Apple angry at Samsung, BlackBerry

With rivals nipping at its heels, the iPhone maker wants to remind you they are all just wannabes.

By Mar 19, 2013 6:15PM

iphoneIf you own an Apple (AAPL) iPhone, you should have received an email from the company over the weekend, alerting you to a new page on the Apple site that explains why the iPhone 5 is the best.

The tag line: "There's iPhone. And then there's everything else."

This might be the first time since 2001, when it blew everybody away with the first iPod, that Apple has stooped to defend its position as the best possible thing since sliced bread.

The fact is, two of its rivals -- Samsung (SSNLF) and BlackBerry (BBRY) -- are getting a whole lot of attention from the media. Not fawning attention or universal acclaim. Just respectful attention, as worthy alternatives with unique qualities of their own.

It is probably not a coincidence that the new Apple page popped up two days after Samsung unveiled its Galaxy S4.

Not averse to a bit of hyperbole of its own, Samsung's website declares that its Galaxy S4 is nothing less than a "real life companion" that will "make your life richer, simpler, and more fun."

Apparently, Samsung's latest smartphone, which hits the stores next month, really does all kinds of wonderfully wacky things. It's got an "air gesture" feature that lets you click on a Web link just by pointing a finger at it. You can make two video calls at once, and use two apps at the same time. It can tell you what you might want to watch on TV, and control it remotely. It automatically adjusts volume and display to suit your surroundings. It can even monitor your heart rate while you're working out.

Plus, it's got wireless charging.

Don't bother checking out the Galaxy S4 website. You won't be able to escape the marketing push for Samsung's latest device. The South Korean electronics giant spent $401 million on marketing the previous version of the device in 2012, compared to Apple's $333 million budget, according to figures reported by Phandroid.

In the end, Samsung might do better with a smaller but smarter marketing plan. Last week's unveiling of the new device, at an over-the-top Broadway show-style extravaganza at Radio City Music Hall, turned off many tech journalists. They want specs, not showbiz.

But as the battle for market share at the top heats up, Apple may be making marketing missteps, too. That at least is the view of Jean-Louis Gassée, a business media executive, blogger, and, not incidentally, the guy who launched Apple France in 1981.

In part, he is disdainful of Apple's overuse of what he terms "pathetic superlatives" in constantly describing itself and its products as "incredible" and "great." But he's really appalled at an Apple marketing executive's widely-reported, and erroneous, suggestion that the Samsung Galaxy S4 would ship with a year-old version of Android. The diss backfired, as the correction got all the attention.

The way for Apple to end all this bad chatter, of course, is to release something new that is absolutely more fabulous than anything else.

No pressure. How's that iWatch project going?

For now, it can only endure the nibbling from rivals, which by no means stops with Samsung. The real guerrilla warfare is being staged from below, by the rivals for third place behind Apple and the Samsung Galaxy, which is the best-selling phone that uses Google's (GOOG) Android operating system.

In the latest salvo, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins had the nerve to imply that the Apple iPhone is yesterday's news.

In an interview with an Australian business publication that was widely picked up in the U.S., Heins pointed out that the Apple device first came out in 2007. As he knows only too well, Heins said, "the rate of innovation is so high in our business that if you don't innovate at that speed you can be replaced pretty quickly." He cited the new BlackBerry B10's multi-tasking feature as a point of differentiation from the iPhone.

Heins also hinted that he is "pleasantly surprised" by the number of people who are abandoning other phone brands for the new BlackBerry. (We may find out how pleasantly surprised he is on March 28, when his company reports its results.)

At least for now, yet another contender, Nokia (NOK), seems to have been lost in the shuffle of technology coverage in the U.S. But keep in mind that the one-time leader is alive and kicking in the wider world of developing countries.

An interesting perspective is offered in a recent review of two new Nokia Lumia models in an Indian publication called Think Digit. It concludes that the Nokia 520 might be a good choice for a consumer buying a first smartphone, or for someone who's tired of the sluggish response of a budget-priced Android phone.

It's not a ringing endorsement of Nokia. It just clarifies the fact that most of the world has other priorities.  

More from Minyanville

Disclosure: Minyanville has a business relationship with BlackBerry.

Mar 19, 2013 6:40PM
iPhone wannabe?  I think not, especially when the Galaxy is capable of doing so much more.

Be scared, Apple... be very scared.  BAHAHAHAHA!

On a more serious note, perhaps Apple needs to realize that they aren't the "End all, be all" in electronic gadgetry. There are other options that offer a lot more than affordable pricing.
Mar 20, 2013 2:51AM
There's iPhone...and then there is everything else that is better and cheaper.
Mar 20, 2013 12:05AM
Apple, how about you give us the ability to use our devices to the limits of our service instead of allowing the service providers to artifically limit them? Teathering and mobile hot spot for example.  I'm irritated enough to dump both my provider and Apple.
Mar 19, 2013 6:33PM
are they going to start suing again?
Has Apple Really Ever Invented Anything?" via youtube

Mar 19, 2013 11:54PM
Apple sucks...had em...moved on to Samsung and Android and couldn't be happier. Hell, the current version of the iphone still looks like a gen 1. The equivalent of the old brick phones.
Mar 19, 2013 8:33PM

apple held back the progression of technology for many,many years,decades in fact,because of their selfish need for everything they make to be proprietary


their refusal to 'play nice' with the broader technological world was stupid,and not good for anyone


add to that the fact that everyone i know who has an apple product complains about it CONSTANTLY and only one conclusion comes through:



Mar 20, 2013 6:49AM

When Apple put's out ads like this. They are admitting that things are turning negative for Apple.

