Samsung’s Smartphone Quest To Escape Apple’s Shadow


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The last few years have seen the same storyline repeated between two major smartphone manufacturers. The idea is this:  Apple pushes ahead with innovation and ideas that can change the world and sells a ridiculous number of handsets, as Samsung is left to look at the ideas from the competition and build those into its devices, which will sell well but perhaps not as strongly.

In short, everything that is good about Samsung’s smartphones comes from Apple. That’s the argument, and while it is easy to refute, perception is everything.

To counter the ivory tower of Apple, its technical skills are strong but I’ve yet to see it take on such useful features as waterproofing smartphones or using replaceable batteries, the design of the handset has remained consistent for years, and while the specifications rarely get the promotion that other handsets receive, tear-downs show a smartphone built from above-average but not killer parts.

With hardware designs, software functionality, and user expectation all converging on a ‘default’ look and feel of a handset, making sure a modern smartphone stands out requires a distinctive voice and style alongside the standard physical aspects.

This is where Samsung has an edge, or in the case of the 2015 handsets, the S6 Edge. Putting aside Samsung’s Galaxy Note Edge phablet as a limited edition trial balloon, there is nothing else like the S6 Edge on the market. Curving the screen edges into the chassis has created a unique handset that stands out at retail points of sale, that is easily identified ‘in the wild’, and has critics raving about a handset that is different, new, and exciting. With the S6 Edge, Samsung finally has something to leverage against the ‘are you sure that’s not trying to be an iPhone?’ brigade.

In the same vein, the decision to move away from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 system on chip gave the Galaxy S6 a point of differentiation against the other 64-bit Android handsets. This point has been discussed extensively online and one of the positive knock-on effects is that the S6 family is seen as being ‘different’.

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