Where Samsung ads go, Apple hate is sure to follow

Whenever I see “Presented by Samsung Galaxy S4” I have to wonder. I don’t remember Josh ever being so brutal—some might say unfair—on an Apple product that is clearly not finished. And you know, it’s not like Samsung hasn’t pulled dirty tricks in its campaigns before.

  • Ben Govero

    Yea, I’ve noticed this too, all over the place. Business Insider constantly sells full page takeovers to Samsung. I can’t tell you how many Apple bashing articles on BI have been surrounded on all sides by Samsung S4 ads. Funny how that works.

  • def4

    Ever since Apple punked Topolsky with the teardrop iPhone, he has only been critical and dismissive of all Apple products. At the same time, doors at Google started opening wider for in-depth interviews and exclusives.

  • You are implying someone as dishonest just bcos of who is advertising on the site ? Just because he does not like iOS 7 ( Like many others ) you can’t make allegations like this

    • mccldwll

      “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here …”

    • Fraydog

      What do you mean, he can’t do that? Josh is talking about a developer preview he technically can’t even look at and comment without breaching NDA. I assume he’s not a registered developer, so either he’s using iOS 7 and is way off on his view, or isn’t using iOS 7 and is judging something he has no idea about. This period is one where people are best off just keeping their mouths shut. He’s doing his readers an absolute disservice.

      PS I don’t want to judge everyone over there, there are lots of people there that do amazing work.

    • Chaka10

      It’s not nearly as direct (or clumsy) as buying advertising equals good press, but good PR can be bought. That’s a fact, and it involves money, like anything else, which Samsung is willing to spend.

    • Idon’t Know

      Of course he can, did, and he’s right.

  • So are you positing On The Verge is sponsored by Samsung so that influenced Josh’s review of iOS7?

    Do you feel his remarks were wrong?

    • Martin Johnson

      They brought on a designer solely because of a tweet that was critical of iOS 7, when that designer says anything complimentary you can watch Josh try and steer back toward criticism. That seems kind of unbalanced. Poor judgement at best but there has been a very real anti-Apple narrative coming from The Verge for some time now.

      • Can you clarify specifically where Josh steered his opinion back to criticism?

        I’m pretty sure the anti-Apple vibe isn’t real because I feel they’ve been on Apple’s side for a long while yet slapping Google around for Android issues for a while. Point being, your perception shapes your view of their writing.

        • Herding_sheep

          Its not quite anti-Apple like some other sites are, but the tone there has clearly shifted. Josh used to be VERY apologetic to Apple criticisms, some might even say “fanboy.” We’re talking about a guy who wrote an article “This is Apples post-pc world, and we’re all living in it” after the iPad 2 launch, which was not exactly a blow-away announcement. He used to be much more critical of Android.

          But slowly we’ve seen that reverse directions. As I saw this happening, I started noticing more and more Samsung (or other Apple competitors) advertising and endorsements on their website.

          Do you remember when Google had to postpone to debut of the Nexus 4 due to a natural disaster (can’t remember which). Well shockingly Verge was the ONLY website that had an in-depth launch center, with in-depth previews and in-depth interviews with Google executives. That was the start of it, their buddy-buddy situation with Google just kept growing and growing. And with that, the tone towards Apple products changed in correlation.

          • Android Central had a review near the same time The Verge did.

            But…again, perception is reality and reading text means we put our own spin on the tone.

        • I didn’t really see Josh try to steer the conversation back into the negative. The entire conversation for the most part was about the negative.

          My only gripe about the interview is how Josh keeps down playing the fact that the software is the first dev release.

          Josh: “it’s in beta right now as dev beta, so this not… to some degree is not final, but …”

        • Idon’t Know

          Yeah moron specifically the part where he commented on an early beta review of a product that is supposed to only be used by developers.

          • I refuse to respond to angry cowards hiding behind anonymous.

          • Idon’t Know

            Then why did you just do so? Angry coward..project much?

