout color issues that amoled screens are still dealing with. That may change down the road but we are talking about today.

Yes there is a preference factor that says some like colors that are blown out like old AMOLED and some don't. The main point was that a FACT OF TESTING which isn't preference is that if you want the best reproduction of what is intended to show on the screen then the S5 screen is superior not only in color reproduction but with more PPI. You set this once to the RGB mode and it's set just like your iPhone. Read the article. If your not convinced then you just are so invested that Apple have a better display that facts be damned.

The results of most tests (including this) are interpreted and are by nature subjective based on your stance on the data. And you missed my point. I was comparing out of box screens on these phones. Not how they look after they are tweaked. Outside very knowledgeable users like many on tech sites such as this, how many people do you think know they can go in and adjust those settings? A few percents tops. And I don't even own an iphone lol so go pound salt there. Again this is my personal opinion. If you disagree fantastic.

This particular ad wasn't so bad for Samsung. A lot less goofy than usual. Apple has dragged their feet with the larger screen. I still wish my iPhone 5's screen was also wider instead of just taller. But alas I'll most likely will be replacing it with the iPhone 6 this fall. And Rene about the screen quality thing. You and my iPad mini retina (intentionally gimped color gamut) should have a conversation.

So let start off with the title "Samsung still obsessed with Apple, screen quantity over quality." and "They didn't make many more screens, they made far better screens." I'm not sure how you can say the screen quality has anything to do with this ad but if you want to spin it this way Samsung has low quality screens on up and everything is subjective (better) screens on their phones and tablets. Lets look at some tests that seriously question your statement.

"Samsung Galaxy S5 'Best Display We've Ever Tested': DisplayMate Lab Report"

"The Absolute Colour Accuracy for the cinema mode is an excellent 2.2 JNCD, the most colour accurate display we have ever measured for a smartphone or tablet. See this figure for an explanation and visual definition of JNCD and Colour Accuracy "
" The Professional Photo Mode on the Galaxy S5 provides an accurate calibration to the Adobe RGB standard, which is rarely available in consumers displays, and is very useful for high-end digital photography applications. The measured absolute colour accuracy of the professional photo mode for the Galaxy S5 is 3.0 JNCD, which is very accurate"

There is a lot more but I'm sure the point is there. Here is another one. "Samsung uses plastic where Apple uses aluminum" This is true but since we're talking about rumors with the larger size iphones there are rumors of a Samsung aluminum phone if that's your thing.
"Gadget leaker @evleaks on Wednesday posted the latest image in a series of leaks that have seemingly been painting a picture of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy F smartphone, a premium handset that appears to be a significantly upgraded version of the Galaxy S5." As far as rumor and leaks goes evleaks is solid.

"They believe in quality over quantity. They had 3.5-inch phones for 5-generations, the 4-inch phones for 2. "

Your statement and the support of using 3.5 inch for 5 generations is no more supportive than if I said Apple is arrogant for continuing to make this screen size as larger Android phones took off such as the oringinal HTC EVO with it's huge 4 inch screen back in 2012.

I like that you cover the ads but the spin you put on this makes we want to point out things that I don't agree with as much as you get mad when people say things like "apple's 5 inch plus iphone is delayed when it wasn't announced."

Good points... plus Apple is the ONLY other manufacturer that builds only smaller phones. Every other manufacturer has more variety (you know - consumer choice and all). So if you're going to make an ad picking on screen size then the only company you can compare it to is Apple - for now - perhaps. I don't know if that means Samsung is obsessed or not but whatever - perception is reality :)

What I explained in the article is discipline. Apple doesn't believe they have to be first.

Samsung absolutely makes better screens on some devices (not all) today than they did yesterday, but just like some vendors raced to LTE at the expense of battery life, Samsung raced to big screens at the expense of quality. OLED was a compromise. PenTile was a compromise. Saturation and lifespan of blue elements was a compromise.

Samsung got in early with some specs and then improved over time. Apple waited until they could do what they wanted and then changed in 2 year increments.

Individual people can prefer one approach over the other, but Samsung can only say they did big first because they didn't care about the technology or the market demand. That's fine, but that's a choice, and Apple can make a different one.

In that context, the ad is silly.

This ad is designed to do nothing more than leave a residual idea behind that Samsung is ahead in tech than Apple is behind and the idea that you don't need to wait. Samsung's got it now. That's all.

