Can Samsung still claim to be ahead of Apple?

Commentary: Samsung keeps insisting that Apple is always behind. With the release of the Galaxy S9, how true might that be?

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Will the mockery of Apple continue?

Samsung/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It was the ad that took mockery to an exalted level.

Released last November to coincide with the launch of the iPhoneX, here was Samsung wantin everyone to believe that it was the inventive brand, while Apple was the label of sad sheep and retrograde lovers.

Samsung was, in its own eyes, first with just about every single development in phone design since, well, smartphones were invented.

Apple merely copied. And late, too.

With the Galaxy S9 being launched this week, will Samsung still be able to claim this?

If you look at the teaser ads for the S9 that the Korean company released last week, they featured the camera, the camera and the camera.

Oh, and an emoji variant. Which some Apple faithful might think of as copying Animoji with a little twist.

Oddly, this apparent emphasis on the camera and Animojis coincides precisely with what a T-Mobile salesman told me were the biggest selling point of the iPhone X: selfies and Animojis.

Is this what we've come to? Phone companies selling their devices by giving humans more ways to imaginatively express their self-regard?

Of course, it may be that Samsung has some pulsating surprise that it's saving for the February 25 launch day.

Yet the rumors collected by my colleague Justin Jaffe so far don't point to a phone that will give Samsung a new reason to claim its (supposedly) obvious creative superiority over Apple. 

Yes, there might be a more entertaining unlocking tool or perhaps a virtual fingerprint reader, but will these be sufficient to add a new chapter to Samsung's Apple-mocking?

Samsung didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Some might see an acknowledgement of an essential parity between the two brands in the naming of the new phone. 

It seems to be the Galaxy S9. Not, say, the S10. Or even, to tweak Apple further, the S11. Is a 9 somehow slightly lesser than a 10? I mean, a X? 

Psychology can play strange tricks on vulnerable human minds.

Personally, I'd rather like Samsung to reveal something the rumor mills haven't uncovered. There's always something delightful about companies defying the constant online chatter, renderings and photographing of supposedly new phones.

Mischievous Apple-persons, though, might muse that the most enjoyable surprise for them would be if the S9 had a notch.