      • BC2009

        The designer almost looked afraid of Josh. Every time he said anything remotely good about iOS 7, Josh attached him.

        Not to mention that Josh opens with 3 random tweets as proof that nobody likes the changes in iOS 7. I’m sure you could find at least 3 random tweets saying otherwise.

        I don’t think Josh is reacting to Samsung advertising because he is overly critical of everything these days and very emotionally stubborn about his opinions. He forms them quickly without an in-depth analysis, he states them, and then stands by them with little hard evidence to back them up. He’s gone from insightful reviews to emotional editorials based off knee-jerk reactions. The guy seems to have disdain for all technology these days with the exception of Oculus Rift.

        Josh was in terrible form on this episode of On The Verge. He had an agenda and when his guest failed to fully back him, he bullied his guest. This was worse than the episode when the pulled a guy from Microsoft R&D as a guest to show them some cool new tech and Josh started ridiculing him for the prototype gear strapped to his back and the fact that it ran Windows. When somebody sends a researcher to your show as a guest to show you future development, you show some respect.

  • Bruno

    Don’t be paranoid

  • GFYantiapplezealots

    Wow the Verge is pathetic.

  • Vicious Cur

    I love the naive comments about ads not influencing a blogger’s opinion.

    Samsung continues dumping b-b-b-billions into buying credibility. When that spigot shuts off, expect the media gloss jobs to disappear.

  • Sebastian Atwater

    Everything I’ve read from those guys at the Verge suggests that their ad sales team is entirely separate from their editorial side (the people that write this stuff – including Josh Topolsky). I highly doubt a site like that with the access that they have to Apple would risk that access by taking money from Samsung specifically to bash Apple.

    (Go read their Galaxy S4 review – hardly glowing).

    This accusation seems a bit on the paranoid side.

    • “(Go read their Galaxy S4 review – hardly glowing).”


      • quietstorms

        No. Anybody can tell you that the largest page hits you get from a tech site is reviews. Mess that up and your site is dead.

        When general tech sites, like The Verge, show their bias are in everyday stories.

  • Lucas Rotondo

    It’s quite a leap (and quite irresponsible of the Loop) to suggest that Josh has been bought by Samsung without any evidence, but whatever the reason, his recent writing about Apple has been incredibly brutal, unfair, and dismissive. It’s okay to have an opinion and to criticize Apple. In fact, I love reading opposing viewpoints if they are insightful and well argued. But not all opinions are equally right or equally well-supported, and Josh’s opinions have been poorly argued, lazy, and mean-spiritied. See his recent hatchet piece on iOS 7:


    Josh shows no awareness of iOS 7’s new focus on depth and physics. Instead, he criticizes the most superficial and unfinished elements and provides no insight or critique of the design concepts at work here. What pisses me off about Josh’s writing is not that it criticizes Apple; it’s that he doesn’t understand Apple and makes arguments that are childish and cater to the lowest common denominator of Apple critics. As a result, I am rarely visiting the Verge anymore and am looking for a better source of tech news. Boo Josh. Boo Verge.

  • Techpm

    Remember who got the Google Glass exclusive?

  • Techpm

    We need an Ari Emanuel to tell Josh like it is…


  • Tvaddic

    If he didn’t state his opinion, he wouldn’t get the page views, thus not getting Samsung advertising money.

  • Chaka10

    Samsung has it coming, and will get theirs soon.

    I’ve posted since before the S4 launch (on Ben-Evans’, Dediu’s blogs and elsewhere) that it will disappoint, badly. Reports of that are now coming, it seems every day — only two months from launch! The high-end smart phone market segment is saturating rapidly, if not already, and the S4 is poorly positioned in the replacement market. Its most obvious replacement buyers already bought (the SIII and Note II), less than a year ago. The specs focused and complicated SIV is the antithesis of what iPhone users value.

