Samsung Galaxy S4 - A Major Thorn In Apple's Side
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Samsung Galaxy S4  -  A Major Thorn In Apple\'s Side

This past spring, Samsung introduced its newest flagship device, and the successor to the Samsung Galaxy S3 - the Galaxy S4. And while the S3 was certainly the first Samsung smartphone to gain major traction in the market, the S4 has really taken it to the next level for Samsung, and has been one of the first massive competitors to Apple's iPhone line-up.

According to reports from Counterpoint research, the Galaxy S4 held the title for the most popular smartphone in the world for several months leading up to September, when the iPhone 5s betrothed the Samsung device. This truly goes to show that Apple is no longer the clear dominator in the smartphone market like it was back in the iPhone 4 days (when their phones were hands-down the best). At this point, Samsung has clearly figured out part of Apple's success strategy: deliver a crisp end-user experience, and couple that with a solid piece of hardware, a lot of savvy marketing, and a number of top-of-the-line features, and you've got a good shot at gaining traction in the market.

It's worth noting that of the top 10 most popular smartphones, Samsung can claim seven out of the ten spots, while Apple can claim just three (albeit, three of the top four, and with all of its flagship devices). Samsung offers a wide plethora of devices to choose from, from the Galaxy S4 mini all the way up to the Galaxy Mega 6.3, and everywhere in between, and this allows them to shore off various portions of the market that have certain needs in their smartphone, and that like the TouchWiz software that comes with all of Samsung's mobile devices.

I think the Galaxy S4 was really the first smartphone out there to challenge Apple's 'sexy' branding that the company uses to market all of its products now. It hired Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd and Lebron James to do a full-length advertisement for Samsung in general; it started to use its now ubiquitous tagline, 'The Next Big Thing'; and it unveiled a sexy-looking smartphone that had a ton of cool features that the iPhone didn't. And, well, it worked.

If you're like me, then you can appreciate the goods and bads of the iPhone, the Galaxy S4, and every other phone out there. The iPhone is truly a great phone, offering a very concentrated, stylized experience focused on pure simplicity. In spite of this, Apple has been losing its control of the mobile phone industry over the past few years, with various competitors stepping up and offering equally optimal experiences for different kinds of users (most recently, LG with its G2). In the end, though, Samsung was the first company to really parallel that 'must-have' status of Apple products - and boy, Apple sure isn't happy about it.


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