This week will see the arrival of this year’s most hotly anticipated smartphone. That it’s made by Samsung and not Apple no longer comes as a surprise.
The Korean giant has been going toe-to-toe with Cupertino for the best part of two years now and is beginning to match the level of hype and hoopla that used to be reserved for Apple keynotes.
The question is, how has Samsung managed to reach the point where the Galaxy S4 is creating so much excitement?
Here’s five reasons why Sammy has made it to the top of the smartphone tree.
1 Marketing money
An obvious one, but inescapable nonetheless. Samsung’s advertising spend on its Galaxy range alone is colossal.
Overall, Sammy is believed to spend a huge £3.3 billion a year on its marketing activities.
Asymco even claimed last year that Sammy spent more on marketing than Apple, HP, Dell, Microsoft and Coca Cola combined.
That kind of cash gets results, with the upshot that the Galaxy S3 outsold the iPhone in Q3 2012.
With more people owning Galaxy devices thanks to this level of spending, the hype about the next-gen device is self-fulfilling.
2 Screen size
Apple’s failure to boost the screen size of the iPhone until 2012, and even then to a strange, elongated 4-inch design, is beginning to look increasingly like a failure.
Sure, the iPhone is easier to use one-handed, but Samsung’s lead in this field has meant that it’s been able to push the line that it’s top dog when it comes to so-called phablets.
The five-inch Galaxy S4 will ram home this point and show that Samsung is the top device maker in terms of screen real estate.
3 The desperate need for a decent alternative
For years the iPhone faced absolutely no decent competition. Devices always felt creaking, outmoded and just not as good as Apple’s effort.
The Galaxy range, despite HTC’s excellent attempts, was the first to show what a great, all-singing, all-dancing alternative looked like.
This has created a dedicated fanbase, made up not just of the usual anti-Apple crowd. Now these people have something to get properly pumped about.
4 Android at its best
The Galaxy phones, especially the S3 and Note 2, show off Google’s operating system as it’s meant to be.
The LG-made Nexus 4 does this too, but remains niche in comparison.
The continuing improvement of Google’s OS, coupled with a specced-out device, has helped play up the narrative about the aforementioned alternative to Apple.
5 More cutting-edge tech
Apple’s insistence that NFC isn’t required on its phone makes its inclusion on the best Galaxy phones look enlightened.
Likewise, tech such as Samsung Beam and proper, built-in movie editing (as opposed to charging £2.99 for iMovie on the iPhone), make it feel as if Samsung is at the cutting edge with its device while Apple lags behind.
This is an easy way to build hype without getting too bogged down in the usual back-and-forth spec-sheet point-scoring that goes on between phone-manufacturers.