Is Samsung’s S4 an iPhone killer?

The S5 will be even larger, Samsung officials did not announce. (AP)

The S4 is big, but not quite this big. (AP)

Lovers of giant phones rejoiced Thursday night as Samsung, the world’s largest maker of smartphones, released a new flagship device.

The Galaxy S4 has a huge 5-inch, 1080p screen but is packed into a frame smaller than the S3. Experts say the S4 isn’t perfect, but may make Apple tremble.

Samsung, a South Korean company, announced the S4 with an orchestra in the Big Apple.

That was a bold move considering Samsung still owes the other big Apple $600 million for patent infringement. You can hire a lot of Chinese workers for that kind of coin.

Industry experts say the S4 may make history.

“I believe the Samsung Galaxy S4 could be an important milestone for the Korean company, as it could be the first smartphone to outsell an iPhone,” said Francisco Jeronimo in The Daily Mail.

That will be true globally, but I think the iPhone will continue to outsell the top Android in the U.S. for the near future.

Interesting S4 features include:

  • Android 4.2.2.
  • Powered by a 1.6 GHz Octa-Core CPU, but there’s no octopus logo on it anywhere.
  • 13-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front camera, and you can take a picture with both at the same time for some reason.
  • Users can “Smart Scroll” text and web pages by tilting the phone. This seems like it could be very annoying.
  • An eye-tracking feature automatically pauses videos when the viewer is not looking at the screen and resumes when they return.
  • “Air Gesture” lets users control the phone without actually touching it.

The S4 will be available April 26 at all the major carriers. No price was announced Thursday, but expect it to set you back $200 with a two-year contract.

35 comments Add your comment

Samantha

March 15th, 2013
9:59 am

I prefer my iPhone to this.

DublDawg

March 15th, 2013
10:02 am

Unbelievable.

Copyright infringement? Really?

Even the title of the article from the real newspaper to which you linked, The WSJ, expressly states it was a patent suit. Big difference.

RGB

March 15th, 2013
10:27 am

This is a great reminder of how our free enterprise system can deliver to consumers a variety of products that offer convenience, productivity, and entertainment. The consumer usually wins when multiple companies compete in a relatively unfettered marketplace.

It’s also a reminder that whenever possible, government should get out of the way of innovation and not attempt to compete with private enterprise.

In addition to consumers, Apple and Samsung suppliers, employees, accessory manufacturers, and stockholders all benefit from the iPhone and S4.

And that is how jobs are created.

blackhemi4x4

March 15th, 2013
10:28 am

Users can “Smart Scroll” text and web pages by tilting the phone. This seems like it could be very annoying.

The current s3 has a tilt/zoom and scroll feature for certain homescreen and picture viewing.

The s4 will broaden this feature but it wont do it unless the phone senses you are looking at it. And if you still find it annoying, just turn the feature off.

Devil's Advocate

March 15th, 2013
10:30 am

RGB,

Unfortunately Apple makes it impossible to keep government out of it by suing their competitors in hopes of limiting your choices.

George Mathis

March 15th, 2013
10:39 am

DublDawg, thanks for the kind note. I have made the correction.

Joey M

March 15th, 2013
10:42 am

While these features are nice,the biggest factor is always going to be internet speeds. Update to 5th Generation, have a better phone. This article does not surprise me at all. Instead of reporting on the facts and specs of the phone, George Mathis makes sure the reader knows what he thinks of the new features. As if his opinion matters to anybody but him. If I want advice concerning electronics, I’ll check Cnet or read user reviews. Why doesn’t the AJC stick to what it knows. Sucking up to the POTUS and trying to cover up yet another boneheaded move by his administration.

Ray

March 15th, 2013
11:13 am

I know this is AJC, but I’m apart of phone arena.com and lots of people say SG4 is more of the same in fact it’s getting so bad people view them as Apple of Android as in the other smaller companies like HTC and Motorola are the ones actually pushing forth innovation and what not.

With all that said I’m probably leaning heavily towards HTC One check it out you won’t be disappointed.

Roekest

March 15th, 2013
11:18 am

I tried Android for a week. Bunch of junk it was. Simplicity matters in a phone.

Gabriel

March 15th, 2013
11:25 am

iphone killer? the iphone has been dead for over three years. it has long been technologically inferior. nobody takes the ihpone seriously anymore and have not for a LOOOOONNNNNGGGG time.

RGB

March 15th, 2013
11:32 am

“… the iphone has been dead for over three years. it has long been technologically inferior. nobody takes the ihpone [sic] seriously anymore…” – Gabriel

“…as it (Galaxy S4) could be the first smartphone to outsell an iPhone.” – Francisco Jeronimo in The Daily Mail.

“Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” – Yogi Berra

DwayneL

March 15th, 2013
11:34 am

The Galaxy 3 is better than an iphone!

Gabriel

March 15th, 2013
11:37 am

@RGB – That doesn’t matter. Android phones are made by many different OEMs. The iphone is only Apple. Apple isn’t even close to Android’s share and will continue to lose.

http://techcrunch.com/2012/11/02/idc-android-market-share-reached-75-worldwide-in-q3-2012/

Steve

March 15th, 2013
11:47 am

I’m going with the Sony Xperia Z or HTC One over the iPhone and S4.

RGB

March 15th, 2013
11:54 am

@Gabriel,

From an operating system perspective, you are correct.