As far as Apple doesn't believe they have to be first that is fine but they still have to appear that they are innovating. Having the set resolutions on iOS have left Apple on lower PPI screens than it competition and while these 2k screens have very little noticeable difference but the 1080p screens are noticeable and while a 4 inch screen wouldn't need a 1080p screen but it could have use an upgrade but they didn't. You say they waited for quality and I could say they didn't have a way to scale iOS up. All they could do was 2x or 3x or 4x and on a 4 inch that would be way to much ppi. So again you say quality and I could say iOS limitations not worth tackling at such a small screen size (4 inches).

"Samsung can only say they did big first because they didn't care about the technology or the market demand."
The market demand... I'm not sure what you mean. Their phones have sold great meaning the market demanded them and when they went to a carrier store or box store they surely where showed an iPhone at least a few years ago they were pushed more. Screen size plays into this but if a customer chooses the Samsung having to do at all with the screen then Samsung is absolutely wining on "market demand." As far as not caring about Technology i'd say they had access to the same panels and Apple since they make some of them / most of them for Apple. Apple says that IPS was better but Samsung would say that it close enough that choosing the panel and mass producing in the way they have has led to the huge improvements in the tech in such a short time. In the end it's spin from Apple and some from Samsung.

So Samsung makes free publicity for Apple,for looks of the phone and for those who still want a more compact phone or for those who didn't known a bigger display is coming (so don't buy android just because you want a bigger display, wait for Apple).

What Samsung does reminds me to much of politics. The 'trash the competition' tactic and keep people from looking at YOU instead. I get tired of the trashcan ads quickly. It doesn't really give me a reason to switch.. Just tells me the kind of people behind the ads and how they think.

Even the most dorky Apple ad's stay on message usually, even if they are corny. Ahh well.. takes all kinds I guess.. lol

The point of an ad is to highlight areas where your product is better than the competition. The fact of the matter is that multiple screen size options is an area where Android devices have provided a better experience to users over the iPhone. You might not like the ad, because of your emotional attachment to Apple, but it's pretty accurate.

I think it was a pretty good ad. I do not understand why people get so worked up when Samsung goes after Apple in some of their ads. Automakers have been doing the same for years and I struggle to think of any outcry about it. I have owned two iPhones and two Samsung devices over the last 4 years. My current device is a Note 3. It works for me, I find it more appealing and more useful than my iP4 or iP5 ever were. Same when I had an S3. But that is where personal preference comes in. My wife teases me about how big my Note is but when she wants to watch something or browse the web she grabs it before she grabs her iPhone. But to be fair, despite her love of Macbooks, she's made it clear that if she wasn't required to have an iPhone by the university she attends, she would never have relinquished her Evo Shift.

Yeah we got it, Renee : Samsung is rubbish and apple kicks donkey ass.

Well, get over Samsung already...

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Samsung, like everyone else, makes choices in their products. They're poking fun at Apple's, I'm poking fun at theirs. Even steven?

I saw an article on Android Central last night regarding this ad and was wondering how long until you posted your response to it.

Is there anything to back up your claim that Apple actually makes "far better screens"? Per DisplayMate, who professionally evaluate all types of displays, both the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Tab S have the best displays they have ever tested. Here's a quote from one of their recent articles:

"Based on our extensive Lab tests and measurements, the Galaxy Tab S is the Best Performing Tablet Display that we have ever tested, not surprisingly with performance that is almost identical to the OLED Galaxy S5 Smartphone that we recently tested and found to be the Best Performing Smartphone Display."

I personally have an iPad Mini Retina and have been disappointed in that display. The color gamut is much weaker than the iPad Air, Kindle Fire HDX 7, and the Nexus 7 (2013). I wish Apple would have called that out on their website where they show a comparison of iPad models.

Of course, you already knew this. Here's a quote from an article you posted on 11/17/2013.

"However, it's disappointing to say the least that Apple hasn't pushed the same panel quality down to the iPad mini line yet."

So obviously you’re aware that there are situations where it doesn't matter to Apple whether or not they release a sub-standard or marginal product either. You’d never know it by reading this article though. Personally, I wish I could have a more "consistent experience" reading articles on iMore, but the only consistency here seems to be anti-Samsung bias.

Also, how does this ad show that Samsung uses plastic vs Apple’s aluminum, SAMOLED vs Apple’s LED, or demonstrate Samsung's bifurcated software experience? Anyone outside the tech community would not be able to discern any of those points from simply watching the commercial. Not to mention, there's an argument to be made whether or not those are even negatives.

