While iPhone competitors have come and gone (HTC and BlackBerry come to mind), Samsung has actually been able to garner significant marketshare and provide an attractive alternative to the iPhone in the form of its wildly popular series of Galaxy S smartphones.
Not only has Samsung been able to offer a moderately compelling user experience (one which Apple thinks borrows too heavily from its own), but it has also been able to differentiate its products from the iPhone by offering devices at a variety of pricepoints and, of course, with much bigger screens.
Tomorrow, Samsung will be taking the wraps off its latest smartphone, the Galaxy S IV. And for the first time, Samsung will be unveiling its latest and greatest smartphone not in Seoul, South Korea, but smack dab in the middle of New York City at Radio City Music Hall, just blocks from Apple's flagship Apple retail store. What's more, Samsung will be broadcasting the event live in Times Square.
Suffice it to say Samsung has been rather shrewd when it comes to marketing, and now it's taking the fight right over to Apple's turf.
The Galaxy S IV won't include eye-scrolling technology as previously rumored, but it will come with a 5-inch screen, a 13-megapixel camera and a quad-core processor from Qualcomm. From a Bloomberg article:
The timing of the S4’s arrival could spell trouble for Apple, which probably won’t have a new phone out until mid-year at the earliest, said Park Hyun, an analyst at Tong Yang Securities in Seoul. Apple’s sales growth last quarter was the slowest in more than two years, a sign the iPhone is losing its edge over other smartphones.
“Its popularity has clearly cooled off,” Park said. The next Apple phone, expected to be called the iPhone 5S, will be out in the late second quarter or early third quarter, he said.
Now, I wouldn't say that the iPhone's popularity has cooled off seeing as Apple continues to sell tens of millions of iPhones each and every quarter, but there's no denying that Samsung's range of smartphones is really establishing its own niche within the market. Apple's marketing efforts may downplay the benefit of a wider screen, but there's clearly a large contingent of users out there who prefer a larger, more vibrant display.
The main takeaway from Samsung's venture into NYC is that the company has learned from the master. The release of the Galaxy S IV is an event that has people buzzing, and is one of the top stories across the tech blogosphere. And all of that attention for a product that likely won't be that different from the Galaxy S III. That's an impressive feat for any company not named Apple to pull off.