Apple who? Samsung cranks its hype machine to 11 for the Galaxy S4

samsung sets its hype machine to 11

Since Samsung confirmed it will again unveil its new flagship Android Galaxy phone at its own grand event and not during a trade show, we’ve been hearing the same old comparisons between it and Apple’s tried and tested strategy for unveiling its new hardware. From WWDC keynotes to cozy, private gatherings held on its Cupertino campus, Apple is considered the master of the stage-managed launch event. But times have changed, and describing Samsung’s event as, “Apple-like” is no more true than calling the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy S4, “iPhone-like.” Samsung has taken Apple’s promotional strategy, spun it around, glammed it up, and made it more mainstream than ever.

There’s no denying Samsung took more than a few tips from Apple, and there’s also no denying it paid very close attention to the smartphones and tablets released by Apple to hone its trade. But instead of being the perennial copycat, Samsung has taken these traits and made them its own, albeit in an unsubtle way. It produces phones and tablets with just about every screen size you can imagine, held a flashy event in London for the Galaxy S3’s launch last year, and if the rumors are correct; will launch a 5-inch, 1080p smartphone with an eight-core processor and all sorts of sci-fi software features this Thursday.

By launching the Galaxy S4 at Radio City Music Hall in New York, where it can make full use of the giant billboards in Times Square to publicize its newly announced device, Samsung is taking the Apple-style private event to the extreme. Plus, perhaps more importantly, if that Galaxy S4 spec becomes reality, it’ll have also taken its hardware to the extreme, and when was the last time you felt Apple did the same thing with the iPhone?

Samsung brings its phone to the people

Galaxy S4 Teaser

The thing is, a year or two ago, it wouldn’t have been worth Samsung spending all the time and effort on a Times Square launch event. It’s really only now that smartphones are mainstream enough for people not only to understand what’s so special, but to care enough to tune in.

That’s right, tune in. Samsung is live streaming its event on YouTube – something Apple would never do. While Apple has live streamed a few of its events in the past, they’ve been the exception to the rule. Yes, WWDC is a pay event, but Google managed to live stream its Google I/O keynote, so there’s really no excuse. The answer as to why it doesn’t bother is obvious: it fits perfectly with the image of exclusivity which Apple loves to propagate. It’s an image that’s getting a bit old. Samsung is showing it understands the industry’s shift into mainstream culture, and is moving with those times.

Stuffy, snobbish, closed launch events sum up Apple, while brash, glitzy gatherings broadcast across the world and projected onto gigantic billboards are quintessentially Samsung. It’s fully exploiting the mainstream appeal of the modern smartphone, and doing a far better job at it than Apple; a company which remains secretive and seemingly uninterested in interacting with its customers outside of a retail environment. Take, for example, Samsung Mobile’s Facebook page, with a, “Ready 4 the Show,” banner already in place, plus many images and videos about its product range. Over at Apple’s Facebook page (yes, there is one) it’s a ghost town.

Samsung has succeeded in giving itself a playful, engaging, and friendly personality. Now, its marketing team has cranked the dial on its hype machine  to 11 ahead of the Galaxy S4 launch. It’s holding one of then most public launch events for any piece of consumer technology we can recall. If it’s as full-on as we expect, and the phone is as impressive as we hope, Samsung is well on its way to usurping Apple in another key area: as this year’s most recognizable brand name in top-end smartphones.

Home Theater

Crazybaby’s Air 1S true wireless earbuds won’t make you look like a dork

Audio technology company Crazybaby has launched the Air 1S true wireless earbuds, promising considerable connectivity improvements over previous models while retaining the sleek style and supreme comfort.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs. Apple iPhone X: Battle of the ultra-premium smartphones

The new Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is the company's latest ultra-premium smartphone. The device boasts top-tier specs, an excellent design, and more. But can it take out the Apple iPhone X, Apple's own ultra-premium device?
Mobile

Samsung confirms the Galaxy S10 won't be the first 5G phone

It may be no more than a sparkle in Samsung's eye, but the Samsung Galaxy S10 is definitely coming. Here's everything we know about what's sure to be Samsung's most amazing creation so far.
Smart Home

Samsung's Galaxy Home uses not-so-smart Bixby to do your bidding

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Home smart speaker to rival Amazon's Echo, Google Home, and Apple's HomePod. However, it is not quite ready to provide release and price details.
Mobile

Samsung's Bixby assistant will come to the Galaxy Tab S4 next year

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 has launched. With the Snapdragon 835, 4GB of RAM, and the option for 256GB of storage, it's a powerful beast. But it's got more than just that up its sleeve. Here's all you need to know.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs. Huawei P20 Pro: Two high-end phones clash

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is here and it's a big, beautiful beast of a smartphone. But today's market is demanding -- does the Note 9 measure up to other flagships? We pitted it against the Huawei P20 Pro to find out.
Product Review

The Nokia 3.1 is disappointing in almost every way

HMD Global is back with a new Nokia phone in the U.S., the Nokia 3.1. It's a frills-free phone with an attractive price tag. But can it compete with other similarly priced budget phones?
Mobile

Samsung rebrands Gear app as ‘Galaxy Wearables,’ it now supports Android 9.0 Pie

Following reports that Samsung Gear owners were experiencing connectivity issues after downloading Android 9.0 Pie, the company released an update to the app. The Samsung Gear app is also now officially known as Galaxy Wearable.
Deals

Smartphone out of juice? Get this Anker power bank for half its normal price

Smartphones are great -- right up until they run out of battery. If you're in need of a little extra juice on the go, you can pick up an Anker PowerCore 1300mAH for almost 50 percent off.
Mobile

Apple may add Apple Pencil support for its 2018 iPhones

Apple's 2018 iPhone range is still a mystery. How many models will launch? What will they be called, and how big will the screens be? Here are all the rumors and everything we know so far.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Mobile

Sprint and LG team up on a 5G smartphone set for release in first half of 2019

Sprint and LG are teaming up to bring customers the first 5G smartphone in the U.S. While details on design and specifications have yet to be released, the carrier confirmed the device will be available in the first half of 2019.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best wireless earbuds around.
Mobile

Apple says Group FaceTime will not be part of initial launch of iOS 12

At this year's Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple unveiled its latest operating system, iOS 12. From app updates to group FaceTime, ARKit 2.0, and more, here are all the new features in iOS 12.