Samsung takes a shot at new iPhone

September 26, 2014

Samsung Electronics Co. did not let an opportunity to take a jab at its U.S. arch-rival slip by. With the photos of bent Apple iPhone 6s, and a video of a guy bending an iPhone 6 Plus with his bare hands going viral on the internet (Over 37 million views by 9:30 p.m. PT), Samsung’s official Twitter account, @SamsungMobile, posted a photo its own Galaxy Note Edge with the innuendoed comment “Curved. Not bent.” 

A screenshot of Samsung Electronics Co.'s official Twitter account on Sept. 26, 2014. (Yonhap)

A screenshot of Samsung Electronics Co.’s official Twitter account on Sept. 26, 2014. (Yonhap)

The Note Edge caused a buzz when it was showcased in Berlin earlier this month for its curved side screen that can, for instance, display incoming messages when the main screen is engaged.

The rivalry between the two tech firms was seen to be escalating after Apple upped the ante by enlarging the screens for its new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, taking a cue from Samsung’s phablet Galaxy Note lineup. The new iPhones sold some 10 million units in the opening weekend, breaking sales records.

The iPhone 6 Plus, however, took a hit when videos demonstration went viral on the Internet in what has come to be known as “Bendgate.” YouTube account “Unbox Therapy” has videos showing the iPhone 6 Plus bending when pressed with one’s hands while follow-up video clips showed the Galaxy Note 3 surviving the press test. The Galaxy Note 4 will be released in the U.S. market in October.

Apple has responded by saying that only nine such cases were officially found and that they pose no problems for everyday use.

Following lackluster earnings amid the rise of Chinese players, Samsung has been struggling to recoup its falling market share around the globe. Samsung earlier said operating profit of its IT and mobile business division, the company’s main revenue source, fell 29.6 percent on-year to 4.42 trillion won in the second quarter from 6.28 trillion won a year earlier.

The company has played calm despite the challenge from rivals, hoping its latest phablet, a cross between a smartphone and tablet PC, will be a game changer.

“While rivals are rolling out other 5- or 6-inch smartphones, they will be no match for Samsung Electronics’ unique usability, helped by the S pen,” said Lee Don-joo, head of sales and marketing for Samsung’s mobile division earlier this week upon the local release of the Galaxy Note 4, apparently referring to Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus and LG Electronics Inc.’s G3 smartphone.

Samsung and Apple have been engaged in court battles in the U.S. since April 2011 over patented technologies they accuse each other of stealing. Patent suits outide of the U.S. were dropped in August.

The two’s relationship remains intense, although both are losing ground in the global market with the rise of Chinese rivals.

Samsung took up 25.2 percent of the global smartphone market in the April-June period, down 7.1 percentage points from the 32.3 percent posted last year, according to market researcher IDC Corp. Apple’s portion of the market fell 1.1 percentage point to 11.9 percent.

– Yonhap materials were used in this report.