Samsung’s Galaxy S4 took a bow on UK shores over the weekend.
But while Samsung will doubtless soon be issuing press releases about millions of sales, mixed with tales of satisfaction from a growing fanbase, one key rival reckons the release of the phone has actually boosted sales of its new flagship.
That mobile maker is HTC.
Its North America boss Mike Woodward told Business Insider that a series of reviews which criticised the Galaxy S4’s plastic frame, comparing it unfavourably to HTC’s metal-framed One, has helped the company sell more of its stunning smartie in recent days.
Woodward talked of having a ‘great week’, with ‘brisk sales’. That’s good news for all smartphone fans, suggesting competition is definitely hotting up.
The HTC One’s critical reception has been one of universal adoration, something which can’t be said of the S4.
But is one week’s worth of sales really going to help HTC push its case and help it put Samsung and others in the shade? It’s unlikely.
Because while the hardcore will be scouring reviews and looking at key differences before making their purchase, Samsung will be flexing its financial muscle.
That means heaps of ads, viral campaigns and flooding of social media with sponsored posts about the Galaxy S4.
The fact that Woodward didn’t hand over any concrete numbers is also telling.
HTC’s sales are never going to get close to Samsung. Not right now anyway.
Any figures would surely be batted away by Samsung and made to look paltry in comparison.
It’s been said before, but it’s a crying shame for HTC.
It’s releasing the best phones it’s ever produced and is being outshone by companies with more money and more power.
Critical praise will only carry it so far. Think of the HTC One like a lauded album from an obscure artists that earns endless five-star reviews but sells around 3,000 copies.
The Galaxy S4, on the other hand, is a Mumford and Sons album - millions want it, but savvy people just can’t work out why. It would be fantastic if HTC could really capitalise on its design lead and ram home its advantage.
But unless it suddenly start making millions of dollars, that’s just not going to happen.
The best HTC can hope for is that sales of the One are brisk enough to save it from extinction, or at least being a takeover target for one of tech’s bigger players.
The One, sadly, is only the start of HTC’s bid to get back to the top.