Samsung returns to its Apple mocking ways

I thought this ad was well done, though the story is told with selective memory. I did not see any exploding phones, porous security measures, malware, etc., etc.

The one word that springs to mind watching this is the one word that describes the true feeling the iPhone X must bring to mind for Samsung.


  • Prof. Peabody

    I disagree this time. This time, I think they have a bit of a point. IMO Apple is definitely losing it’s edge and their designs are objectively not as good as they used to be. They are also ridiculously expensive for what they are

    Android phones are not perfect but pretty much the entire point of Android is actually affordability. I have lots of friends who have always used Android phones not because they think they are better, but simply because they aren’t rich and those are what they can afford.

    Using the iceberg metaphor, the part you can see gleaming above the water is Apple’s market. The much larger part in the darkness beneath is the Android market of which Apple seems to be both blithely unaware of as well as comfortable with letting it buoy them up.

    Apple’s continued move “up market” and attempts to redefine itself as luxury brand are elitist and similar in my mind to “white privilege,” and a lot of Tim Cooks comments lately come across as “let them eat cake” to me. They don’t even see how awful the optics of their situation are.

    There is a reason that Samsung adverts use mostly minorities. There is a groundswell of support for this kind of “anti-Apple” thinking lately and the smell of revolt in the air.

    The only thing stopping a massive exodus from Apple products is the lack of any sane alternative.

    • Janak Parekh

      Huh, I can’t disagree more fundamentally on every level with your argument. “Objectively?” In my opinion, Apple’s engineering has gotten better, not worse, over time, and their latest devices have been utterly amazing.

      And, let’s not forget the target audience and the devices shown in this ad: all expensive phones, on par with Apple. The Galaxy Note 8, which is presumably what he’s picked up in the ad, is $950. In fact, they beat Apple to hiking up the MSRP!

      On the low-market scale Samsung is getting its lunch completely eaten, and therefore has decided to go upscale, and are in fact doubling down on it.

      It’s as if you wanted to rant about Apple’s recent decisions and this was a convenient place, but has little to do with this video.

      • rick gregory

        It’s Peabody. All he DOES is talk, on Apple sites, about how Apple is losing it. Block and move on, he has nothing of value to say and, frankly, it’s pathetic to hang out on sites and do nothing but run down the company. I think Samsung’s crap… but I don’t hang out on Android sites saying that.

        • Janak Parekh

          He didn’t used to be like this.

          If I get disenchanted with a product/platform/theme, I try to stop reading and move on. I find it not worth my time to repeatedly rant. For example, at one point I followed Thurrott before I realized he deeply wants to troll Apple. So, I stopped following him and only check in occasionally. It’s unfortunate, since many of his other critiques make sense, but this avoids getting my nerves up.

          I always find it fascinating what drives people to do that. Is it a familiar community?

          • Mo

            I believe it’s positive reinforcement from their most vocal following, no matter how blinkered. A perception that this is the market one should be communicating directly with. ZDNet and the San Jose Mercury News made it their bread and butter in the previous decade.

            Does Thurrott still end paragraphs with “Obviously.” ?

          • Janak Parekh

            Yes. And his articles are all assuming the iPhone X is an utter disaster.

            But here’s the thing: he’s excoriated Microsoft’s mobile strategy and is all-in on Android (+ Microsoft’s Office etc.) It’s just Apple where he turns irrational.

          • Mo

            Does he also run a consultancy whose primary clients are Windows-based businesses? That’d explain the irrational partisanship.

          • Janak Parekh

            No, but his business is definitely all around online media for Microsoft platforms, for sure.

            In any case, and apologies for derailing—this is tangential to Prof. Peabody, who I think(?) has no specific interest in this regard, just disillusionment. I think.

          • Mo

            I suspect it may be related. Barring new information, however, Thurrott’s still more fun to dismiss.

          • rick gregory

            Got me. It’s one thing to be critical as a fan (nothing and no one is perfect and informed, balanced criticism is useful) but when virtually all of one’s take is that the thing you’re talking about is just bad (or in this case Apple has lost/Is losing it), I don’t get it. If I felt Android was better, I’d use it and not hang out on Apple sites whining about their decisions.

          • Mo

            I might whine if Apple was the one providing fertile ground for malware distribution.

    • I think they have a bit of a point. IMO Apple is definitely losing it’s edge

      Yeah except you’ve thought that for years judging by the negative posts you’ve made over the years. You’re basically a troll, in my book.

      I don’t think you could be any more wrong. My Apple gear today are the finest iterations I’ve ever owned, and no way would I ever go back to stuff from 10 years ago. The X is amazingly well crafted, I love it. my MBP is a speed demon and rocks, AirPods are a new must-have, and I rely on my Watch every single day. The new iMac Pro will likely replace my existing iMac.

    • Jay Butler

      “The only thing stopping a massive exodus from Apple products is the lack of any sane alternative.” So basically, Apple has the worst stuff except for all of the things the other tech companies produce. Way to completely upend your entire rant there Prof.

