Why the tech blogosphere hates Samsung
Anandtech’s recent allegation of “cheating” levied at Samsung has generated a lot of comments and forum brouhaha. Those that were used to throwing jabs about slippery plastic, cheap feeling construction, and stuttery animations, have now found a new reason to totally shit on their favorite punching bag.
This is all well and good; I find reading these kinds of posts and comments pretty entertaining, whether I agree or not. I feel like I’m pretty unbiased, having been on both sides of the Android and iOS coin. But the recent surge in (probably deserved) criticism of Samsung got me wondering - why does the tech blogosphere hate them so much? I suppose the same question can be asked for any popular tech company, starting with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Everyone has haters. But let’s explore the asshole of the hour, shall we?
1. People like to bring up the “evil corporation” aspect when discussing Samsung. This is a fairly potent argument because of their well publicized history of underhanded business tactics, favorable treatments from S. Korea’s government, etc. However this does not seem like the real reason people hate Samsung. Nobody outside of Korea cared about these things until recently. It was only after Samsung became a dominant force in the current technologies of smartphones and tablets. If people actually cared about this, they would’ve been up in arms back when Samsung was only selling millions of computer monitors, TVs, dumb phones, microwaves, and refrigerators.
2. The argument that the hate is borne from Samsung’s Touchwiz interface also seems unfair. For the most part people seem to detest the aesthetics and hampered performance of Touchwiz. But such flaws are also found in every other skin from every other manufacturer - Motorola, HTC, LG, Sony, all of them. People don’t hate those other companies using this reason like they do Samsung, at least not to the same level of vitriol.
3. Samsung’s copying of Apple’s iPhone. Sure, it almost seems like fact that Samsung’s original Galaxy S line was created by copying many things about the iPhone. But there has never been proof that this copying was the reason for the Galaxy line’s success. Back then and to this day, nobody I’ve ever talked to bought their Galaxy S (usually T-Mobile’s Vibrant or AT&T’s Captivate) because it was similar to the iPhone. On the contrary, some people bought them because they were the best alternative that wasn’t the iPhone. Another significant reason for it’s success was the wide carrier availability, while the iPhone was exclusive to AT&T.
4. Unlimited marketing budget as THE reason for their dominance of Android. Samsung spends a lot of dollars on advertising their products. This undoubtedly contributes to their massive sales. But advertising alone does not guarantee a commercial success. Of the many tech ads, the most prevalent these days seem to be for Microsoft’s Surface products, and we all know how poorly those things have sold. Marketing isn’t the only reason for Samsung’s success, it’s one contributing factor. That’s it.
In addition, people weren’t up in arms when Apple pushed marketing dollars around. Remember how many Mac vs PC ads there were, and all the ads leading up to the original iPhone launch? Apple literally taught their customers how to use the iPhone with tutorials in their commercials.
Did I miss anything? Are there other reasons people hate Samsung? Probably, but I’m all out of ideas.
Here’s my theory - people hate Samsung because Samsung is successful. And not only are they successful, but their success comes at the expense of people’s favorite companies/brands like Apple and HTC, and maybe even Google. When all the supporters of these companies unite and proclaim one common enemy, that echo chamber becomes deafening.
So the next time you start typing away in the comments about how disgusting Samsung is as an organization, take a moment and think about why you hate them so much. Maybe you are bias.