Samsung mano-a-mano with Apple
By Kim Yoo-chul
The launch comes as competition between Samsung and Apple escalates with the latter’s iPhone 5 recently regaining its leadership in the global smartphone market over the former’s Galaxy S3.
Insiders said the Korean firm strategically chosen the Radio City Music Hall for the unveiling venue.
''Since New York is nicknamed the Big Apple, which is also the symbol and heart of the United States, Samsung picked that city for the event,’’ one said.
''We are highly positive that the new Galaxy will receive a favorable response from consumers and markets. By releasing the S4 on Apple’s home-turf, Samsung wants to show we can effectively manage our smartphone business even in the United States,’’ said another insider, familiar with the matter.
The firm’s confidence is based on the new phone’s faster evolution in hardware specifications and improvements in look and feel of the surface screen.
To cope with increased consumer demand for faster data processing, the new Galaxy will be powered by the in-house Exynos Octa-core processors, making the S4 theoretically twice as fast as the S3, which uses quad-core processors.
The display size is expected to be enlarged to 5 inches, while the storage capacity will be expanded to 2 gigabytes (GB).
''These wow factors will draw attention. If we can beat Apple on its home turf, then we will be seen as the real global leader in smartphones by consumers,’’ said the insider.
In the United States, Apple had a 36.3 percent market share as of the end of December, ahead of Samsung’s 21 percent, according to data from market research firm ComScore.
Although Samsung is widening its lead over Apple in terms of global market share, sales of the Galaxy S3 dipped in the fourth quarter of 2012. Samsung sold 15.4 million Galaxy S3s globally, compared to Apple’s 27.4 million iPhone 5s, data from Strategy Analytics (SA) said.
The Korean firm expects to make a comeback once it releases the S4, aiming at 100 million in sales. Insiders say the company is preparing to ship around 10 million phones every month.
''The new Galaxy is ahead of Apple’s upcoming iPhone slated for the latter half. First come and you get more share. The real game with Apple will start with the unveiling of the S4,’’ said a senior executive at a local supplier for Samsung, by telephone.
''Apple is somewhat losing its creativeness and revolutionary features. That’s why its stock is falling. In contrast, Samsung is regarded as the firm that has been pursuing evolution and sells competitive products with better pricing based on a huge advantage in manufacturing,’’ he said.
In the meantime, a final decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) on Samsung’s patent-infringement case against Apple will come Thursday. The agency must decide whether Apple infringed on four Samsung patents.