I finally figured out why Samsung makes anti-iPhone ads...

Samsung keeps making commercials that, instead of highlighting features potential customers might find compelling, spend most of their time showing off iPhones, and trying to make iPhone owners look pained, beleaguered, and just plain stupid. It never made sense to me as an acquisition strategy, though. iPhone owners aren't going to appreciate being called stupid and switch to Samsung, they're going to call Samsung stupid right back. But with this latest commercial, where Samsung misrepresents the differences in charging methods, I finally understood what was going on. Samsung isn't trying to win over iPhone owners—they're desperate to keep Galaxy owners.

The commercial spends almost its entire length showing iPhone owners struggling to plug in their Lightning cables. Then, at the last moment, it shows a Galaxy owner plonking down their phone on an already plugged in wireless charging pad.

Of course, anyone and everyone watching the commercial knows that wireless charging pad had to be plugged into an outlet, just the same as a Lighting cable. That would be an equal struggle for iPhone or Galaxy owners alike. And, once the plug is in the socket, the difference between inserting a Lightning connector and plonking onto a pad is negligible.

I have Lightning connectors and magnetic chargers in a couple rooms of my house, one for iPhone and iPad, one for Apple Watch. (I used to have one for my Palm Pre as well.) I use both every day. It takes me about as long to stick a Lightning connector in as is does to make sure I don't misalign an inductive charger and come back to a dead device. (Seeing the comforter so close to nudging off the charger in that video gives me flashback stress.)

Know how hard plugging either one of them into the wall is? Exactly the same hard.

But know how hard plugging either one of them into the wall is? The same. Exactly the same hard.

By misrepresenting the difference in the commercial, Samsung isn't just trying to make iPhone owners look stupid, it's Samsung assuming we, the audience, is stupid. Too stupid to know how plugs really work.

So then, why show this kind of commercial at all? No iPhone owner watching it will gain any brand affinity for Samsung, and no one with a basic understanding of plugs will believe it, so why air it? Why air any of them? Why not spend that money fixing other problems?

Because Samsung thinks they'll make existing Galaxy owners feel better about themselves. Samsung thinks watching these commercials will get Galaxy owners to laugh at iPhone owners, and by pandering in that way, decrease the changes they too will switch to iPhone.

Thing is, I think Samsung owners are way smarter than that as well. It's just sad Samsung doesn't.

Apple, by contrast, continues to showcase not only the iPhone in their commercials, but iPhone owners producing amazing photos and videos. That's not just award-winning. It's inspiring.

Update 1: As several of you have pointed out, the wireless charging is shown to be happening ridiculously fast. Samsung, however, does include fine print saying it's a time lapse and a simulation. That's a commonly used gimmick in ads, so while some might find it misleading, it's by no means unique to Samsung.

Update 2: As several of you have pointed out as well, trying to wirelessly charge a phone while using it is very difficult. Using it while plugged in is easy. I'll also add: connecting to a battery pack and putting it in your pocket doesn't work well with wireless either. It disconnects on you.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.