18th Mar 2013
As we said earlier, when covering the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4, it is time for Apple to take a good look at what their next iPhone will be going up against. The saving grace for Apple is that the Galaxy S4 won't be widely available for at least one more month. To distort the popular saying, what would Steve Jobs do? Simply for the purpose of this article, I shall assume that Jobs would not lie to distort reality, and that we in India aren't interested in the quad-core S4 that will be sold through US mobile carriers. Setting fuzzy numbers from the spec-sheet aside, these are some areas where the Galaxy S4 is likely to challenge the next iPhone:
The looks of the Samsung Galaxy S4 (model GT-I9500) don't depart dramatically from the S3 and the design still offers a hardware "Home" button. Is this a brazen dare for Apple to expand its lawsuit? Samsung has tasted success with the current design and will milk it for all it is worth. More so, when consumers have chosen to love this design. The Galaxy S4 does not waste much physical space upon the bezel and has done what it could to appeal to design-snobs, despite its "plasticky" feeling.
The iPhone though, may have run its course (since 2007) and even faithful users would want to jump ship to explore a different form-factor smartphone, according to a recent survey. So just stretching the iPhone vertically or horizontally may not work anymore.
The 1920x1080 resolution and AMOLED 5-inch display on the Galaxy S4 may look extremely attractive, making consumers imagine very good clarity for everyday tasks as well as Full-HD movies. If you thought the "Retina" display set off a scramble among app developers (and bragging rights for users) when it debuted on Apple's iPad, wait till you see the same advantage being exploited by Samsung.
Samsung has followed-up the higher screen resolution with a 2600 mAh battery, theoretically almost 25% more battery juice than the Galaxy S3, to prevent battery-life from becoming a deal-breaker.
In another dare to Apple (in case they possess a valid patent on the iPad "Smart Cover"), the Samsung Galaxy S4 supports similar functionality with its "S View Cover" accessory to cover the phone's screen, available in multiple colors.
When it came to megapixel count, the cameras of both, the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S3 were a surprise in staying at the 8MP level. Fans of each brand spoke about how mobile-phone camera quality had topped out, and that further increase in the pixel count was not going to be sufficiently rewarding. There was more than a grain of truth in that explanation, although I suspect the real reason might have had more to do with better lens/sensors costing too much, besides insufficient production for the companies' projected requirements at the time.
Now that the Galaxy S4 went ahead with a 13MP camera, Apple cannot be seen as sitting back and doing nothing. Expect the next iPhone to play catch-up, succumbing to the same sentiment that drove the increase in screen size in the iPhone 5. I don't think the question is how much better would the picture quality be, but what different would Apple do with the iPhone camera to wow their loyal base and woo their detractors.
What sorcery doth Samsung possess, to thus announce an 8-core processor that simultaneously runneth the A15 and A7 architecture?
The public likes numbers, and will cheer Samsung on, no matter how it implemented its eight cores with the Exynos 5410 "Octa" chipset (four Cortex-A15 cores at 1.6 GHz and four Cortex-A7 cores at 1.2 GHz).
The meager two cores driving the iPhone 5, now begin to seem in popular imagination like a shadow to the Galaxy S4's bright beam of light. The iPhone may fall behind in graphical effects in games, for this reason. Not only games, the extra features Samsung puts into the Galaxy S4 (such as Dual Shot) also demonstrate that it has plenty of processing power to spare - a fact that won't go under-utilized by the Android community of users.
All said and done, the game is nicely set. As they say in Cricket, Samsung have put the runs on the board and Apple will need to chase them down. This time, the game is a little different though, as Apple are not used to playing catch-up. Whether they have already factored in the moves by their Korean rival and have a plan in place, we are not sure. Perhaps Steve would have. We will soon know what will Tim do.
Galaxy S4: What Would Steve Jobs Do?
What Apple must be concerned about after the Samsung GALAXY S4 launch.
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