    As expected, Samsung will spend (and spin) like crazy again, but that will be pushing on a string. Samsung could consider lowering the SIV price significantly — to attract customers who already have a SIII or Note II or to address the first time smartphone market in the area where there’s growth (below the high end), BUT (a) how much would it have to lower prices to be effective and (b) more importantly why? It already has phones that address the low end — why push a more expensive (higher cost) product to the segment?

    Meantime, Apple continues its efforts to relieve itself from Samsung as a supplier. Samsung’s massive cost structure is set up for a period of negative leverage, one where its competitive behavior, including vs its customers, will come to roost. I hope Apple goes for the jugular.

  • Ha just clicked through to watch “on the verge” and saw a Samsung commercial talking about how it has an “easy mode”.

  • Merckel

    Josh Topolsky jumped the shark with his Google Glass coverage. Anyone with a clue knows this product this is DOA. As far as Apple’s reporting goes, the Verge might as well be identified as a subsidiary of Samsung.

    • Jon

      No his review of the Nexus 4 was pretty pandering. I listened to the Verge podcast last night. It was pretty brutal regarding iOS 7. They had some good points but clearly don’t understand design.

  • Мартин Велковски

    Because a human being is not allowed not to like iOS 7. Get over yourself and grow up.

  • gebradenkip

    Unbelievably low to make such a huge accusation without even a shred of proof. You should post a public apology.

    I have never seen anyone from the Verge behave in any way other than with full journalistic integrity. And as you well know, their sales team is strictly separated from their editorial team.

    Josh wrote down his opinions on iOS as it was presented to him. You may disagree with him. I disagree with him for the most part. But not everyone who disagrees with you is a paid stooge.

  • Carlos

    Yes, it’s already well known that The Verge can be renamed at this point 9to5google or Android Central. They started with legitimate and, IMO, interesting criticism. Nowadays they post a lengthy post just after the keynote (superficially) bashing iOS 7 to get page views, because Apple articles are by far the more commented and visited. They criticize Apple bloggers claiming they are neutral unlike Gruber or Jim, but nobody with half a brain believes that The Verge is neutral. They like Google too much to be neutral. For example, read this: http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/15/4334372/new-google-maps-for-desktop-hands-on

    I stopped going there to get my tech news. In general, they are too sensationalist.

  • moore

    Very poor form to make insinuations like this. I’ve seen a lot of sniping like this back and forth between prominent tech writers lately, and I’ve got to say that it’s a huge turn off. Go look at The Verge’s recent MacBook Air review to see how much hate the Samsung ads bought.

    Criticize Topolsky’s post – it wasn’t the best idea to have such a prominent post on an obviously beta product, but this headline is way, way too much.

  • Dan Findley

    An Apple blogger is upset that someone criticized Apple? This is unheard of! This site lost its integrity a long before it became a bash Samsung and Microsoft site. How unoriginal. This site is no different than reading comments from BGR. I’m sure all 12 of your readers agree.

    Don’t worry, hopefully Apple’s stock starts doing better, you get some of your money back and you become less angry. Cheers!

  • Moeskido

    I gave up on Topolsky after he interviewed Gruber on his then-new video series. It was unpleasant.

    Topolsky was courteous to a point, but almost immediately tried to weasel admissions of contradictory statements from Gruber in a manner very reminiscent of Chris Wallace interviewing Jon Stewart.

  • Mr. Bee

    I didn’t see this video but I find Josh to be on average far too positive in his product reviews than negative (Apple or otherwise). If he was negative this one time, I’m prepared to give him a break about it.

    I also have to point out that during the first blush when everyone was going gaga over the “revolutionary” iOS 7, it was Josh that was basically the first reasonable tech voice to point out the horrible flaws in the software. The many differing versions of buttons and symbols, the reduced functionality, the visuals that confuse etc.

    I really appreciated that as I was all “head in the clouds” about iOS 7 at the time myself.

