Carriers: Samsung Galaxy – is this the Android phone you want?

Ongoing’s Tim Bray wonders how Samsung did it. They managed to launch the Galaxy line of Android smart phones around the world on almost every carrier of note. That IS a significant feat, especially considering Apple’s comparatively meagre iPhone 4 rollout, but it is insignificant if you put it into perspective. Firstly, adapting Android to any piece of hardware is easy. And if you own pretty much every piece of mobile hardware as Samsung does, it is even easier. Secondly, Samsung’s revenues put it in the top ~30 of the world’s largest GDP’s. Samsung are richer than most countries in the world. They are by far, the largest conglomerate in the world. How hard is it for them to get their grungy phones to carriers across the world? For a company that dips its enormous fingers into almost every country (legal or not) and still has the resources to personally attack ordinary citizens, not hard at all (TWSS).

They’re building the tallest building in the world; getting a measly piece of plastic and glass into the hands millions of customers is easy. Of course, Samsung also have a knack for screwing up design, mucking up UI, and forgetting to slip chargers or cables with their phones. So, while Samsung’s Galaxy may by numbers become the biggest Android name out, it will more likely than not, line the bargain bins as another piece of shoddy work. Don’t look to Samsung to show the world how to make a good Android phone, only look to them to show how to make the most circulated, cheap piece of plastic with an ‘Android’ label.

  • Ouch… looks like someone doesn’t like Samsung very much :) And does the design of Samsung Galaxy S remind anyone else of a certain Apple branded device?

  • I’d be happy if for once, Samsung designed something rather than copied something. Or rather than owning everything, give users, governments, and other companies choices. The antitrust against Microsoft? Don’t get it. When one company is obviously going for the entire world and not one control organisation bats an eye: something is wrong.

  • geny

    As much as I hate Samsung (I no longer buy Samsung products unless I really have to) for similar reasons (plus the chairman who is a criminal, propaganda, corruption and many more), I wouldn’t agree with some of the arguments above.

    Samsung has been manufacturing countless phones for over a decade. How many of those manufactured would you label “copied”? (note that Apple manufactures ONE phone at a time) They have developed many of their own patent technologies for cell phones.
    As much as the issue of “copying”, I agree Samsung often steal from small-mid size companies and sometimes just straight up copy from another major company (iPad vs. Galaxy Tab) but with touch screen based smart phones, it is hard to determine that (most of them look similar and they are meant to be with such few buttons compared to feature phones).
    It is because what customers’ desires in leading design is similar I assume (bigger screen, simple, thin and etc)

    In terms of hardware quality, I definitely don’t agree with “cheap piece of plastic” comment. Samsung’s hardware built capabilities is far ahead of other competitors. (from general built quality, life expectancy, to small feel of a button press, not to mention the far ahead specs)
    But software is a different issue. They’re so busy stamping out phones that they seemed to forget about the more important aspect, software that runs the device. (less time and money needed to focus on hardware)

    I would say this posting has not much to do with “Android + Galaxy S” but more about the hatred towards the manufacturer. Yes, Android is easy to install on most devices but how does it perform on Galaxy S? With the title, I thought I would get some specific reviews but it had nothing to do with that.
    I think, in order for an author of such nature to persuade readers on whether to buy an electronic product or not, he/she should have personally used the device. Yes, Samsung is a horrible company according to the article but is it the right android phone for you? Those are two irrelevant issues.

    Please don’t get me wrong. I despise Samsung, but one thing I realize is that major corporations all around the world are not much different from them.

    Cheers and thanks for useful postings.

  • Hello Geny,

    Thank you for the thoughtful reply to my obvious hate-post. You are right, Samsung have been in the business of phones for years. You and I seem to have a similar slant. I actually have a Samsung phone here since as a foreigner in Korea, I am not allowed to get a smartphone (go figure). It is a terrible POS that just broke. They supplied it with no charger or way to connect to USB but have it two batteries… how am I supposed to charge even one of them?

    In terms of quality, though, they are known here for mistakes. My stove, my fridge, my phone, my TV, my aircon, and about 1/5 of the cars on the road are from Samsung. The computers are known to have hinge failure, the phones to be very susceptible to breakage, the stoves to stop working altogether. The cars? Apart from being direct rip off of European designs, they are made with very cheap materials.

    Samsung play the game of quantity more than any company on the planet. While generally you get a good spec for the price (as you said), you don’t get hardware that will kick around the same time as some other brands. At least Samsung’s large shopping malls haven’t collapsed killing thousands like Hyundai’s do, but they are of no great quality. The fact that as a single vendor, they have more phones on the market does say a lot about their slant on quality – they just don’t have it. They care about spitting out new phones and new dryers, and new benz-look alikes without deference to user interaction.

    My phone has three places where the user must press to enter a command; nothing is uniform. Even LG do better with their phones.

    The purpose of my article wasn’t to review a Galaxy, but to show that Samsung’s strategy is to spit something out. I have used a Galaxy model and cannot say that it is well made or thought out. The market of thin, buttonless devices isn’t something users have come to expect, it’s something created because manufacturers see an Apple product and then can’t think of other designs. Before Apple’s iPhone, there was nothing so simple on the market except for the iPod. Before the iPad, nothing at all like it. Samsung follow the crowd, follow other’s leads and then spit out based on what they guess will be popular. They don’t design, they copy.

    I wish that the biggest company in the world has a little more poise and self control, but it doesn’t.

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