iPhone 4 to be a hit in Samsung’s Korea

Good shot, JoongAng

I was walking past the lovely espresso machine in my wife’s semi-lovely work place: Institute Pasteur Korea, today, and saw the ironic JoongAng Daily (a bloody big paper) headline: iPhone 4’s D-day beats expectations. Indeed, the iPhone 3gS has been a hit in the political island of the Republic of Samsung South Korea since last November when South Korea finally allowed smart phones into the country. The same 2009 also allowed the first non-Korean handsets in, severing Oprah-thick layers of corporate sabotage. Korea is beset by anti-competitive practices. While Joongan Daily and its corporate supporters may not like that a foreign company is making waves in the gaming nation, the general populace is all atwitter about the iPhone. The news of course is that in less than 13 hours, pre-orders for the iPhone 4 reached 130 000 units.

More scathe after the gap:

JoongAng makes the humorous observation: “it took Samsung Electronics’ latest smartphone, Galaxy S, five days to hit that level (110 000 units) when it was launched in June.” Clever, but the iPhone 4’s pre-order success should draw a few more eyebrows upward. Samsung are the largest company on the planet, dwarfing the revenues of many medium sized countries. Apple may be ‘big’ in tech, but they are peanuts in comparison. Perhaps it is because of that disparity that Apple are succeeding. I have no doubt that Android will continue to outsell Apple and hopefully (as no one in their right minds wishes a comeback of Windows Mobile) reach new sales heights. But comparisons should stop there. Apple don’t license their OS to other providers who fight for carpet scraps.

Samsung may be huge, may even be able to buy up Canada, but the deluded company thinks it will gain market by selling a hi-tech phone with a high-tech OS. What’s there to sell? A screen? A camera? A bio reader? Android is quite a nice piece of software, but it has no champions. It is its own champion. Companies license it to hopefully – and mostly mistakenly – grab a piece of the success. Google, its advert holders, and its software partners will succeed. Samsung, the fleecer of South Korea’s everything, may make a decent phone, but in a month, it will be forgotten. The race, dear multinational political domineering, rip-off company, isn’t about the tech; you should have realised that: you’ve been making computers for years and mobile phones. It isn’t about the tech: tech has to be directed correctly, and even then, in even steps that allow software vendors to flourish.

Android is smart; it replaces old mobile hegemonies, swapping control for freedom. But the stupid makers who adopt it with bigger phones and bigger names are blind: individually, they will fail. In Korea, I hope for a douse of this as I’ve finished shopping at a Samsung grocery and walk in front of Samsung apartments and breathe the horrid carbon monoxide from Samsung cars.

The future, my silly conglomerate, isn’t LED and cheap tricks: it is the controlling of those bells and whistles and you have none of that.

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