Anybody who is even remotely interested in this industry probably already knows all about the Galaxy S 4. It has gotten nothing but attention for the past week, and now that it's finally here and official it's still claiming headlines right and left (see: the entire front page of PhoneDog.com). Some are negative, some are positive; but one thing you can't deny is how grand of a scale the attention for this device has risen to. The only other device that I can think of that gets this much speculation, coverage, and debate would be the iPhone. From pre-launch advertisements to launch day, it's clear that there are some similarities between the two marketing campaigns. However, there are also some key differences that make Samsung come out ahead.



Already we see some differences in marketing that may have made a difference. We can see that the "5" shadow created by the gigantic "12" on the flyer probably means that the iPhone 5 is coming out, but for somebody just looking at the flyer without having any prior information might get confused and infer that whatever announcement set to take place might occur on December 5th. You don't really know where, or what time; the reader has to dig that information up themselves. The Galaxy S 4 flyer shows you more than enough information; the Samsung event would be at Times Square on March 14 at 7 PM. There is not a whole lot of room for confusion there.

Moving on from the flyer (but borrowing from a previously mentioned idea) I'm going to talk about the event itself. The iPhone 5 event was the first Apple event that I tuned in to in real time, and probably the last one I'll ever actually be excited for unless things change. It was a nightmare trying to find a reliable live stream, and although we had a reliable live blog here at PhoneDog I'm actually better at listening and dictating my notes. Unfortunately, I spent about half an hour unsuccessfully finding an official live stream (I didn't realize they didn't have one) which was frustrating. My thought at the time was something like, "Do you want people to know about your device or don't you?" I guess they don't; I don't know. But then you look at Samsung who made the entire event open to the world whether you were there or not, and it was actually quite enjoyable.

As for the devices themselves (which is probably the most important aspect here) it's evident that Samsung made the Galaxy S 4 to look strikingly similar to the Galaxy S III. I'm sure all of us can recall another company that did the same thing, but got more grief for it. When Apple made the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4S, everybody played the "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me" game, yet the accusations are surprisingly minimal in the case with the Galaxy S 4 - unless you're Contributing Editor Chase Bonar. What makes the Galaxy S 4, which practically shares the same body as the Galaxy S III, any different than how Apple created their products? I feel like Samsung did do a better job highlighting all if the differences about the two devices. There really were a lot of new features packed into the Galaxy S 4 and I’m hoping side-by-side comparisons of the two devices (the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy S 4 that is) will further prove it.

As for Apple, the only thing the iPhone 4S had to offer apart from the iPhone 4 was Siri, a faster processor, and more memory. That's about it. However, I feel like they did the appropriate thing by not calling the iPhone 4S the "iPhone 5", so for that I'll give them credit.

Did Samsung really "copy" Apple in their marketing campaign? To an extent, I'd say yes. But does everything really have to be so deep? I don't think Samsung copied the idea of carrying almost identical housing to the Galaxy S 4 because Apple did it, I think they did it because it makes sense that they would until this form-factor just doesn't cut it anymore - kind of like how the iPhone 5 turned out. Regardless whether Samsung copied or not, they must have done something right because it caught just about everyone's attention.

Now we wait and see if Apple turns the tables back on Samsung.

Readers, what do you think? Do you think Samsung is benefiting from an improved Apple strategy? Do you think the similarities are being stretched too far? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Image via Gizmag