I repeat:

What I explained in the article is discipline. Apple doesn't believe they have to be first.

Samsung absolutely makes better screens on some devices (not all) today than they did yesterday, but just like some vendors raced to LTE at the expense of battery life, Samsung raced to big screens at the expense of quality. OLED was a compromise. PenTile was a compromise. Saturation and lifespan of blue elements was a compromise.

Samsung got in early with some specs and then improved over time. Apple waited until they could do what they wanted and then changed in 2 year increments.

Individual people can prefer one approach over the other, but Samsung can only say they did big first because they didn't care about the technology or the market demand. That's fine, but that's a choice, and Apple can make a different one.

In that context, the ad is silly.

I understand your point that Apple takes their time and I won't argue that, but I don't think it's fair to suggest that they aren't compromising as well. Depending on a person's specific needs, screen quality may be less important than screen size. Personally speaking, I don't need perfectly accurate colors, fantastic viewing angles, etc. I just want a screen that I can read an article on, watch a video, or play a game on without my eyes hurting after a couple of minutes. So for me, and probably a lot of other people, it appeared that Apple was compromising some aspects of a screen to prioritize others.

It also seems unfair to state that when Samsung makes a different choice, it's a compromise. However, when Apple does it, it's labeled as them taking their time. And if you're saying their ad is silly because they are effectively criticizing Apple's choice to take their time in releasing a larger screen iPhone, the entire article could be labeled as silly since it clearly is very critical of Samsung's choices.

I'm not sure I understand the comment about Samsung not caring about the market demand either. Sure, there was not much market demand for large screen phones several years ago. There clearly is now and I think Samsung definitely contributed to creating this market demand, much the same way Apple contributed to creating the market demand for smartphones in general. Why cater to the existing market demand when you can create your own, and corner the market (at least for a little while)?

By the way, is Samsung's current ad campaign that different from the "Get A Mac" ad campaign that Apple spend a solid 3 years airing from 2006-2009?

Yes and no. It's the same idea, but I'd argue Apple pulled it off better because PC was so darn likable.

Also, Apple had single digit market share compared to Windows 90+%, so they were a massive underdog.

Samsung have single digit marketshare?

What does the market share have anything to do with how you advertise? That doesn't need to be factored. The iPhone is still the most popular phone in the US, so do they stop advertising it? Of course not! The market share part makes no sense on advocating how Apple used to advertise.

Brought to you by the Nexus M8

Well, with all do respect, that response doesn't really teach me what and how it does...

Brought to you by the Nexus M8

Hey Rene, great observations in the article, loved it.

I wanted to ask you and the community here one thing. Do you think that Apple will abandon the 4” form factor? Or maybe, they moved the 4” ip6 production to a place where they secured all leaks and that is why only the 4,7” and 5,5” parts are showing up all around the internets.

I personally want a great phone that I can comfortably use with one hand and the 3,5-4” screen is my sweet spot. I cannot see myself using a 4,7” device comfortably…what do you think?

Majo from Slovakia

You should really try to use a bigger phone for a week or 2 if you can. I switched from my iPhone 5S to a Note 3 and I thought it would be too big, but no way I would go back to the screen size of a iPhone 5S. Also, I have small hands and I'm able to use the Note one handed with no problem.

I love both phones, and when the iPhone 6 comes out I'll probably be switching back.

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This is probably a bit of a non-sequitor, but why does Samsung almost never have Chinese, Korean, or Japanese people in their adverts? It's like they have a rule or something. White, Black, and a bit of Indian, but that's it for the most part.

Considering they are a Korean company based in Asia that sells the majority of their product in Asia this is nuts basically and points perhaps towards a bit of a racist advertising policy.

Great article Rene. Coming from the Android side of the spectrum I feel Samsung is entirely missing the point by using smoke and mirrors to cover up the shortcomings of the S5. The Touch Wiz UI is slightly improved and less cartoon like, however still lags and is entirely bloated. I think Samsung knows that their sales will fall significantly with the release of the IPhone 6 making the entire campaign childish. I myself am looking forward to the IPhone 6 and what it will bring.

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Wow. I'm impressed about how uninformed this article is. It almost reaches the point of being truly disingenuous. I won't mention the litany of reviews praising the GS5's screen as they have been extensively featured in previous comments. The fact alone that you are banging the same old "Pentile" drum as of 2014 speaks for itself. Yes, the Galaxy Nexus' display was garbage and many more Samsung devices had terrible screens, with a horrible blueish tint that seems unbearable to look at. But the company has well moved beyond this point, both in terms of hardware and software. I'm not going to praise everything that Samsung does, far from it. Their devices have many flaws, which are, in all honesty, at least partially more related to Google and Android itself, but that's a whole different story.

