Adventures In Tech
Galaxy S3: From imitator to innovatorSamsung used to have a bad rep for copying Apple, but the Galaxy S3 changed all that. We take a look at one of the best mobiles ever made.
-Hello, and welcome to Adventures in Tech. Coming up, how the Galaxy S3 turned Samsung from imitator to innovator. Samsung used to have a bad rep for copying Apple, but today it's making more bizarre original tech than anyone else out there. That change is best represented by the Galaxy S3, but to understand the transformation you have to go back to a time when Samsung had less to be proud of. Spring 2011 and Samsung was two phones into its Galaxy S series, which aims to capitalize on the smartphone boom that Apple's iPhone had triggered. For Apple however, the Android-powered Galaxy devices were a little too similar. It wasn't long before Apple brought down a rain of legal fire upon Samsung. Steve Jobs and Powell has accused the company of slavishly copying the iPhone and iPad pointing to similarities in design, icons, and even packaging. CNET has advised me to have a lawyer present for this next bit, but let's be honest, Apple had a point, these phones were blatant [unk]-- with the patent war ballooning into a global conflict, Samsung was under pressure to prove that it had some ideas of its own. With the Galaxy S3 in May 2012, it did just that. The S3 was different to smartphones we've seen before with a glossy oval style and a screen so big it could tear your palms in half. Samsung design choices made that big screen work. Apple was all about steel and gloss, while HTC had traditionally gone for an industrial weighty feel. Samsung's choice was plastic and lots of it. The oil based construction of the Galaxy S3 meant it was very thin and light, and just didn't feel as massive as it was. Final ingredient was something that's come to define Samsung-- crazy software. -S Beam, S Planner, S Voice, S Memo, Smart Stay, Social tag, Smart alert, Best photo, AllShare Play, Popup Play, Direct Call. -The Galaxy S3 crammed in all these bizarre apps that is so weird you'd have to be the kind of person who eats breakfast with their toaster to use them all. -You know, I've never loved you. -That wealth of crazy features has become a Samsung hallmark, and proved that in the S3, Samsung had finally found its own groove. And we loved it. Samsung sold 20 million S3s in the first 100 days and by 9 months had shipped 50 million despite production problems with one color option, which Samsung said featured a newly invented kind of blue. Now, I've never invented a new color or sold 50 million phones, but I imagine it's a real confidence booster. And if you look at what Samsung has built since, that self-assuredness shines through. There's the gigantic Galaxy Note and Galaxy Mega or bizarre experimental gadgets like the curved Galaxy Round, the Galaxy S4 zoom, or the Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Samsung's gadgets have become increasingly diverse, but they have a common answer to that in the Galaxy S3 with their eccentric apps and just the right amount of crazy. You have to wonder whether Apple made a big mistake in attacking Samsung in the first place. Apart from drawing loads more attention to its smartphones, perhaps that legal assault encouraged Samsung to release something significantly different. History will remember the S3 as the phone that so Samsung turned from imitator to innovator. Do you have fond memories to the S3 and what do you think of Samsung today? Let me know and check back next time for another Adventure in Tech.