5 Things Apple Should NOT Copy From Samsung

by Christopher Paul on August 13, 2013

Alex Colon wrote an article with a list of five things Apple should copy from Samsung. It’s a pretty ridiculous list, in my opinion. None of the things he suggests will do any good. I thought I’d counter his geek-wishlist with my own thoughts (hey, it’s my soapbox, here).

On phone sizes:

I like the size of the iPhone 5. The width is perfect for my hand – and the hands of my wife and child. I’m 5 ft. 9 so others who are over six feet tall might like a wider form-factor but I suspect that most women, children, and men who haven’t reached that height, find the width perfect. Now that the height was extended for a different aspect ratio, the iPhone 5 screen feels just right. We can always use more pixels. But as Apple demonstrated with the Retina Display, pixels and screen size are mutually exclusive. Plus, multiple screen sizes makes choosing a model more complicated. Complicated (to the user) is the opposite of Apple. Sometimes its hard enough to choose a storage capacity[1]. Making the choice harder by a factor of three or more is just going to make it worse, slow adoption, and remove yet another “feature” of Apple’s phones.

On features:

This quote says it all:

Samsung manages to push things one step further, loading up its flagship phones with so many extra features you’ll probably never get a chance to even use them all before it’s time to upgrade.

If you’ll never use it, why put it in? Time to move on.

On removable parts:

Removable parts makes the phone less sturdy. I’d venture to speculate that most people upgrade their phone every two years when their contract is up. The battery should last that long[2].

As for a microSD slot… who uses them? When all your photos are uploaded to the cloud or a social network, why is local storage a big deal? Spotify, Pandora, iTunes Radio, and Netflix all eliminate storage constraints. And there is no way a mobile app will consume 16GB or more of space on its own for a while.

Call audio quality will be more limited by the cellular network than the phone. Music quality is handled by the equalizer; if you’re an audiophile and need a custom equalizer setting, you’re using the wrong equipment to listen to music. Period.

On more releases per year:

Ok, that could be nice. But when most people are under a two year agreement anyway, more releases doesn’t do much. Only the nerdy phone geeks (of which I am one) would want a new one every four to six months. In reality, two years is enough for 80% or more of the population and one year release cycles cover everyone. Plus, this goes back to making choices easier. Phones with two year investment cycles – even free ones – are harder to pick when you feel something better might be released in a month. If it’s six months or more, the intangible costs and risks are much less.

On borrowing features:

There’s a fine line between borrow and steal. Many people feel Samsung ripped of Apple; some feel Apple did the same. Whatever the case, “borrowing” features doesn’t make a better phone. Borrowing the right features is the important part. And blatantly copying doesn’t serve any purpose other than to piss off fanboys, the press, other companies, and users who might end up with a shitty feature – which as Colon admitted aren’t used, anyway. An IR blaster? Seriously?? Can he really type that with a straight face?

  1. Though that’s becoming less of an issue with cloud storage and streaming.  ↩

  2. The battery in my iPhone 4 which I bought when it was released has lasted and shows no signs of failing my father-in-law who I gave it to when I upgraded.  ↩

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