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Posted by Charles Golvin on March 14, 2013
At Samsung's New York City launch event for its latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S 4, the company continued the "thumb in Apple's eye" approach that has characterized its marketing campaigns of the past six months. Apparently using the same time machine that every other smartphone and tablet OEM employs to transport us back to the PC market of the late 1990s, Samsung revealed to attendees (and gobs of live blog observers) the usual deluge of tech specs that — for some unfathomable reason — populate the initial paragraphs of every device review: 8 core processor, 13 megapixel camera, 5 inch AMOLED display…
BO-RING! Every Android phone and tablet maker touts these specs because CPUs, image sensors, and displays are the rapidly evolving technology waves that they ride and where most of their evolution resides. To be fair, Apple too is quick with its own spec comparisons, but because Cupertino controls the entire platform from hardware to OS to APIs to cloud and other services, they have a much greater playing field on which to innovate.
With Samsung staking out its ground as Apple's foremost competitor, the Galaxy S 4 and its launch event reveal several insights into the state of this competition today:
Despite all these advancements in Samsung's position, the event also exposes a clear gap the company has yet to close with Apple: the extent to which it can dictate and exercise control. Apple's launch events may not have the singing and dancing that Samsung brought, but they do have a couple of things Samsung didn't: details like pricing and a specific launch date by country and operator. Apple's brand power allows it to ensure that these critical pieces of information come out at the launch — and none of their competitors, not even Samsung, yet rises to that level.
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