I didn’t go to New York for the Samsung Galaxy S4 launch, but I did watch the live stream on YouTube.
And My Conclusions?
1) The Galaxy S4 will be a best-seller but it won’t transform the mobile landscape.
2) Most of the phone’s innovations will be of marginal interest to most users.
3) To the untrained eye the S4 looks like the S3.
4) It’s not radically different in its capabilities from many of the other high-end smart-phones on the market, from Sony’s Xperia Z to the HTC One X.
5) And like them, it is built on Google’s Android platform.
The G Word Wasn’t Mentioned
There was hardly a mention of Android all evening, and I’m pretty sure the word "Google" never crossed anyone’s lips.
Instead the letter S predominated – S Translator, S Voice Drive, S Health.
Samsung Is Now Top Dog
Samsung, by dint of a combination of huge marketing spend and the genuine excellence of its products, has won the battle to be top dog in the leading mobile operating system, and now it appears that it wants to go even further.
Seems like Samsung now wants to make its customers completely forget that they are using an Android.
Living In A Samsung World
Samsung and Apple have managed to make huge profits from smart-phones in the last two years, while just about all their rivals have struggled to stay in the black.
But the markets seem to be dictating that from now on, that software and services are going to be the better things for the two firms to profit from, rather than hardware.
And Samsung is positioning itself for that new world, a world where its users will live and shop in a Samsung world with their data stored on a Samsung cloud.
A Worrying Prospect
For Samsung’s rivals, and for Google, whose control of the Android ecosystem seems threatened, that must be a very worrying prospect indeed.