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106 Reactions to this post

"Do you think Samsung copied Apple's "similar design" strategy with the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy S 4?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
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Teron Facey No Apple hates to be one upped when that happens they always bring out the Lawyers. When the S4 comes out I bet within the first week Apple already thrown out a lawsuit saying they stole "patents" they claim they own. Yet they don't even make their own phone.
Michele Dena i think samsung did get some things off apple but the note is a tuly amazing idea, and if your concerned re radiation samsung usually has fairly low radiation rated devices which for me makes them more desirable also i can buy an unlocked samsung without any restrictions on updates and operation, apple dosent have this however apple is a very amazing company with amazing designs ad no one touches them in the sense they make beautiful technology and products but i think the unlocking issue as been a real pain
Michele Dena yes and no i think samsung may have been inspired but they have theyre own twist in things the note is very impressive plus a relatively low sar rating
Kevin Kaufman when does the Iphone In M,L and XL become available?
George Bumgardner To the guy that said the Iphone made history.. so did the Model-T but you don't see many people driving that to work..
Rani Hinnawi They've adopted the "if it's not broken, don't fix it" attitude that Apple has, but with updated software, slightly different design, and many improvements. They pulled a half-Apple, but didn't suck at updating their Galaxy line like Apple did with their iPhones
Martin Smeaton People are complaining it's a spec bump and not a new design. It has a bigger screen with higher resolution, it's faster, thinner, and stronger. It's more of a redesign than the iPhone has ever had!
Nimesh Patel Nobody cares..
Marwan Ahmed No they r just ugly and can't come out with a new design that's it
Keith UnCool Nicholson I would have to say yes, design wise it looks virtually the same as the s3 (same dimensions just thinner with taller screen) but hardware and software updates. That's the main difference.
Jawon Chance You mean same design strategy as the Droid Razor line? The Optimus G line and the Galaxy S line? Sure they did minimal to the design when they released the next line of flagship devices, but that's all they needed to do. One thing I'll give Samsung props for is being determined to have a design destinction from other phone manufacturers which is something they were heavily criticized for in the past. Some people may hate the plasticky build but its what Samsung does. If they had gone with the brushed aluminum unibody, glass coating, polycarbonate, or kevlar build guess what we would be saying, "It looks like such and such phone!" The build quality doesn't bother me much because I put it in a case anyway. The hardware is a significant step forward outside of the design and so is the software. So my answer is no it isn't similar to Apples strategy.
Wilmer Barreto at least they added some new features to the S4, can anybody say the same about the iphone 4, 4s and 5?
Cesario Brito Jr. Typical phone dog with the stupid questions. Smh
Louis Agresti Like i said i do not no what fanboys are worse Apple with there overpriced outdated iphones,or samsung with there plastic toy with a gameboy display,what happens when companies like Apple and Samsung get this big the do not have to innovate any more and can just keep stamping there name on a toilet seat and their closed minded fanboys will buy it.
Jeumayne Dummett Yes !...as always
Rachit Kakkar no i dont think so.. but keeping the design similar sucks too much for samsung coz it is too similar
Paulo De Freitas Yep, they could have called the GS4 the "Galaxy S3s"
Ian Walker Yeah a little. The smart android fan will go with the Htc one
Sebastian Gomes Haters will hate. Samsung is on top of their game (LG fanboy here)
Aman Gujral nexus 4
Kristopher Davis S4 and iPhone5 are both junk, HTC ONE!
Don Ernesto It's F'ING OBVIOUS!!!!
David Tambascio No.. HTC One was more of a copy with it's design.. Samsung S 4 looks just like the S3.. but better specs. Especially without the Exynos 8 core for US markets, I am not in a hurry to get one
Lynell Sumerian Sandifer Can't wait to get my GS4.
Bo Abe Vorachack No, not like crapple. The screen is bigger aand full hd. apple is all the same except for some internals.
Tommy Dust I'm having trouble finding a phone that isn't a rectangle with a big screen across most of it... that being said, they look different at first glance.
Huey Liggins Lies. Their marketing production may be the comparable but their phones aren't. Why? Iphone is garunteed to update camera update the OS to add a feature or two and that's it. Maybe they'll add am attention grabber like siri. But Samsung completely updated the phone. The os. The touchwiz. Battery, processor, features, accessories. They even focused on our health. I like where they went with the s4. Down talking Samsung will not keep apple alive nor will it revive htc
Orion Pax IMO Samsung in a few years will ditch Android to their owns mobile OS..They have the money..and they are building their own ecosystem with their Samsung Hub..They are using they own apps and not from Google..Soon they launch their own Navigation app. They are luring people into their own ecosystem and then the Galaxy S 6 or 7 will run on Tizen with a TW skin on top and people will not notice if its running Android..You will see.
Lawrence Lepes Samsung never copied anything from Apple! Apple is probably jealous of the success of the Samsung Smartphones! I wouldn't doubt that Apple would bring up another BS lawsuit because of that. To me, the "I" in Iphone stands for Inferior!
Jabran Shakil Here we fucking go again.
Anonymous Besides, all of these articles lately seem made to try and get people into arguments over an impossible topic: What is the best smartphone? Problem is, people are only ever going to give their opinion rather than an honest examination.
Marti Ruiz Cant wait. To get it.
Anonymous "Does it better"? Are you kidding me? Now there is some fanboy bias if ever I've seen some. I'm not an Apple fanboy, but it doesn't take a genius to recognise that metal and glass and minimal curves are far superior in quality and beauty than curvy plastic.
Shawn Towle How is this copying anybody? They're both in the smartphone industry, how different can they really be? Are all car companies copying each other by coming out with a slightly updated model each year, with 2 headlights in the front? They seem to advance with the same technology around the same time.. Because they're in the same industry! It's getting sickening how judgemental the mobile industry is getting.
