Has the Samsung Galaxy S4 rattled Apple?
Apple launches another marketing offensive following the launch of the Galaxy S4
Apple has cranked up the PR offensive against Samsung and Android over the weekend, with a new web page highlighting the benefits of the iPhone over its newly launched rival.
Ahead of last Thursday's unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S4, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller gave a rare interview to the Wall Street Journal, in which he launched a bitter attack on Android. Schiller claimed disgruntled users were deserting Android for Apple and reheated familiar attacks on the splintering of the operating system.
A further sign that the Galaxy S4 launch has rattled Apple emerged over the weekend, with the appearance of a new section on the company's website, spelling out the claimed benefits of the iPhone.
Titled: "There's iPhone. And then there's everything else", the page makes no direct mention of Android or Samsung, but repeats several points made by Schiller in his pre-Galaxy S4 launch attack. The page highlights awards for customer satisfaction, attention to detail on design, and apps "from one trusted source".
The Apple page also makes great play of the iPhone's Retina display, claiming its "pixel density is so high, your eye can’t distinguish individual pixels", and that "it remains a feature found only on iPhone and other Apple products". While that's strictly accurate it's disingenuous, since Samsung's Galaxy S4 delivers a much higher pixel density than the iPhone 5, offering 441ppi compared to the iPhone 5's 326ppi.
Market watchers are hoping that Apple - which has seen its share price plummet by 30% over the past six months - can respond with more than mealy mouthed marketing.
"It would be overstatement to say Apple is far behind," Forrester analyst Charles Golvin told Reuters. "If anything, what Apple needs to respond to is the cadence of its own releases, probably a completely new design every two years and a sort of speed bump every year is not an adequate cadence for Apple to remain at the forefront of smartphone innovation today."
Others are urging Apple to broaden the iPhone portfolio and offer consumers a cheaper handset that can compete with the mid-range Android models. "It [Apple] has all the components of the magic potion, which is the hardware-software ecosystem," Brian White, an analyst with Topeka Capital Markets told Reuters. "All it needs to do is take that potion and put it in a different segment of the iPhone market."