Tech wars: Samsung strikes back

Published: Monday, May 13, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, May 10, 2013 at 5:20 p.m.

It's on like Donkey Kong.

I was (s)trolling through the local Best Buy last week, and the sign hit me like a ton bricks. Coming Soon: Samsung Experience. It hung amid a large pile of dust and lonely carpet where the point-and-shoots were once displayed. The real ‘Aha' moment for me was when I noticed its neighbor. The Apple section.

It's like Ali vs. Frazier only in a digital form.

The two are gonna tango. Mano a mano. Our best digital stuff selling across the aisle from your best digital stuff.

Reality is Samsung has arrived. They are not just the RC to Apple's Coca Cola anymore but more like the Pepsi. Truth is, Samsung has been driving with their foot on the innovation gas pedal, while Apple has been on cruise control.

Who wins in all of this? We do! All the recent Apple monopoly has gotten us lately is ho-hum annual refreshes of the same products.

No matter where your allegiances stand, Samsung deserves kudos for its recent catapult onto the main stage of relevance. I admit, I laughed when I heard that Samsung was getting into the smartphone business a few years ago. Seriously. They are a television company, I thought. Well, the Galaxy S4 is hitting the market as I write this, and it will no doubt be the most innovative phone on the market. Oh, and it will no doubt be the top-seller this year. I laughed when they released their Galaxy Note series of phones. At nearly six inches, the screen seemed more suited for a T-Rex than a homosapien. Then I picked one up and realized the possibilities. Why doesn't Apple have a “phablet” in their lineup?

Truth is, the iPhone has some catching up to do. Sure, it's a foxy little lady and the software is still leagues ahead of Android, but they are only a few missteps from losing the stronghold on the market.

Now, when you look at computers Samsung is hardly a player. It is more like Ali vs. Waldo until you notice where the South Korean tech giant has decided to play ball in this arena. It's all about the laptops. Apple makes some drop-dead gorgeous devices with all the bells and whistles for about $1,200 and up. Samsung? Its ultra-sleek Google-powered Chromebook might have some serious technological limitations, but the truth is, it's only $250. At a fraction of the cost, it makes that fancy Apple logo a little less mystical.

It's no surprise what's on the other side of the aisle and that is the television section, which is by far Samsung's stronghold. Actually, more like a stranglehold. They are slimmer, sharper, sleeker and smarter. Sony and all the rest are on the outside looking in. Even Apple is envious of the television market and has teased about a potential iTV of its own but would have a ways to go to catch up to such a formidable opponent.

What is so profound about the Samsung Experience is how it mimics the role the electronics giant is playing in today's tech merry-go-round. Taking a page from Apple's playbook, it has built a formidable ecosystem of devices that, when formed together, can make your average geek a very happy camper.

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