  • Janak Parekh

    There is the slightest nugget of truth in this, in that Samsung has been more aggressive to adopt new technologies. They conveniently leave out the fact that in many cases they don’t do it right because they rush them to market, but whatever, that’s fine. Honestly, the S8 is a gorgeous phone, and if it wasn’t for the fact Samsung software is terrible, and that I have a big investment in iOS apps that have no easy Android equivalent, I’d abstractly consider getting one.

    There’s a much bigger fundamental problem to the ad: the commercial is long, tedious, and boring. I lost attention about 20 seconds in and started skipping through to find the punch line.

    Samsung’s previous efforts were at least catchy, if weird. (“That New Phone Feeling” from the S6 era) is a great example. It’s completely insane but strangely catchy and catches your eye. This one is just dark and sad.

    So, Samsung may not only be desperate, but lost.

    • Mo

      Samsung does indeed rush many technologies to market before they’re ready. But I don’t think that’s fine at all, especially when it leaves consumers vulnerable to important failures.

      • Janak Parekh

        To be fair, recent hardware executions have been relatively better. The S8 is great, apart from the ridiculous touch sensor location and their “facial recognition” which they should have never released. At least they don’t do the entire kitchen sink now.

        • Mo

          How’s their continuing support for Android security updates? How many protected years does an S8 have, much less something lower in the product line?

          • Janak Parekh

            /shrug I stopped tracking the software side of things. I did say “Samsung software is terrible,” and so I was only focusing on the hardware. 😛

          • Herding_sheep

            Great hardware is irrelevant without great software. Poor software is essentially the same as saying poor product.

            In my opinion, at least.

          • Janak Parekh

            I’m not sure we’re disagreeing 🙂

            My point was this: the video shows various “innovations” (i.e. showing off Samsung hardware engineering) they got to before Apple.

            Which is true. They can hardware-engineer really well.

            But: they have mediocre product management, and terrible software. The lack of good product management has meant that, until recently, they would kitchen sink each release. And, of course, the software.

            Ultimately, yes, this makes for a poor product. But I still find it helpful to think about what does go into a product, what’s working/improving, and what’s not.

            Note that the ad shows very little actual use other than people scribbling on a screen (which is of dubious benefit anyway in the use cases highlighted there).

        • So, not great then. Those things are not great-things, making it a not-great device.

    • Billy Razzle

      Samsung started rushing hardware to compete with Apple’s rumors. So they can be “First”.

      They know they won’t beat Apple at being the best.

      • Janak Parekh

        I would suggest that Samsung’s efforts at large screens and waterproofing, at least, way predated Apple. This was initially a combination of “here you go, we’re trying this and have no idea what will stick,” and a way of getting battery life (physically larger devices have a larger battery). Whether you call it insight or luck, they were first and Apple took their time to address these markets.

        Stylus on a phone is still something I’m not sure Apple will ever do. I see some appeal, since I have an iPad Pro with a pencil, but in my case at least, I want something close to paper-sized when I’m writing.

        • GlennC777

          Apple would get killed by the press and by its users if it brought out hardware features as rushed as Samsung routinely does. Samsung has to deliver a constant flow of gimmicks because that’s the only thing it can really do to differentiate itself.

          Some buyers go for this; that’s fine. Apple on the other hand has a reputation for quality execution in all aspects of hardware, software and experience; and most of the high end of the market prefers that.

  • Caleb Hightower

    Because this is exactly how you build the most valued company in the world 😛

  • Mo

    Yeah, this ad almost has the tone of a narcissist accusing their closest relative of being selfish. Slick hypocrisy.

    • In an alternate reality Apple is making very funny and truthful ads mocking Samsung. So much material.

      • Mo

        The scripts practically write themselves.

        • So true. Some even require stunt persons.

  • rick gregory

    To me it’s a sign of weakness when you mock your competition. The Mac/PC ads were slightly funny and so didn’t bother me as much, but even those skated that line. And you’ll notice that as the Mac became successful, those ads went away.

    Also… the Mac/PC ads were done by a company catching up in market share and mindshare. Samsung’s reasoning here is odd – aren’t they the dominant brand on the mobile OS with more share?

    • Mo

      One would think, considering their fans’ trash-talk.

      I think the Mac vs. PC ads were also a little bit about Stockholm Syndrome, presented in such a way that millions of its victims could immediately appreciate.

    • Janak Parekh

      But not mindshare.

      I go back on the forth on the Mac vs. PC ads. What made it a lot more tolerable to me is how well Hodgman played PC, and how hilarious some of the episodes were in a purely abstract sense. At the same time, it definitely had its run.

      • rick gregory

        Yeah, Hodgeman made those really. And even then, note that it was ‘PC’ – not “Windows”. A subtle difference but still…

        • Janak Parekh

          Well, one that Apple themselves fuzzed a bit depending on the theme too. 🙂

          “I’m a Mac.” “I’m a PC.” “I’m a PC too.” (what?)

  • Kriztyan

    It would be so easy for Apple to simply show a Galaxy Note exploding. Maybe after that the user can be show cooking marshmallows on the ensuing fire playing an AR Game.

  • Joseph McDiarmid

    i’ve never used a samsung phone so cannot comment on them, but I did laugh at the 0:37 mark, where he is charging his phone and listening to music. It’s something I’ve heard non-apple users comment and moan about but have never found myself in the position where I’ve ever needed a dongle to solve a problem