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Is Samsung's Galaxy S4 Really Selling Off-the-Chart or are they Just Playing a Marketing Game?

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It was in the news recently that the Fair Trade Commission had formally set up a case to investigate whether Samsung was deceptively pitching its products online and attacking its rivals' devices. There's a fine line between a marketing team being aggressive and crossing an unethical line. That's where the Fair Trade Commission comes in to keep dirty tricksters out of the market, or more realistically, fine them and embarrass these companies publically. But now another kind of game seems to brewing over at Samsung. No one is saying it's illegal. It just smells bad.

There was a report out of Canada on Tuesday that one of their top wireless carries TELUS was doubling down and offering customers a $100 credit to delay their Galaxy S4 orders. If I'm not mistaken that's the second Canadian wireless company using this sales tactic. Another report's headline read "Samsung's new Galaxy S4 hits supply snags in United States." This is supposedly due "to overwhelming global demand of Galaxy S4." In Korea, Samsung reportedly stated that it's been receiving ''explosive orders." And "Samsung sources and market analysts" state that Samsung is aiming to sell 100 million S4 units in the next 12 months, doubling the sales of their Galaxy S3.


But something stinks.


How can demand be explosive when in North America, the reviews are really Ho-Hum at best. The folks over at VentureBeat didn't mince their words about Samsung's so-called hot smartphone: "The Galaxy S4 is a solid smartphone; but if anything, it proves you don't need taste when you've got an endless supply of cash and marketing muscle." Ouch.


Writing for Forbes, Parmy Olson report is titled "Reviews Describe Samsung's Galaxy S4 as Plastic, 'Gimmicky' Phone. The review looks at a cross section of top tech reviewers like Walt Mossberg is quoted saying that "It's a good phone, just not a great one." He also stated that he had "been testing the Galaxy S4 intensively for four days and while I admire some of its features, overall, it isn't a game-changer."


It may take a year to prove my point, but the reviews aren't motivating anyone to line up around the block to get their hands on the S4. And with reviews like the ones that I've linked to above, I can't see how "explosive" even comes in to the picture. It just sounds like Samsung's marketing team playing make believe demand for a boring smartphone upgrade.


Is Samsung's Galaxy S4 Really Selling Off-the-Chart or are they Just Playing a Marketing Game? Well, I guess you know where I stand on this. How about you? What are thoughts on this?


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5 years behind?

How about giving us some facts and not just words.


I have no douts that Samsung is lying.


Quality and functionality win for me. Plastic or not its made right. As for the way I treat a phone I go through several a year. Why would I get an iPhone when the technology, not even perfected, is 5 years old. S4 is the way to go...


I had a sense, as the Samsung vs Apple case wrapped up, that a noticeable backlash against Apple swung into effect. My first reaction was to see it as a few techies who didn't like the thought of "Apple the Corporation" stomping on hapless competition. But the tone and breadth of the blogs and comments kept building and took on a consistently unreasoned rant-like quality.

Friends and I started to note the change and speculated that Google had thrown its search-engine weight behind the threads. We thought that they were forcing the Apple negativity to the top of the search feeds. When the story broke a few weeks ago that Samsung had been paying shills to badmouth Apple online with the goal of splattering mud on apple's brand, it was an "aha" moment. "So THAT's what's been happening!"

I recall from branding lessons that they are both the biggest strength and the greatest weakness of any company. They draw in more customers when the brand is high, but all it takes is cheap mud to bring them down. Look at Microsoft and Vista (now Windows 8). Heck, look at the last few political campaigns!

I say "hooray" to an investigation. I hope Samsung is caught with muddy hands and hope dearly that Google hasn't colluded with them. Let's get back to "great products" and innovation, I say. No more "dirty tricks"!


Thank you for calling them out. I've been thinking the same thing.


I think it's just a bunch of baloney!

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