Jan 10, 2012
What company doesn’t want to be Apple right now? Their phones have been some of the most desired pieces of technology for several years running. They popularized the tablet market, and competitors are rushing to keep up, even having to essentially try to jump into a smaller market – literally – in order to stay on relatively the same footing. They’re sitting on enough cash that if current CEO Tim Cook wanted to go out and be Batman, he could. Their beloved founder Steve Jobs passed away in 2011, but, at the risk of sounding crass, even that went about as well as it could have for Apple. It overshadowed a press conference a day before that was a letdown due to the iPhone 4S being a minor iteration on the iPhone 4, led to an ourpouring of support from his very customers, and heck, probably helped fuel iPhone 4S sales in a way that the announcement hadn’t done. Apple is finding it hard to do much wrong these days. Who wouldn’t want to be them?
Samsung certainly seems to want to be Apple, and appears to be absolutely shameless in trying to do so. From allegations of copying device and software designs, to using the same child actor from one of Apple’s ads, to even now introducing their own AirPlay competitor that will try to take advantage of their vertical integration with their TVs to beam videos to them.
To cover these point-by-point:
1. Yes, the entire smartphone industry is taking definite cues from Apple. But isn’t this ultimately what happens in technology? Company releases hardware, competitors try to release their own iterations on it. No one seemed to be making the same kind of fuss about the Playstation Move, which uses a similar “nunchuk and remote” setup as the Wii did, at least to the point where fans of Nintendo really thought that they should have fought battles to keep their design unique.
In fact, it almost seems like this is what Apple fans wanted, right? To move beyond the designs they were using before, in order to use the designs that they found more pleasing? Strikes me as being quite silly, really. They did kind of get what they want. If Apple competitors had gone a completely original route, they likely would have not liked it due to their pro-Apple proclivities.
2. That is just hilarious, but particularly outrageous? Not really. There’s no law against hiring actors just because they were in another commercial. It’s an exceptional little in-joke on their part, and Samsung clearly believes that they are at war with Apple’s products – why not use a prominent icon from one of their commercials for its own gain? Seems clever to me!
3. An AirPlay alternative for Android seems like a great idea. Having gotten to use it with my iPad and Apple TV, it works great for beaming YouTube videos and even using apps like Air Video to beam videos to my TV from my computer. The issue with widespread adoption is of course that it’s only going to be on Samsung TVs…and new ones at that. It’s still a closed standard. Much like how AirPlay is! The cycle continues!
Samsung has clearly become the honey badger (NSFW) – they don’t care, they’re just going to take what they want from Apple, no matter what. They’re going to follow Apple’s lead, and with them being the number one Android phone manufacturer now, they’ll probably keep doing it unless the courts tell them they can’t.