  • rolphus

    Sorry guys, this is out of order. Nothing Topolsky said was unreasonable or unfair. Bear in mind this is the same publication that just gave the new MacBook Air the highest rating they’ve ever given any product, ever, worldwide. I don’t buy “anti-Apple bias” for a moment.

    Sadly, this has meant I’ve cancelled my membership.

  • abdoradus

    This is an issue with ad-funded media in general. Whether they admit it or not, they know where the money they are paid with comes from.

  • This is the most dispicable example of Apple propaganda I’ve ever seen.

    As well as being demonstrably untrue, it’s also outragrous hipocrisy from Apple and one of their most infamous embedded journalists — on a website notorious for a pro-Apple bias often conflicting with reality and industry consensus, while being generously bankrolled and rewarded by the corporation.

    The editor of The Verge has called him on it, too:


    • mccldwll

      This is the most dispicable example of anti-Apple propaganda I’ve ever seen, which is no surprise coming from Tim.

      • Why?

        1) Please explain what makes my comment “dispicable ” [sic].

        2) Please explain why you consider the comment “Apple propaganda”.

        Otherwise we can reasonably conclude that you have no case, which of course I already know is true.

        • mccldwll

          LOL. You’re right. When I copied and pasted YOUR statement, I forgot the [sic]!

          • Dude, I set traps for you and you walk into them. It’s entertaining.

          • mccldwll

            Of course you did, Tim. You’re entertaining.

  • Apple is dying, and in their desperation to save themselves it seems the gloves are off. Apple’s propaganda machine is stooping too low this time. This is unprecedented.

    • mccldwll

      Yeh, yeh, you keep saying that. Here’s another of your rants as a BI “insider” from last year:

      “17 2 timacheson (URL) on Nov 1, 10:13 AM said: Apple has been forced to remove the lies in its public apology to Samsung

      Apple demonstrates pathological arrogance and self-righteousness, and profound contempt for the courts and the law.

      Apple could not manage a simple apology. They had to dilute it to such an extent that it becomes a hollow sorry and a bitter outburst riddled with lies. If they had simply done as the court ordered, this would all have been forgotten by now, but Apple’s pathological mentality draws yet further attention to the falsehoods which the corporation and their loyal fanboys cling.

      Apple is an embittered corporation facing terminal decline. Their latest results confirm that this is a business too dependent on iOS and iPhone above all — at a time when these products are being rapidly eclipsed by much cheaper and much better alternatives.”

    • quietstorms

      A company that earns 4x as much as Google per quarter is dying. Got it.

      • How predictable. Die-hard fans and defenders of Apple often fall back on the company’s finances in response to criticisms and reports of failings of their beloved idol.

        If you dare to question the true quality and extent of Apple’s innovation, it won’t be long before somebody brings money into it to prove how great Apple is. It’s like a form of Godwin’s Law. Even as Apple’s share price crashed down to $400 yesterday, loyal supporters were wheeling out the old “if this much profit is failure, give me some failure” argument.

        But the Catholic Church is as big a business as Apple. And it makes an interesting comparison. Is the Catholic Church innovative? Are it’s products great, or even tangible? Making money does not demonstrate that a business or its products are great, it merely demonstrates that people are susceptible to marketing and ideologies.

        Apple is dying. They lost approaching 50% of their value since September. The stock crashed immediately after WWDC. Investors and their own staff have realised that the corporation does not innovate:


        • mccldwll

          It’s sad (but not surprising) to see that you would cite Fibs and that you have such a poor grasp on the workings of the stock market.

          • Utter nonsense.

            Exactly which of my points are you saying is incorrect, and exactly why?

          • mccldwll

            You’re a waste of time. From your narrow, paranoid perspective you find no fault in anything you post.

          • Classic Apple fanboy comment.

            You failed to answer the question when UI had you in check. Now it’s check-mate.

          • mccldwll

            Chess? I’m surprised you didn’t use a checkers analogy, Tim.

          • mccldwll

            Oh, and classic Apple hater comment calling someone who challenges paranoid, unsupported attacks on Apple a “fanboy”.

