I’m not sure when it was decided that electronic product launches had to be a) gaudy affairs in major event theatres and b) completely devoid of availability information; but nonetheless this is the currently accepted formula. Samsung’s announcement of the GALAXY S4 yesterday was nothing more than appropriately bizarre.
We heard about the new technical specs, which were larger where they were meant to be and smaller elsewhere. Of course they were. I’m genuinely interested to see where this all ends up. Do we stop at 4K screens and 8-core processors in our phones, or just keep on going?
So there was nothing in the announcement of the phone itself that really surprised me. I’m sure it will be a lovely device, but there’s valid criticism in the fact that Samsung haven’t really gone for a super-premium look and feel in the way that Sony and HTC have done with their recent phones.
Then there were the software features: S Travel, S Voice Drive, S Health, S Everything. The feedback from my circle of nerds was that most of these S Things are already S available as S downloadable apps from the S Play S Store.
We also had, by my count, just one single mention of Android during the entire launch, and this was to mention that the device is running the latest 4.2.2 release of Android.
My take from the entire event was this: Samsung is filling in all the gaps they need to fill to make Android irrelevant to GALAXY (and therefore Samsung).
You see, the availability of apps to make a HTC One or Xperia Z perform like a GALAXY 4 is utterly irrelevant to 90% of Android phone buyers. My mum doesn’t buy apps, so if she wants a translator or a voice-operated car mode, then Samsung will make damn sure there will be a S Thing for her in the S GALAXY S 4.