Jittery Apple attacks Samsung ahead of Galaxy S4 launch
Analysts say marketing chief's 'extraordinary' salvo means iPhone maker is worried about S4 buzz
ONE of Apple’s most senior executives has launched an "extraordinary" attack on Samsung just before the South Korean company launches its latest smartphone in New York.
Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller’s (above) strident criticism of Samsung, and the Google Android operating system it uses to control its handsets, is a "clear signal" the Californian company is worried about the buzz surrounding tonight’s launch of the Galaxy S4, analysts said.
They point out that Apple rarely makes direct reference to competitors, preferring to let its own sales data and technology "do the talking".
Apple was "once the undisputed leader of the smartphone arena" but lost its crown to Samsung last year, reports Reuters. Samsung had 30.3 per cent of the market in 2012, up from 19 per cent a year earlier. Apple's share was 19.1 per cent last year, up from 18.8 per cent in 2011.
The S4, which is backed by a "huge" advertising campaign and features cutting-edge technology such as eye-tracking, is widely tipped to expand Samsung's market share. Tonight’s launch at New York’s Radio City Music Hall marks the first time the company has debuted one of its Galaxy phones in America.
In his interview with Reuters, Schiller said that the "vast majority" of Android users were using old versions of Google's operating system. Schiller claimed that Samsung's S4 could debut with a year-old version of Android that will need updating.
"Only 16 per cent of Android users are on a year-old version of the operating system," Schiller said. "Over 50 per cent are still on software that is two years old."
Schiller contrasted those figures with the fact that "more than half" of those using Apple's proprietary operating software, iOS, have the latest version of the software. Apple’s in-house research suggests "four times as many consumers are switching to iOS from Android than the other way", he said.
Turning his attention to Samsung's new phone, Schiller said: "We are hearing this week that the Samsung Galaxy S4 is being rumoured to ship with an OS that is nearly a year old. Customers will have to wait to get an update."
Neither Google nor Samsung responded to Schiller’s comments. The launch is at 7pm local time tonight. ·