Also, isn't it kind of silly to engage in a screen size discussion just weeks before Apple may come down from Mount Olympus and bring to us mere mortals not one, but actually TWO new screens? I already have premonitions about how this is going to be spun on Imore and other sites: "Finally a lagre screen smartphone that makes sense." BTW this "now it makes sense" argument has always been the desperate goto practice when Apple caught up with a feature long after competitors did. And while sometimes this was actually true, most of the times it wasn't. I remember the ridiculous discussions when the 1st gen. Ipad Mini came out, desperatley trying to distort Steve Jobs' assertion that 7" tablets are basically crap (which is, IMHO, actually true!). And, boy, it truly was a typical 1st gen. Apple product, with a sub-standard screen, performance issues and (probably) getting no more love from the Mothership beyond IOS 8.

And finally, I would like to address the fact that metal seems superior to plastic as smartphone material. That is very ambiguous and many people prefer plastic phones that are easy to service to the point of even be customiseable. Also, plastic is virtually inert to unintentional encounters with the laws of physics (aka gravity) and permits radio signals to permeate mostly uninhibited. Honestly, most people couldn't care less about the aesthetics of their phone as long as it SERVES THEM. Why engage is a boring and nerdy debate about aesthetics? Like the Romans said "de gustibus non est disputandum". The aesthetics debate is a non-starter. BTW the black Iphone 5 was stunning when fresh out of the box. Now go have a look around how many of them look like. They look like a piece of scrap metal. So at least be honest about the drawbacks of an all-metal design that's used for mobile devices that have to send and recieve radio signals, because in both categories, aluminium is one of the least suitable materials. Praise Ive and Co. to still get the best out of it! A true compliment!

But before things get too long and boring, let's go to the heart of my comment: Samsung and Apple are only competing on the high end of the smartphone spectrum. There, both have a decent value proposition. The GS5 is undeniably on par and, to some, superior to the Iphone 5S. Angrily discussing an ad that couldn't be more banale in essence, and also throwing in this crazy amount of misinformation is insulting to the intelligence of (hopefully) your average reader.

Dear Rene, stop being like that. In a sense, try to be a little more like Apple. Modest, elegant and truly aware of your strengths and weaknesses.

I have to agree. I posted the facts about the screen being the best. Rene is a smart guy and I things most of what we said to be the truth but he seems to surface Apple talking points "lcd screen is superior..." and such when he writes these things. I hear him on podcasts be more fair but something happens when he writes these. Rene please write this article and then do a quick Google search on your points... It took me all of 60 seconds to find the article above that S5 has the best screen in a smartphone or tablet as of March or April 14. I really like you on all your shows and your so knowledgeable about so much I just don't understand why you take an old Jobs line about LCD be superior tech (years ago this was said) and you just hang on to that as Apple can do no wrong and if there was better tech they would use it which is not the case. If your saying it doesn't scale then that's not what you wrote and the S5 is scaling fine.

it's not an "Apple talking point" to assert that LCD screens are better than OLED screens. They simply are. At least if by "better" you are thinking of "more accurate colour reproduction" which is the only real criteria one should be using.

A lot of the back and forth between Samsung and Apple users over screen quality could be eliminated if people stopped using "better" as a synonym for "popular." Samsung screens "pop" more and have both higher contrast and more saturated colours. This makes them more popular, and means that the average person is going to say they are "better." Because they don't actually reproduce colours accurately however, they are not actually "better" overall. They are really just more popular.

This confusion between "better" and "popular" is the crux of 90% of the arguing going on.

By your definition your wrong.

"Best Smartphone Display: Based on our extensive Lab tests and measurements, the Galaxy S5 is the best performing smartphone display that we have ever tested. It has a long list of new records for best smartphone display performance including: Highest Brightness, Lowest Reflectance, Highest Colour Accuracy, Infinite Contrast Ratio, Highest Contrast Rating in Ambient Light, and smallest Brightness Variation with Viewing Angle. The Galaxy S5 has raised the bar for top display performance up by another notch — an impressive achievement for OLED technology."

Repeating for the 3rd time:

What I explained in the article is discipline. Apple doesn't believe they have to be first.

