Don't worry if you get bewildered by All Things Tech. This is as much about perspective as it is about technology.
There's a very good article on CNET by Shara Tibken that looks at the new and highly-praised Samsung Galaxy S4. The article isn't a review, but a thoughtful analysis of innovation and hype, and the difficulties that companies face in trying to continually upgrade. Overall, although the article is about all technology at heart, it focuses on the competition between Samsung Smartphones and the Apple iPhone.
There was one passage that bugged me. In part I was bugged because the article was so good otherwise, that this took me out of my enjoyment. Another part is that, because the paragraph was specifically about "how important this is," the overstatement put the perspective of the article balancing on the edge.
In the end, after getting over my annoyance, the one passage really doesn't discredit the article. Too much of it is too good. But it does address one of the problems with a lot of tech coverage, where things move so fast, that perspective sometimes gets lost.
The passage in question begins with a question and simple answer:
"How critical is this phone to Samsung? In a word: Extremely."
The author then goes on to explain --
"Sure, Samsung doesn't sell just one new phone each year like its rival in Cupertino. Sure, Samsung's Note line of oversize smartphones, also known as phablets, is doing well. Sure, Samsung also makes tablets and televisions and refrigerators, not to mention a lot of the components used in those products."
Okay, here's the problem.
Samsung doesn't also make "tablets, televisions and refrigerators," and a lot of components for them.
Samsung actually also makes, in addition to them --
Blu-ray and DVD players
The point is -- Smartphones are NOT "extremely" critical to Samsung. Moreover, it's not only not "extremely" critical as a single part of the overall Samsung corporation, but most importantly it's not even anywhere near remotely critical to them like the iPhone is dead-center, life-line essential to Cupertino (which is Apple).
It's certainly important. Smartphones are a huge part of technology today, and Samsung certainly wants its Smartphone line to do well. But if for some reason Samsung decided to stop selling Smartphones, all of them, just drop the product line, Samsung would continue operating as one of the biggest, most successful technology conglomerates in the world.
If Apple stopped selling the iPhone, the bottom would drop out of the company.
In not acknowledging this, you're missing a core part of the discussion and making an unfair comparison and conclusion. Happily, the rest of the article addresses other points about innovation and hype very well, so the article remains valid and substantive. I just wish the full perspective had been allowed to paint a richer picture of the subject, because I think the story was good enough to go in that direction.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
Feedspot Badge of Honor