David Lebron While the products are similar, its not quite as similar as a 4 and 4s. That may have been taken a bit too far
Brian Edwards Yes, yes they are. They're making a device slightly better, bigger and faster with no major improvements. Just like Apple. And I'm an Android fanboi, through and through.
Christopher Keeley Samsung has been copying Apple for some time now! Take off your fanboy glasses and look at the obvious. I have a note 2 but Samsung copies Apple constantly. Pretty stupid imo because they make great products!
Crys Tal Hell No !!!
Steve C Trevino if it aint broke don't fix it or change it in this case.
JayR Yambao This argument is getting tiresome. There's a difference from using the exact same exterior 4-4S and improving and and altering GS3-GS4.
Phil Ofthefuture Apple is garbage
Jared Augerot I don't want to hear that Samsung does anything like Apple. Apple is a company without a heart. I hate them
Tyler Saddington Samsung Mobile are turning into Apple Inc. :(
Jennifer Urieta Uh ...no I'm over this argument
Mandi Scott Phonedog keeps asking stupid questions
Jason Vargas And I don't see how there Marketing campaigns were similar. Maybe amount of money spent. But that's it
Stan Benjamin Lewis Samsung apple all the same. It's funny how hyped up people get while the fat cats laugh.
Jason Vargas Not really. There are minor changes. But I think they proved it on every other part to where u can overlook that factor. And if u get ur hands on the S3 and S4 u can tell the difference. The 4 and 4s were EXACTLY alike
Ylla Quezon Pansacula iphone is so overrated, every one wants to have it because its apple I can be different by having a gs3 soon to get my note 3
Gary Bowling Yes they did, with the original Galaxy S. But past that, it had all been fairly original. Apple are bullies and will try to crap on anyone they can to stay on top.
Ray Kishi lol Apple will be dead in the next 3 years
Akshay Agarwal iphones are crap, apple just uses already existin tech, patents it and tells that they created that tech-and fools believe them
Lanh Nguyen I agree with Matt.
Eric Feldhouse Such a stupid question! It's basic business and marketing. HTC guy here, though.
Harold Hidalgo No they didnt lol.
Matt Jackson To go so far as to say that Samsung is "pulling an apple" is silly. This type of marketing has been going on for years in different industries; everyone just seems to want to compare something to Apple these days...
Dalton Davis All I can say is Iphone's suck! Cant wait for August to come... GalaxyS4
Jose Calderon Obviously. But they actually did it worse than apple.
Tyler Tresenrider Yea I have a iphone 5 but ill be switching to a galaxy s4
Kay Yon HOW in the world does this have to do with anything? So what if Samsung's design for the S4 is almost the same as the S3? What else is there to change? Samsung keeps the plastic for a reason-- it's nice to hold, sturdy, and it's cheaper to reproduce for consumers. I personally like the plastic over aluminum, because it's lighter and I always keep a case over my phone regardless of its protection.
Cal-Gene Johnson Who cares anyways? The iPhone is a higher quality item... And warranty... Holla at me when people stop buying iPads and iPhones. ;)
Shaun Lim what you just realized that?
Nathan Bryant No they didn't copy. It was no need for a dramatic change in the physical design. Everything else changed as far as software. Apple literally would change almost nothing and call it new. Plus you might as well say HTC pulled an apple over the past few years when their phones were looking all the same. Rezound, Desire, Sensation, One X, etc. but they were forced to change the design dramatically with the latest One model and tone down Sense a little because that's what they needed to revive themselves. Samsung still innovated or introduced new things without changing the physical design that much.
Arun Krishnan Yes samsung is using the same strategy of apple. apple uses the same design for 3 models but I think samsung use the same designs for 2 models only. Expecting the design change for samsung flagship model is only on its Galaxy S5.
Dan Ryan Dismounts Thrice I read the article and I think that the Samsung event was really trying to take the Apple Keynote formula and improve on it but failed miserably...the whole thing was very awkward, it was cheesy and there were some parts that almost made me feel uncomfortable with how awkward they were.
Alberto Garcia Flores Galaxy S III PLUS
Tremaine Haley they coppied it yes
Shawn Towle Omg shut up about the similar design already. Who cares!
Matt Pankey You nailed it, George. These questions are designed to cause bickering and build up the Phonedog Facebook page.
Nick Petrizzio iPhone is irrelevant now, just like BlackBerry
Jay Ortiz Windows Phone will soon be surpassing Apple BUT at least with Apple you can trust their OS "Predictable"
George Millhouse o roger give it up go back to your iphone
Tito Cruz That, I believe they did do better. I'm hoping next year they take a page out of Google's book and go glass with their phone :) it's the ways of Android, and where it's headed.
Joe Czo Who cares they really improved from the s3 to the s4. Apple usually stays the same
Doushane Murray Nope, apple should pay more attention to their os
Leonard Harrison I think they OUT DID Apple myself. The S4 is way ahead of the iPhone 5 in my opinion. And I love Apple products, but not as much as I used to, that is for sure.
Keith Go Packers Boror No way. It doesn't even look a little like the iphone
Sol Foster EFF! Apple. What make them so great. Why does all new phone or design have to be compared to apple?? ANDROID! Is great! Will be great! With or without Apple!
Norleena Davies No more at all! !!!!!
Haldi Kuniqi no apple only streched the iphone 5 samsung actually made the s4 look a lot better than the s3
Kirk Oneil Delgado hell no..apple phones are boring and just too bland, apples been behind since the 3gs there DONZOEEEEE
Abhijit Tayal Hell no its unique and good
Dwayne Cook Hell no!! A phone like this is the standard not the crap phone 5 and its predecessor. IPhone has nothing on GS4.
George Millhouse im beginning to think Phonedog just like to have people argue on their posts now
David Piepho If Samsungs products were like Apple products then I would hate them too !
Stewart Tan Heck no! Iphone is made history.
George Millhouse plenty of companies have done this...just look at HTC, PLENTY of their phones all look alike
George Bumgardner Not even close.. stop crying about design Apple and fix your outdated OS
David Piepho Not at all

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