Samsung absolutely makes better screens on some devices (not all) today than they did yesterday, but just like some vendors raced to LTE at the expense of battery life, Samsung raced to big screens at the expense of quality. OLED was a compromise. PenTile was a compromise. Saturation and lifespan of blue elements was a compromise.

Samsung got in early with some specs and then improved over time. Apple waited until they could do what they wanted and then changed in 2 year increments.

Individual people can prefer one approach over the other, but Samsung can only say they did big first because they didn't care about the technology or the market demand. That's fine, but that's a choice, and Apple can make a different one.

In that context, the ad is silly.

Apple rushed into LTE with the iPhone 5 as it's battery life is terrible with it on. I don't think that's an LTE problem though so much as craming a more powerful processor, larger display and LTE into a phone which had a smaller physical volume than the last. Apple really should have made the iPhone 5 and 5s 1-2mm thicker and given it a bigger battery instead of going on an anorexia binge. That right there is promoting form over function. Something Apple does alot when designing their ' premium' feeling devices.

That's factually incorrect. Apple waited for next-generation LTE chipsets that were way better than the first gen, and iPhone 5 had the same battery life as previous generations.

Apple could have increased battery life by making it thicker, but "terrible" is not a factual statement. (It could have been terrible for you based on your specific conditions but that's not a product-line problem.)

Why is it so hard to understand that Apple and Samsung are only competitors in the high-end smartphone market? Samsung, in contrast to Apple, covers the entire spectrum of smartphones, from the sub-$100 budgetphone up to the 'Note whatever'.

Apple, on the other hand, does not offer any device in any segment other than the high-end.

Ergo: You simply cannot draw any comparaisons whatsoever between Samsung and Apple in any other segment other than the high-end.

In the low- and mid-segment, of course there is a panoply of medicore or even genuinely terrible Samsung devices. The list is so long that I would need antidepressants to get over it. But that is not the point at all.

In the ad, Samsung was pitching the GS5 against the Iphone 5S. They told their story. Fair enough, it's a flagship-to-flagship comparaison. We all know (hopefully) that ads aren't really a relaible source of information. Their attempts at deception are constant, and every company is guilty of it (that includes Apple). It's just that spending too much thought about a stupid ad is a total watste of time!

What was baffling to me was that you, Rene, lacked such a subtantial amount of knowledge concerning even the ONE AND ONLY device that competes with the Iphone 5S, given that there's a site called "Android Central" not far from where you live...

Now let's get to your reply: "Samsung got in early with some specs and then improved over time. Apple waited until they could do what they wanted and then changed in 2 year increments."

Isn't that the EXACT SAME THING? AKA Improving incrementally?

Well, I've re-read your article but I fail to see where this particular ad is, in any fashion, much more terrible than the rest. Agreed, the thing about being 'first-to-anything' is childish and futile, but this applies to virtually everything. And then again, what's the damage of making silly an AD???

Fact check: The GS5 (Apple's ONE AND ONLY competitor in the high-end Smartphone market) has, according to every single qualified review out there, an excellent battery life paired with a decent camera (that I personally wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole because of its atrocious default 16:9 aspect ratio) and solid LTE support. Granted, those are features I would like to see in an ad. Concentrating on its own strengths is a virtue, and everyone should stick to it. In a perfect world (sigh).

On the fact that ads are generally silly, I think we can agree on that!

It's the obviously unqualified rant about everything Samsung that truly sparked my indignation.

it's not just about size, i work at a cellphones store, people who absolutely don't know anything about phones simply prefer the iphone, they just say it's simply faster and works better. I know that a lot has to do with iOS and controlling the OS from the star, scrolling's better, after months of use doesn't lag like EVERY samsung does...

I have a 2 year old Samsung GS3 and it's not laggy... I know some have reported lag on Samsung phones but not EVERY single one does. Just sayin... On the other side of the coin... I've been using an iPhone 4S for my work on call phone for about the same time period and it did lag horribly with the newer iOS updates (and I hated the tiny screen). I replaced it with a new 5S a couple months ago (after trying a BB10 Z3 for a while) and now no issues. We've deployed close to 800 iPhones over the years and they do seem to lag pretty bad over time (but I'm not going to say that they ALL do that).

My GS3 that I use personally - it works great and I have no plans to replace it.

I exaggerate when i say EVERY phone, but i repair cellphones, and samsung are the ones that people bring the most to get repaired :/ not just about lag, also about failing batteries, software crashes, and so on...

