Watch out Apple: Samsung Unpacked just dropped all of the company’s biggest new Android hardware of the year, and there’s plenty going on to make your average Apple user just a little bit jealous. From the Samsung Galaxy Watch6 to the new Tab S9 range and the Galaxy Z Fold5, it’s a strong line-up that any iPhone 15 or Apple Watch Ultra 2 is going to have to do battle against.
When you compare Apple’s product lineup to Samsung’s fancy flip phones, foldables, and round-faced watches, some of Apple’s own offerings can start to look just a little bit boring.
In fact, there’s plenty going on here that I think Apple should be looking to steal, emulate, or even improve upon with its own hardware as it seeks to win the hearts and minds of prospective and existing customers everywhere.
Here are 7 things Apple should steal from Samsung Unpacked 2023.
Unpacked and inspired: What Apple should steal from Samsung this year
1. Round watches
Samsung’s Galaxy Watch range boasts a feature Apple Watch has never had — round faces. It sounds daft, but conventional watches are usually circular, so it really makes sense that successful and user-friendly smartwatches could also be circular. The Galaxy Watch6 and Galaxy Watch6 Classic both boast some impressive specs (more on that later), but the most obvious thing Apple could steal here is a funky round face. It would require changes to the watchOS 10 UI, but is the sort of change that would really turn heads.
2. Watch battery life
The Galaxy watch6 range also boasts an impressive battery life of up to 40 hours, or up to 30 hours, with its always on display. While Apple Watch Ultra can definitely match or beat that, the standard Apple Watch range has always struggled to deliver true all-day battery life and certainly doesn’t offer anything more than that.
3. Biometric tablet authentication
The new Galaxy Tab S9 range boasts an on-screen fingerprint sensor across the board. Apple ditched Touch ID in its tablet range a couple of years ago, and now offers Touch ID in the Top Button of many of its cheaper devices, but an on-screen fingerprint scanner like that in the S9, S9+, and S9 Ultra could prove to be a great foil to Face ID.
4. microSD in tablets
The Galaxy Tab S9 range offers more modest storage compared to say the iPad Pro and doesn’t have options up to 2TB, for instance. However, it boasts a much cooler and more useful feature, expandable storage. All three models can take a microSD card of up to 1TB in size. This would not only make expanding iPad storage cheaper and more accessible but would be a game-changer for video and photography users who want to edit photos on their iPads quickly and easily.
5. More 120Hz tablet displays
Both Android phones and tablets at nearly all price points offer 120Hz displays, a feature that Apple reserves for its very best iPads, the iPad Pro. From a hardware perspective, I think it’s a real shame that some cheaper Galaxy tablets offer 120Hz, but that you can’t get it on the iPad Air or iPad mini. It’s a really game-changing feature to go from 60Hz to 120Hz, and as with the iPhone, a 60Hz tablet in 2023 is starting to look quite long in the tooth.
6. Folding iPhones
Sorry, this was an obvious one, but Samsung has announced not one but two new folding phones, the Z Flip5 and the Galaxy Z Fold5. We can’t even get an iPhone that folds one way, let alone the choice of either the landscape book fold or a clamshell. The word on the street is that Apple isn’t planning a foldable iPhone for several years, which is all the more time to get it right, but still, this is the fifth generation of foldable Samsung phones. What are we doing out here Apple?
7. Under-display camera
The Dynamic Island is cool, but the new Galaxy Z Fold5 boasts a 4MP under-display camera. That might not be quite as potent as Apple’s front-facing offerings, but Apple should definitely be pulling out all the stops to remove the troublesome Dynamic Island/notch once and for all so that we can have edge-to-edge unadulterated screens on our iPhones.
What's next for Apple?
A few of these are more realistic, or at least possible than others. There are rumors Apple is working on under-display cameras for iPhone, for example. It's also always trying to improve battery life, and fingerprint scanners in your display could also be in the not-too-distant future. However, there are a couple of things here that are probably pipe dreams, as mentioned foldable iPhones and beyond are still years away, and even a 120Hz refresh rate on a cheaper Apple tablet seems like a bit of wishful thinking. But then again, who knows? September will bring us the iPhone 15, new Apple Watch models, and possibly more as we move further into the fall.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9
7 reasons apple shouldn’t copy Samsung.Reply
Reason number 1:
This is pretty pathetic. Samsung also copied apples intro video from 2021.