For the longest time in the mobile industry it seemed that Apple was the one that people chose as the bad guy – you knew other companies were playing games too, but Apple was a prime target because, well, they just made it easy. Rounded corners? Patent lawsuit. The page turn? Patent lawsuit. Don’t even think about looking at them funny because you can expect a patent lawsuit with your name on it shortly after. Alright, that’s exaggerating – but we all know Apple hit people with lawsuits in the past for pretty miniscule things. It all seems strange given that once Steve Jobs himself claimed that those working for Apple resembled artists, in a way, and therefore embraced the lifestyle of stealing ideas – as long as nobody was stealing the ideas back from them.

Thanks for the idea, stupid. Now pay up because that's our idea now.

However, while I could make endless jokes about Apple and their patently ways another story has been brought up in recent news that has me raising an eyebrow at a company other than Apple – a company that is currently sitting on very high market shares and profits and really has no reason to be playing shenanigans when it comes to business practices: Samsung.

A news article from BBC News recently brings to light that Samsung is under investigation in Taiwan for hiring students to post fake web reviews defaming the highly acclaimed HTC One. This stems from documentation appearing on a local website. The document allegedly came from Samsung looking to hire students to bad-mouth HTC and sing praises to Samsung over fake Internet reviews.

This stunt doesn’t seem to be happening on the grander scale of things and probably won’t amount to anything more than a slap on the wrist for Samsung. It seems to me like it was one section of the company and would have gone unnoticed otherwise if it weren’t for those meddling media kids. However, on the other hand, it’s kind of like when you’re dealing with one aggressive retail representative from a company – even though it’s just one person who isn’t acting on the company as a whole, they are putting on a face in the name of the company and that is ultimately what we base our experiences on. This whole falsifying claims on a phone for the sake of business is a pretty low hit in my books, especially when it’s on a device like the HTC One.

Plus, if Samsung’s devices were that much better than the HTC One then the reviews would pay for themselves. Somebody is lacking in the confidence department.

Think about it: The HTC One probably got its name by being the ONE good product that they’re coming out with this year, and Samsung just has to go and stomp all over it. Granted, it’s a pretty sick device. The unibody aluminum design has people raving left and right over the premium look HTC incorporated, and Sense 5 isn’t too shabby compared to predecessors – if ever there was a time to get an HTC device, now would be that time. It looks good and has great features. But Samsung is seeing this one good device from HTC as a threat compared to about three different good devices coming from Samsung. The One is a good device and all, but would it really hold up against Samsung’s ability to market and live off the legacy of prior successful devices? Probably not. Probably the biggest reason it's doing so well right now is because Samsung hasn't released any competition this year just yet.

While the court hearing has yet to occur, it seems that the South Korean company has already taken responsibility for the defamation by saying that the “unfortunate incident” went against certain policies within the company.

The article says that if found guilty in court, Samsung could face up to 25 million Taiwanese dollars. If you're like me you’re probably thinking “Woah!” but then you realize it only equals to about $791,000 US dollars and suddenly it’s just like oh, that’s it? Well… that’s nothing but a slap on the wrist for a company like Samsung – which it is, monetarily speaking, but otherwise this does make the company look pretty bad considering their position in the mobile market compared to HTC’s.

All I have to say is, let this poor company that’s having a hard time getting back on its feet enjoy it’s 15 minutes of fame, you bullies.

Samsung has said that they are planning a training session for employees to ensure that this type of incident doesn’t occur again, and hopes to go back to their original philosophy embracing transparency and honesty.