  • I’ve been monitoring Apple propaganda for years. I assume that Jim is so accustomed to Apple’s dirty tricks and underhanded tactics that it seems normal to him, to the point where he starts seeing it everywhere.

    Samsung has never stooped to Apple’s level, just as Microsoft did not even in the 15 years I’ve been documenting the war between those two companies.


    • mccldwll

      Speaking of paid ads masquerading as commentary, from your blog:

      “Microsoft becoming a hardware company

      Experts have noted Microsoft’s metamorphosis into a hardware company as well as a software company. This means there are lots more gadgets coming soon!

      Microsoft has been undergoing transformational changes over the past half decade or so. The company has responded to the most common criticisms in the process, leaving die-hard critics with nothing but historical ammunition. And it’s working. Microsoft as a business is nor more modern, exciting and diverse than it ever has been before. Microsoft has changed, undergoing a remarkable Renascence, and they’ve already had some exceptional successes along the way.

      Microsoft’s hardware strategy looks promising — Xbox is a pioneering and highly-successful entertainment platform. Surface and its accessories are superb and innovative pieces of next gen hardware — the PC truly has evolved.

      29 October 2012″

      • You seem to be implying that I was paid to write that comment. I wish! Microsoft has never paid me to write anything, they don’t operate like that. I have been offered money by Microsoft’s rivals, however, both directly and by agencies working on their behalf — repeatedly! Which highlights how routine and widespread this lamentable practice has become.

        • mccldwll


          • Your feigned laughter, in classic Apple apologist style, is no substitute for facts or a valid argument with which to challenge the truth I’ve presented to you.

          • mccldwll

            It’s not feigned. I’m genuinely laughing at you for claiming Mr. Softy is too ethical to pay people for positive press. The obvious examples are legion.

          • I’m more concerned with the NEGATIVE press against rivals and critics — like the article we’re commenting on by a known Apple loyalist and beneficiary.

            But your comment is nonsense. If there are so many examples of Microsoft being accused of paying for positive commentary, you will have no trouble finding examples. Please list your best three examples of this. They had better be good — I am asking for the best examples you can find.

          • mccldwll

            No time for any more of your silliness. As far as examples, read anything by Enderle. Oh…..and next time you try to get some money from mr. softy to blog positive or negative “stuff”, here’s an example of one tech writer who clearly succeeded at that:


          • Your consistent inability to cite evidence to support your spurious claims is noted — and consistent with commenting by other Apple-defenders online.

            I don’t think you understand the implications of the article you linked to — as is characteristic of Apple fanboys commenting online. The article is about a normal girl who works at a school and went shopping for some computer:

            “First she stopped in the Apple retail store there, but found that ‘they weren’t very friendly'”

            Another extract:

            “Then she went into the Microsoft store directly across from the Apple store … ‘They were so respectful and so excited to have the opportunity to work with me.'”

            What’s your point?

          • mccldwll

            Apparently you have comprehension problems, or simply view everything through your distorted “Apple hater” lens. Everyone can see it was a planted story. The person was shopping for multiple computers for a school. That is not done through a retail store, as the writer knew but neglected to mention. It was a puff piece. The only thing good about the entire story was that the school probably got an excellent deal for “cooperating”, although the students were stuck with PCs with Microsoft’s OS.

          • You still haven’t answered my question. Because you are unable to do so — you were wrong and we both know it.

          • mccldwll

            Whatever, Tim. You’re dismissed.

          • All of the points I made still stand.

            You made a false statement and when challenged have consistently failed to answer my one question because it blows your entire position clear out of the water.

            Try harder.

