Galaxy S9: Faint praise for Samsung’s answer to Apple’s iPhone X

The talk of Barcelona: Mobile World Congress 2018.

From Timothy Martin’s Samsung’s Galaxy S9 Phone Bets on Animated Human Emojis in the Wall Street Journal:

The Galaxy S9’s camera tricks and emoji push are likely to remind some consumers of last year’s Apple Inc.’s iPhone X handset.

Samsung mobile chief D.J. Koh, in an interview,… bristled at any notion Samsung was playing catch up with Apple, as the human emojis took years of development, he added.

“Their approach and my approach is totally different,” said Mr. Koh, cautious to mention Apple, a rival and components customer, by name. “I do work seriously based off my own road map.”

The more critical question for Samsung is whether consumers will notice the camera overhaul—or even care.

My favorite quote: “Innovation is not everything,” said Mr. Koh, 56 years old, who next month is expected to be promoted to chief executive of Samsung’s mobile and network division.


  1. Robert Paul Leitao said:
    In my view, as a handset maker the South Korean-conglomerate is wholly irrelevant. Although it attempts to be a fast follower of Apple, its handsets compete only in a vast, barren wasteland of also-rans, making use of a “free” operating system that offers little to consumers in terms of privacy, security and user experience.

    Similar to nature’s tundra, the Android wasteland offers nothing more than a hard scrabble, sustenance existence to its economic inhabitants. If to Mr. Koh “innovation is not everything,” than there’s nothing to really notice about a new camera. It won’t make the company’s “picture” any prettier.

    February 25, 2018
  2. Fred Stein said:
    The S9 competes with all other high-end Android smartphones, including the Android installed base. 3D animated human emoji won’t change that market’s dynamics.

    RPL’s tundra metaphor, above is brilliant. Due to fragmentation, it will become increasingly difficult to get good ROI for large technology investments in the Android ecosystem. By contrast, Apple gets great ROI and has more than enough money to invest.

    The only serious competitor is Huawei. In the US we don’t see it. They are strong in China, of course, be also the rest of Asia. In total that’s over 3 billion people. And they offer a full range of price points.

    February 25, 2018

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