Potshot roundup: Companies that took a dig at the Samsung Galaxy S4 launch

When mobile companies prepare to launch their most important devices, a lot goes into it – elaborate marketing campaigns, advertisements, teasers and more. The same kind and maybe even less efforts go into upstaging it all by rival companies. Samsung seems to be the oft targeted company of such marketing tactics these days, a fact that was confirmed with rivals clamouring to take a dig on the eve of Samsung Galaxy S4’s launch yesterday.

LG most famously started things off by trying to shoot Samsung’s Galaxy S4 teasers on a larger than life platform. In a move that could spark off a war of the billboards, LG looked to photobomb Samsung’s hoardings on Times Square days before the launch.

Samsung had booked a couple of prime hoardings on Times Square, which unfortunately had two more hoardings placed above them. So while Samsung put up its banner that read, “Be Ready 4 The Next Galaxy,” LG tried to one up the world’s largest phone maker by putting up a mocking post of its own that said, “LG Optimus G Is Here 4 You Now.” Cheeky, cheeky!

LG's hoarding taking a dig

LG's hoarding taking a dig


No harm done by LG though, as Samsung was prepared to sport more than just billboards at Times Square, New York. The company conducted a street performance flash mob to build up the pre-launch excitement in the US.

Not left too far behind to take an aim at Samsung was HTC, who is pushing its HTC One to all and sundry. While reporters and members of the public were waiting to get a glimpse of the Samsung Galaxy S4, they had another high-end Android thrust into their hands for a look – the HTC One. The Taiwanese company sent out an almost guerilla team that not only offered reporters flown halfway across the world by Samsung a look at the HTC One, but they even handed out chips and cocoa to people waiting around Samsung’s event location. Oh, and they gave out $100 off card for the new HTC One. Classy!

While Samsung’s event was in full swing, HTC’s tirade of tweets with the hashtag “#theNextBigFlop” turned up to mock Samsung’s “The Next Big Thing” slogan. HTC’s new CMO Ben Ho even came out to say that the yet again plastic body of the Galaxy S4 was “more of the same.”

"With a continuation of a plastic body, and a larger screen being the most obvious physical change, Samsung's new Galaxy pales in comparison to the all-aluminum unibody HTC One", he said. “This is more of the same. HTC remains the best option for those people looking for the best technology wrapped in premium design. Our customers want something different from the mainstream, who appear to be the target for the Galaxy. Our customers want original cutting-edge technology, mouth-watering design and a premium feel from their mobiles, which is why we created the HTC One." Alright, then!

Closer home, XOLO announced the launch of its Intel Atom Z240-powered X1000 not even hours before Samsung was slated to unveil the S4. Touted to be “the fastest smartphone ever”, the launch event was strategically timed to be on the same day as the Galaxy S4’s launch. That it eventually did not exactly manage to upstage the attention from S4’s launch is another story.

$100 off for HTC One? Wow!

$100 off for HTC One? Wow! (Image Credit: gottamobile.com)


Phil Schiller of Apple took the rant route before the launch. He slammed Android and Samsung both in an interview with Reuters, saying that the Galaxy S4 was likely to ship on old software that would end up frustrating users. “With their own data, only 16 percent of Android users are on year-old version of the operating system. Over 50 percent are still on software that is two years old. A really big difference,” he said. “And that extends to the news we are hearing this week that the Samsung Galaxy S4 is being rumored to ship with an OS that is nearly a year old. Customers will have to wait to get an update.”

The surprise entry on this list of companies looking at taking a dig at Samsung before the launch of Galaxy S4 is Google, the company that created the Android OS that the phone actually runs on. We’ve been hearing of an alleged cold war between the two companies for the longest time ever, and with good reason.

Samsung sells about 40 percent of all gadgets that use Google’s Android operating system, and executives at Google are waking up to the possibility that Samsung could become a bigger player than Google itself. The search giant is worried that Samsung could eat into the former's lucrative mobile-ad business.

At a Google event last year, Android head Andy Rubin spoke highly about Samsung’s spectacular success and said that its partnership with Google had been mutually beneficial. But he also went on to warn that Samsung could turn into a threat if it gained any more ground in the mobile sector.

Google has been taking its chances with the rumoured X Phone with Motorola, which the search giant bought over to play it safe. Samsung too is having clandestine affairs with other operating systems like Tizen and Windows Phone.

With the Samsung Galaxy S4 finally launched and the world talking about it, did these tactics really make a dent in the launch proceedings? We doubt it.


(Cover Image Credit: Yahoo News)

Published Date: Mar 15, 2013 02:25 pm | Updated Date: Mar 15, 2013 02:25 pm