This is a big week for Samsung. Its Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone is rolling out across most of the country's leading wireless carriers.
Samsung isn't shying away from letting everyone know about it. The South Korean consumer tech giant took out an eight-page ad in The Wall Street Journal to promote the new device's benefits over the competition.
Taking advantage of Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG ) latest Android operating system and dolling it up with proprietary bar-raising features in a smartphone that doesn't skimp on the spec sheet, it's clear that the S4 will be the smartphone to beat this year.
You do have to wonder if the timing of the handset's stateside release and this morning's ad blitz is intentionally taking place on the same day that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) is posting its fiscal second quarter results. It certainly seems strategic. There's no way that Samsung could've known that Apple would be trading at a 52-week low just a few days ago, but investors have been souring on Apple for months on fears that the iPhone is losing its edge and that Apple is taking a margin hit as it tries to compete with fancier Samsung gadgetry.
Naturally, it's not just Apple that Samsung is trying to slay with the aggressive marketing campaign accompanying this week's S4 rollout. BlackBerry's (NASDAQ: BBRY ) introduction of its first device running the once ballyhooed BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system didn't seem to go over too well earlier this year. Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) also thought that it could storm its way into relevance with the Windows Phone 8 update late last year, but BlackBerry and Windows remain fringe platforms in a world that's going Android in alarming numbers. As of mid-February, BlackBerry accounted for 5.4% of U.S. mobile phone users, according to comScore. Microsoft managed a puny 3.2% share of the market.
Tech tracker IDC reported earlier this year that Android smartphones accounted for more than 70% of the worldwide smartphone shipments during last year's fourth quarter. Android's share isn't as dominant domestically, though it still accounts for more than half of the market.
Samsung isn't afraid to attack the competition. It has marketed earlier entries in the Galaxy line by taking jabs at Apple's cult status. However, now it seems as if Samsung is ready to stand on its own merit by not slinging mud in any of the eight pages of its full-color ad spread today.
Samsung senses an opportunity, and it's going to take it.
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