Apple, the pioneer, for long the leader, always dismissed competition with disdain.
There were ruffles when an Asian company came up with a Galaxy brand 3 years back.
They were dismissed as copycats then & ignored.
The competition grew more stronger, Apple no longer wanted to ignore them.
-->S was a dipstick test for Samsung.
-->S2 was when they believed they had arrived.. just a year and a half back, it was the biggest badass of it's time. Sold 40 million units.
-->S3 sold another 40 million units & by now you could see that Samsung had that swagger, that confidence of a lion when it walked out.
Apple was clearly rattled by now, filing a slew of lawsuits against the copycats.
A court ordered Samsung to pay $1 billion in damages.
Samsung appealed & it won to quite an extent. The liability came down to $490 MUSD.
A good chance that it may be down to 0 by the time the case is settled.
But what Apple lost in return was much more than $490 MUSD.
Samsung cut off the screen panel supply & a slew of other parts Apple ordered from them.
And so the murky rivalry continued.
It's common knowledge now, that Samsung is out in the market with the next of it's super series 'Galaxy S'.
-->S4 launch - no hint of hesitancy, no browbeating only on hardware specs, nice and balanced.. they are now in the frame that a winner is in & their latest offering shows why.
Apple, it's only other big ticket competitor is not too amused by this launch.
From what shows in the media, it looks like they are a little ruffled.
3 days before the unveiling of the Galaxy S4, Apple's marketing head - Phil Schiller comes out in the public and attacks Google's andriod and Samsung's 'yet to be launched' phone.
He said that the new flagship S4 would be shipped with a year old Android OS.
Why on earth would anyone of that stature do that?
That too, when there is a good 50% chance that you might be beaten to pulp by the media if what you say turns out to be false.
Well, logic is the nirvana that you cannot achieve when you are uneasy, perturbed & ruffled.
And 3 days later, the exact opposite happened.
Phil would be cursing himself.
Galaxy S4 ships out with the latest Android 188.8.131.52 Jelly bean - the newest kid on the block.
And there went our Phil... well, sinking.
I have basic problems with a few other Apple philosophies
- Of acting holier-than-thou and self righteously taking the moral high ground by not allowing people to share files through through standard file transfer methods.
- Of having the gall to block a few applications because they 'supposedly' violate their virtues.
-Of removing competition using the dirty way - Google maps did not make it to iOS6 & then putting it back when they couldn't pull it off with Apple maps. A public apology from Apple followed.
Well, while the two big giants slug it out... all I would like to say is that the customer, the 'me' in this war was never happier.
This brinkmanship between them is giving us absolute gems one after the other.
This lowdown is for people who already know the advantages of Galaxy S series & are fairly conversant with the Andriod eco-system.
Unlike the past, Samsung did not dwell on it's hardware superiority.
But they did silently make a mention of it's processor which is well, wait for it :
An oh-my-God 'OctaCORE' processor!
Let's check out the 'WOW' things about this phone :
1. It's slimmer than the Galaxy S3 :
Well, if you were one of them who thought S3 was ridiculously slim, think again.
Your S3 might want to do some treadmill routines now.
At 0.31 inches, it's the slimmest Galaxy ever & much slimmer than any iPhone ever.
Dimensions are : 5.38 x 2.75 x 0.31 in
And while the screen is a jumbo 5 incher, it is ridiculously light as well.
It weighs 130 gms.
2. Bigger screen demands more juice - and they've heard you.
A jumbo display of 5 inches requires commensurate juice.
So they've bumped the battery up to 2600 mAH from the previous 2100 mAH on the S3.
This should provide the much needed relief to the harried smartphone users.
The display specs are quite brilliant :
1080 x 1920 pixels, 5.0 inches (~441 ppi pixel density)
Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors.
3. Now, the biggie - an OctaCORE processor
Yes, you heard it right.
What the hell is wrong with these guys?
Quadcores were the flavor of the season.. but not anymore.
The S4 sports a Exynos 5410 processor with 8 cores.
4 of these cores are high performance - 1.8Ghz & the remaining 4 at 1.2 GHz.
Mighty, I must say.
4. Air touch - let your fingers do the talking
The S4 senses your finger hovering on the screen without the need to touch.
It would work for a few applications like the mail client.
The hovering of your finger without touching would display the first few lines of the mail content.
Similarly you could change songs in your media gallery by just hovering your finger without touching the screen.
You could hover your finger over images in the gallery and it would pop up the images you are hovering on.
This is extremely useful for times when your finger feels sweaty or when you are having your meals & don't feel like touching.
5. Segregation of personal & official stuff
Now this is one feature, I first saw on the Nokia E series phones. But the implementation was primitive.
Not much is known, but it would be able to keep your official stuff and emails separate from your personal movies and pictures.
6. Video play lock with eye contact - an absolute ripper!
How many times have you started watching a 5 minute video and had 15 distractions in between with your mom or friends calling out for you?
Well, this feature locks your eyes, and if you look away - the video pauses
Look back and it starts.
Can it get cooler?
Well yes, look for the next one.
7. Auto scroller
You are reading a book or a news article. You would typically read through a cell phone's screen in 10 seconds and then you scroll.
So here the S4 again locks your eyes & scrolls down if you just tilt your phone upwards mildly.
Tilt downwards and the screen scrolls up.
Quite neat right?
Wait for more.
8. Rear and front camera recording together
This is a new absurd concept, but might be worth trying.
In both video and picture modes, both cameras can operate simultaneously.
Capturing the expressions of the one clicking the photograph might be interesting.
9. S-Translate & Infra red remote
The S4 promises instant translation between 10 different languages which is neat.
But the bigger one is the infra red feature which allows the phone to behave like a remote control for TVs, home theatres, DVD players and audio stations.
10. Cool accessories like the S-Health band
The S health ecosystem debuted with S3, but has been taken further with the S4.
Wear the band to monitor your workouts, how much you've burned, your heart rate, ambient temperature & humidity.
But this is an accessory though.
Well, these 'Wow' features would definitely come for a price & that hasn't been revealed yet.
But I expect it to be around the 42 thousand Indian rupees mark. Take or give 5%.
Samsung has shown resolute intent in getting to the top.
They beat Apple iPhone 4s with S3 sales, so they have been there, done that in the past.
Let's wait it out to see if Samsung emerges winner again.
I'll wrap it up with a funny tweet I read from Rajeev Makhni, resident Tech-guru from NDTV.
"The only thing Apple can sue Samsung now for is - spelling their phone name in reverse :)
S4 - 4S".
What's new with me?
I feel i have grown up.. because these days i look down on the younger generation :)
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