Readers, how do you feel about this foul play from Samsung? Does this type of behavior make you rethink getting a phone from a company or is it something that isn’t really a big deal? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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Comments & discussions  

25 Reactions to this post

"If a company pulls shenanigans as a business tactic, does it make you change your view of them?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
Thanks for your participation! :)

Jonathan Coffey
Jonathan Coffey http://www.slashgear.com/apple-to-spend-11bn-on-samsung-parts-in-2012-claims-exec-13218118/
Curtis Owens
Curtis Owens doesnt mean they should, and it should be impossible to get away with it.
Curtis Owens
Curtis Owens Always changes my view of people and companies.
Rich Field
Rich Field Doesn't surprise me at all that Samsung Mobile was caught doing this
Camar Green
Camar Green Lol lol lol I'm still getting a note 3. I could give a rats ass about this. I don't care if its plastic.. L2takecareofuourfknohone.... Funny this is. Bigger Samsung will get yeeeesss.
Louis Bank
Louis Bank I stopped reading and watching anything from phone dog ever since they jumped on the bandwagon and sucked on Samsung's D.
Marlon Milligan
Marlon Milligan It change my opinion of Samsung completely. I was cheering them on to beat Apple because I felt Apple was reaching with their allegations. I remember the Samsung lawyers saying something like Samsung would rather compete with fantastic products. Now your company turns around and hire obvious schills to bash a smaller but apparently more innovative company. Wtf Samsung. ..its low in my opinion. Sent from my Note 2 & waiting for my HTC One
John-Mark Christmas
John-Mark Christmas HTC is probably thanking Samsung for this bit of advertising.
David M Tadros
David M Tadros yes absoulutely thats y ppl hate samsung!
Devin Martinez
Devin Martinez Samsung is garbage
Cesario Brito Jr.
Cesario Brito Jr. I'm still getting the Note 3. Sorry Phonedog, nice try.
Adam Smith
Adam Smith I would murder Apple staff
Humza Ahmed
Humza Ahmed Samsung is not American. Its Korean.
Rune Lin
Rune Lin I have something to say~ First : From the beginning, there is no students hired by Samsung in this case, just some guys who get part-time job from samsung and being used to defaming HTC and other company in the forums. Second: We all know how the commercial trick work! But this time Samsung is out of line ! they do too much!! Using the dirty trick is normal? Maybe that's the way how american company work in the this world, I don't know~ But in Taiwan, Just go the jail and pay the fine! I don't know how U guys thinking in this case, But think about this~ "So what’s the difference between free-speech and defamation?" Note:"???" is not the "students", It's just a joke~ we make fun of some guys who hired by the big company and we don't know who he (or she) is! they just hide behind the Internet. So we called them "???" (part-time employee).
Brandon Johnson
Brandon Johnson Way to show the world you have people in your company that feel a product from a company struggling to get back into the race is so much better than your own that they have to bash it to help out.
Ricky Bonilla
Ricky Bonilla Watch Apple sue over playing dirty. LOL
David Keith Gobert
David Keith Gobert Whenever I read reviews I take them with a grain of salt (unless the come from PhoneDog.com of course). This is probably standard procedure for most companies. It even happens in politics. HTC One sounds like a great phone as well as Samsung's Galaxy S4. At the end of the day all that really matters is neither of them are as horribly horrible as the iPhone.
Chris Luddeni
Chris Luddeni Yes. I lose respect for them and never deal with them again. Isn't that right SIRIUS?
Fabian Toti
Fabian Toti yes
Ricky Bonilla
Ricky Bonilla This kinda embarrasses me, as a huge fan of samsung. I'm a Note 2 owner myself, very proud of my phone. But I wouldn't want to be part of a company that has a section of immature employees such as these
Mark Belkowski
Mark Belkowski lol...he said shenanigans
Jonathan Coffey
Jonathan Coffey All companies do stuff like this Samsung is the whale amongst guppy's that got caught.
Kevin Peters
Kevin Peters Pretty pathetic if you ask me. Going to this extreme tells me that they must have felt their product was inferior. I'm not an HTC fanboy either I own a Note 2.
Saša Stojšin
Saša Stojšin well, no i usually end up listening to end users, what they have to say about devices and their views and finally playing with devices itself i plan to buy to see if it fits my needs or no
Lowell Orlando Richmond
Lowell Orlando Richmond um yes take at Nokia...prime example

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