    • Everyone sees what they want to see, Tim. You see it as a “dirty trick” that Apple wrote a press release in 2011 talking about how many iPads they sold because that somehow distracted the world from the terrible awful reality that they only sold 3.95 million Macs. You spin this into a pretty dark story about how Apple controls the media: Forbes is SUPPOSEDLY independent. The Guardian has an AGENDA. And EVERYONE is ignoring Microsoft. Nobody gives THEM credit for success! Why, with the way Apple blocks every possible market outlet for Microsoft, it’s a wonder they’re not going out of business, too. Like everybody else who competes against Apple. And, apparently, Apple too! MY GOD, ALL THE TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES ARE GOING OUT OF BUSINESS, TIM.

      Of course, one might point out that Apple is the most profitable technology company on the planet — still — and that even if we take away their dirty trick of including iPads and just focus on computers, they’ve consistently been growing faster than the rest of the PC market for, what is it, five years. These are all publicly reported numbers. Is the SEC in on the fix?

      Yes, it’s absolutely possible that you’re the one clear-eyed person among all the rest of the media that’s been suckered into believing those terrible Svengalis in Cupertino. It’s also possible the guy with all the weird signs who walks up and down Market Street is right and there are aliens secretly filming him for an intergalactic reality TV show. Maybe you should ask him what he thinks about Apple.

      • I take your point about people seeing what they want to see, it’s human nature.

        “a pretty dark story about how Apple controls the media”

        It’s a pretty dark story, and a pretty dark time for tech reporting and journalism in general. Budget-strapped news desks are cutting back on investigative reporters and becoming addicted to spoonfed press-releases and lobbying from corporations and other vested interests with deep pockets.

        Apple doesn’t control the media outright. The corporation does spend millions on political lobbying and operate a network of embedded reporters, opinion leaders who appear to all the world to behave like PR people for Apple. Google spends more on lobbying than Apple, Facebook and Microsoft combined. But it’s not just what you spend, it’s also how you spend it, and Apple has mastered PR and marketing to such an extent that it has famously been credited with possessing a “reality distortion field”.

        • mccldwll

          Another swing and a miss. It wasn’t really Apple that had the infamous “reality distortion field”, it was Jobs. Further, for several years now, Apple has been subject to PR attacks from a mounting number of fronts as it has threatened the business models of more and more established industries–music, print, telecom,television/cable content, movies. Google spends far more than Apple, and Samsung spends ten-fold what Apple spends. Yes, Samsung’s ad spending includes other non-competing products, but it’s still Samsung’s money and that ad spending buys a lot of “cooperation” on the editorial and blogging fronts.

          • Everything I wrote still stands. Try harder.

          • mccldwll

            You really do sound like The Black Knight from Monty Python.

          • Only when he was correct, like I am here.

          • mccldwll

            That’s funny. I don’t remember him, or you, being correct.

    • mccldwll

      Never stooped to Apple’s level? Are you delusional (never mind, I know the answer)? I can’t remember a tech company ever stooping as low as Samsung operates on a daily basis. Not even Microsoft at its lowest. And it’s ludicrous to suggest the Verge isn’t bought and paid for by Samsung through one of its many ad agencies and PR firms. $$$$$ has its privileges. Here’s one of the Verge’s latest Samsung puff pieces:


  • oldmanmountain

    I don’t think the Verge’s writers are directly influenced by their sponsors, but they have lost their form a quite a bit.

    Particularly after events of most tech companies they seem excessively critical, as though their criticism is proof of their objectivity and their ability to resist the company’s marketing push. Criticism != objectivity.

    On the other hand their ‘in depth’ and ‘behind the scenes’ longer form pieces, which are usually just one or two of their journalists vs. company employees (designers, programmers etc.) are super biased and almost propagandist.

    It seems like they’re trying to send a message to companies – give us ‘exclusives’ and ‘behind the scenes’ and we’ll be good to you, if not we’ll slam you.

    It’s also important to note that they use Google services a lot – in their professional and private lives – but they forget that not everybody want’s or likes to use Google as much or as often.

    So I don’t think they’re consciously biased, but they are biased. In the brutal day-to-day news cycle it’s hard to stop, calm down and take a wider perspective on things …