My wife has an S5. It's far too big. Something in between my iPhone 5s and her SGS5 would be my pick - Atrix HD or SGS3-sized display (4.5-4.8"), but still IPS LCD with Apple's excellent calibration. My guess is if Apple wants to stick with 326 DPI is that they'll go 4.7" 1280x720 for a 4.7" display, and maybe higher DPI reserved for the rumored 5.5" phablet. Apple doesn't make the very best or most disciplined phone display any longer, though. HTC got that one with the One M7.

I want: Reliability; Security (physical and electronic); Synergy across devices, media, etc.; Premium quality (I pay for these things with my hard-earned money, they should last and still be relevant years later). In all my years in computing (39), only one company has consistently offered this (and yes, smart phones are computing). And it ain't Samsung. Sorry.

And, yet another differentiator between Apple and everyone else. I have written many times in my blog that Apple is a trend setter, not a follower. They know that specs for specs sake are not important. That, for example, more megapixels does not a better camera make. Bigger is not always better - except in ways that affect user experience. A 64-bit processor is bigger, and translates to faster execution of tasks. Bigger CCD receivers translate to better light capturing in photography, and thus better pictures, not because of more pixels, but because of better pixels. Quality over quantity - give me that every time. I think this article celebrates what makes Apple so great, and so successful.

Bigger pixels when paired with the correct aperture will indeed provide a clearer picture. More pixels will help quality if done right also as the higher the megapixel count the greater the detail that can be achieved if the sensor and optics is of good quality. That said Apple have been refining their cameras in all the right areas so far and are doing a good job. I higher megapixel sensor and OIS would be a good addition to the iPhone to increase picture detail but I don't know how they will fit it in to the next iPhone which I'm sure they will want to make thinner for the sake of it.

More drivel from Renee. I get you love Apple and all as they do make a decent product when compared to Samsung but stop acting all righteous about the marketing and engineering decisions of Apple. There is a big reason Apple hasn't increased screen size much over the years and it's the restrictive coding of IOS and it's inability to scale apps to any screen size, that and Apple boxing itself into a small corner with its ridiculous marketing terms and bullsh!t it says about its hardware during keynotes. They put a high pixel density display into their product and called it retina which they dubbed an 'innovation'. They could have easily increased the screen size if the next iPhone keeping the same resolution so that app developer wouldn't have to recode their apps but that would mean they would be going back on their drivel they spread about retina displays being the best. So they chose to stretch the screen taller causing letter boxing which they believed to be an acceptable compromise until developers recoded their applications. Apple and its fans talk about Android looking crap due to app scaling but I'm sure these people have never used a decent android device from the likes of Motorola or Sony as on any Android device regardless the screen resolution, size or aspect ratio, the app always fits it nicely. Why the hell can't apple pull their head out of their ass and allow the same style of application scaling to make their life easier when creating larger screened IOS devices in the future. It's pretty sad that after all these years that IOS has been out and refined that they can't code this app scaling ability essentially removing the restrictions they have placed on themselves when designing hardware. Maybe if they stopped telling everyone how revolutionary and awesome a yawn worthy hardware upgrade was people would accept hardware changes more easily also. Apple aren't and don't always get things right and they need to learn to admit that.

"For those who do, however, they currently have to choose between iOS on a 4-inch device or not-iOS on a bigger device. Imagine what will happen this fall,..."

This looks very similar to many TiPb posts in late 2010/early 2011. Glorious leader Rene writes the truth.

A regular day at Samsung's marketing department

Marketer: We're making an ad for the Galaxy S5
Execs: Okay, what do you need
Marketer: An iPhone

Anyway, perhaps their marketing team is following the rest of the company's apparently philosophy of throwing everyone to see what sticks.

I saw this ad on the TV the other evening (I think it was during "Whose Line is it Anyway" but it doesn't really matter).

My wife (who hates Apple products on general principle) was messing with her Galaxy Note 3 and looked over at me and smiled. I told her "I do like the size of your phone, but I hate the OS. I can't wait until Apple gets it right this fall."

Our friendly banter aside...I'm one of those that would like a larger phone. Maybe even the 5.5" version.

I would never buy an Android phone just because of screen size...although Windows Phone did tempt me over for a year. I would have to see them both to decide. My challenge now, if they don't release both sizes as predicted, is do I buy the 4.7" or wait to see...

I thought this site was supposed to be about Apple? I mean for god sakes the 3 top headlines are about Samsung!!!

For someone who says Samsung obsesses over Apple you sir obsess a great deal over Samsung!