From a product marketing perspective, not so much. Nowhere did the article state that “the market share of iOS exceeds that of the Android operating system.”

The article’s focus was on product, not operating systems.

No major Apple products have ever earned the top spot for market share. But their products, at least for many years, have had a cachet that is attractive to many people. If Apple should lose that, the value of the company will decline rapidly.

I’m not an Apple fiend, but your comment that suggested that “nobody takes the iPhone seriously” was factually incorrect. Apple sold 125 million iPhones in 2012.

SamE

March 15th, 2013
11:55 am

My first smartphone was Droid and I thought it was the best thing since baked Cheetos.. Until I got an IPhone as a gift. I was floored at how much easier the Iphone was compared to my old phone. Truly a night and day difference. Since my phone I also received an IPad which is just a wonderful to use. I can’t be convinced that any operating system outside of Apple’s will ever trump it.

SamE

March 15th, 2013
11:56 am

wow. so my internal spellcheck is off today. pardon the errors*

Rational One

March 15th, 2013
12:13 pm

The iPhone is a lemming phone. It’s cult followers will flock to it and swear at it’s competition as inferior replicas of it’s existence. In the meantime, people who actually KNOW the framework of a great device that offers exemplary specs at a fraction of the cult phone cost will make an educated choice for their phone..

I will take my S4 and laugh at the lemming cult.

mike

March 15th, 2013
12:14 pm

Apple’s like Nordstrom’s actually has service with Americans answering the help line as opposed to outsourced call canters in some other country. Remember the days when service mattered. I also think a 5″ screen is bordering on too big. I like my phone in my pocket.

blue

March 15th, 2013
12:29 pm

@mike If you had bought a better phone, you wouldn’t have needed to call anyone for support!

Gabriel

March 15th, 2013
12:34 pm

@RGB it is the only way to make a comparison. android allows for competition among its manufacturers so it makes for better products and utilization of the os. plus, some carriers have exclusivity with android handsets, so they can’t all be counted together.

and you are right about the sensationalism, I should have specified that tech-savvy people don’t take iphone seriously because it is a few steps behind android and too closed off and generic.

Bluto

March 15th, 2013
12:47 pm

It is always funny reading people complain about Android being too complicated. You can pretty much sum up what phone you should get by your age.

20-30= Android
40-60 = Iphone
70-??? =Jitterbug.

I always think of Iphone users are 1 font size away from getting a jitterbug phone.

Ptc Dawg

March 15th, 2013
1:06 pm

I think my iphone 4 is too big, where will it end?

George Mathis

March 15th, 2013
1:15 pm

“I always think of Iphone users are 1 font size away from getting a jitterbug phone.” — Bluto

I am going to have to steal that at some point.

Hmmmmmmm

March 15th, 2013
1:27 pm

Iphones are for the uninformed Obama voting masses who have NO intelligence other than what some marketing brochure says…. Just sayin…

Bill Eidson

March 15th, 2013
1:38 pm

Nothing new here….getting my new Blackberry Z10 a week from today….now that is innovation

VC

March 15th, 2013
1:41 pm

I used to own a android phone, but recently purchased an iPhone 4s in January of this year. My husband purchased the Samsung Galaxy S3. I actually think the S3 is pretty neat! I have had no problems with my iPhone, but could easily switch back to android as well. I have an android tablet as well.

VC

March 15th, 2013
1:43 pm

Hmmmmmmm…….Iphones are for the uninformed Obama voting masses who have NO intelligence other than what some marketing brochure says…. Just sayin…

Really? I cant’ stand Obama, and my intelligence are very high! So, please think before you post dumb comments.

VC

March 15th, 2013
1:44 pm

Bill Eidson,

Blackberry sucks!

ElStinko

March 15th, 2013
1:44 pm

Anybody with any common sense knows that the Android is better than a iphone. The Android gives the user freedom. Freedom to download things without using itunes. I can connect the android to any pc and transfer documents, play tunes straight from the phone. Get the best maps available with gps voice turn by turn for free. The Samsung phones rule!!!!

ElStinko

March 15th, 2013
1:47 pm

@VC

You are probably one of the idiots that still beleive Bush about the WMD’s. We spent 1/2 billion per week in Iraq for over 7 years looking for the WMD’s that we were lied to about. Also the Dow has been up 10 straight days. That hasn’t happened since the beginning of Clinton’s 2nd term. It took Clinton 4 years to fix the mess that Bush 1 made and it has taken Obama 4 years to fix the mess that Bush 2 has made.

Bill Eidson

March 15th, 2013
1:50 pm

@VC Do you even know what you are talking about….have you even seen/read anything at all to do with the new BBOS and Phones….

@ElStinko you mean that Battery Drainng, Security Nightmare, Virus Prone buggy POC called Android…its worse that iOS….which is old and Stale

Farm

March 15th, 2013
3:17 pm

Bill – Android doesn’t have viruses or security problems and I have no idea what you are talking about with buggy. ios is ok, but it has nowhere near the capability of android.

Fred ™

March 16th, 2013
10:47 am

In addition to consumers, Apple and Samsung suppliers, employees, accessory manufacturers, and stockholders all benefit from the iPhone and S4.

And that is how jobs are created.

yeah. In CHINA and KOREA you mindless FOXBOT puppet. Jeez an original thought ande a cold drink of water would probably kill you.

Bill Eidson

March 19th, 2013
11:18 am