I personally think younger people have already begun to abandon Apple and its closed ecosystem.

My daughter 15 says that a year ago everyone was buying iPhones. Now a year later everyone is moving to Android because they can customize their phones so much more. Eventually people get tired of Apple making decisions for you. I know I did.

Mar 19, 2013 11:55PM
I own an iPhone 5. The only reason I bought it, I wanted a new iPod. I text and make calls. The only app I actually use is Google Maps. I like to think of my iPhone as the less complicated phone compared to the alternatives. Haven't ever lost a call, but hey, let's be real here, I bought it because I wanted an iPod not a top of the line phone. Thing still makes me mad when it auto adjusts brightness. I just wanted a touch screen mp3 player that could call and text. Nothing more. Are there better phones? Of course, but hey, it costs the same as an iPod and I needed a new phone anyways. Two birds with one stone.

Also, I didn't feel like learning a new interface with a different smart phone. I bought Apple because I'm lazy. Apple, I am the customer of your future, there aren't many like me and I'll be made when you're gone because I'll have to learn to deal with a new interface.


A guy who likes his iPod and is too lazy to deal with a new interface but would rather burn you down than give up his PC.

Mar 19, 2013 11:14PM
Now, granted, Apple won that law suit a while ago.  It was admitted in court that a Samsung product was similar to to their iPhone.  So what else should Apple expect when it is announced that there are things out there like the iPhone and are less expensive!  Congrats Apple - you won but at what cost?
Mar 19, 2013 9:47PM
I bought my first and last iPhone when Apple came out with the iPhone 4. At the time, my carrier was Verizon. I soon found that I couldn't even make a call inside my house without the Great iPhone dropping my call. The same thing happened outside although the signal was a little stronger and sometimes I could receive and send calls. I complained to my carrier numerous times without success. Finally, I sold the iPhone, went to Straightalk and bought a "dumb" phone and haven't looked back since. If I ever get another "smart phone" it will be a Samsung Galaxy that I can use with Straightalk. I would never pay $499 for another iPhone. Apple would have to give me one before I would spend my money on one of their overpriced, over rated iPhones.
Mar 20, 2013 8:24AM
I can't stand apple.  our office decided to get all our supers iphones to be "cool" and in the loop.. ha, these stupid things always mess up, they always lose the email connection.  The guys are constantly walking in my office with those pos's held out griping they aren't working again.  I love my s3.  it's so much easier to use than that stupid iphone.  My husband will have the s4 as soon as it comes out, he has the s2 now.  we have had no issues with Samsung at all.  The only reason I didn't get the note was because it was to big to fit in my pocket. that thing is friggin cool!!!
Mar 20, 2013 9:18AM
bored with iPhone. I'm getting a  SG4 or Blackberry Z10. Apple is so stale. The same boring UI since 2007. We're ready for change Apple!!!
Steve "the tyrant" Jobs was apple, without him they're going back to the barely there company they were for so many years.
Mar 20, 2013 9:10AM
I'm no guru but my i4 has been the best 'walkman' I've ever had!
It takes good enough pictures. I like using itunes and what I like most about the i4 is the size!
The size of these new smartphones i5 included is getting ridiculously stupid!

Keep the phones smaller, what the heck do I need a 6" screen for?

That is all, thank you

Mar 20, 2013 9:39AM
its a phone. get over yourselves. get a life. stop trending towards social ineptitude and lack of human interaction.
and, by all means, support U.S. companies as much as possible. unless you want to be under chinese/japanese/korean rule in the not too distant future.
think about it...keep sending our hard-earned $ overseas and what that does to our economy here at home.
Mar 19, 2013 9:08PM
 Apple is a good name for technology and host much commercial value, they just need to be Number One in the business by lowering their prices.
Mar 20, 2013 12:17PM
Iphone is fine, if you own everything Apple, but if not, then I like Galaxy.
Mar 20, 2013 10:17AM
I recently bought a new iPod and while there started to shop for phones.  I currently have an Apple 4s which for the most part  I am indifferent about.  The sales person said the "new" Blackberry might be a good choice for me as it also duplicates (?replaces) an iPod.  I was also made aware of the new "cloud" technology with regard to storing content.  If a person wanted a phone to make calls, store a lot of music content (80 GB) and provide a good digital camera without all the hoopla what is the best choice on the market today?  I couldn't care less about gaming.  I would also like something that is easy and cheap to change the battery plus the ability to add memory without cracking the case.   I also ride motorcycles and would find it useful to be able to use my phone as a fully functional GPS device.   The ideal device would also be somewhat water (rain) resistant!
Mar 20, 2013 8:24AM
They both have way more features than an old guy like me would ever use. The only reason I have a Galaxy S3 is that I got it at Walmart for 98 bucks.
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