Interview

With iPhone in its sights, Galaxy S4 could make Samsung 'king of cool', argues Animoca

Co-founder Yat Siu says Apple should be worried

With iPhone in its sights, Galaxy S4 could make Samsung 'king of cool', argues Animoca
With Samsung having unveiled the Galaxy S4 to the world last week, the industry is currently digesting what impact it'll have on the market, and whether anything has really changed.

Is it simply more of the same, or does it have the capacity to eat into iPhone's all-conquering market share?

And with the likes of Sony and HTC having launched their own Android flagships recently, who holds the balance of power on Google's OS?

We decided to ask some of the platform's most notable developers for their view on all things Galaxy S4. First up, Yat Siu – founder of Pretty Pet Salon studio Animoca:

Pocket Gamer: Broadly speaking, what did you make of the Galaxy S4 unveiling?

Yat Siu: The unveiling of the Galaxy S4 was in Samsung's style, and it certainly wasn't shy about its hottest new product.

Although people say that the hardware spec is dead, there was a lot of talk about specs, specifically about how superior the S4 is to the competition.

On a consumer level, how do you think Samsung is attempting to distinguish the Galaxy S4 from other Android handsets?

I don't think Samsung is that focused on other Android handset providers because it already outsells everyone else.



The S4, in my opinion, sets its crosshairs squarely on Apple's iPhone. At a glance, the S4 appears to be superior in almost every way.

Should Apple be worried?

I think Apple has been worried about Samsung for some time now. But yes, the S4 should worry Apple.

It looks like a great phone with a very nice screen, excellent specs, and the full weight of Samsung behind it to market and support the product. The S4 introduced clearly innovative features, and a growing number of people argue that examples of such innovation have been missing from the last iPhone releases.

The S4 could be all that Samsung needs to become the next 'king of cool' – not just in select markets. which is already happening, but globally.

On the Android front, the high-end Android market seems to be hotting up of late, with both the HTC One and Sony Xperia Z. How does the Galaxy S4 compare?

The S4 definitely has the superior technical specifications, but Sony has shown that it's really trying to get back into the global game, and HTC has also signalled similar ambitions.

In some ways, the difference in hardware power may be a marginal consideration.

The S4 runs on the latest available version of the Android OS, which is an advantage, but choosing a phone is not only about the technology, it is also about style and fashion, user-friendliness, ergonomics, etc.



In terms of pure design, models like the HTC One and Sony Xperia Z have a feel to them that is more 'solid' than Samsung phones, and some people will naturally prefer that. They are all great phones.

What opportunities does Galaxy S4 present for developers?

As we've noted in our own research, high-end phones are coming to Android in a big way, consolidating operating system versions - i.e. Android 4.x - and leading to a high standard quality of devices.

This means Android users can look forward to improvements in user experience across the board, from basic phone performance to better quality apps.

The S4 will further consolidate these hardware and software trends and we'll see the emergence of an even stronger high-end Android market, and growth in the overall Android market.

The ubiquity and power of these Android devices will result in more sophisticated apps that can really take advantage of the hardware resources.
Thanks for Yat for his time.

If you're an Android developer with views on Samsung's Galaxy S4, drop us a line at keith.andrew [at] pocketgamer.co.uk.

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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Ibrahim El-Mouelhy
Timothy, did you actually have any concrete objections to what Yat Siu said? Do you disagree with any of the commentary provided?
Timothy Polumbo
I love how we go through this every time a new android comes out. Its all so cute and cuddly. From what I understand, this phone (the new HTC) is great except for the battery life and lack of LTE. These are 2 things that Android devices normally best iPhones in... (until the iPhone 5 came equipped with LTE). Why would you sandbag on some of the best features of an Android?

The GS4 is going to be an excellent phone - but again... it has all the strengths of an Android and ALL of the weaknesses. This phone is not going to be an iPhone killer. Until Android is able to break away from the crippling fact that the platform is terribly fragmented and support drops for phones 6-12 months after they are released, then and only then will an iPhone killer be feasible. Until then, you are comparing Apples to Oranges.

On the flip side - until Apple does something revolutionary (I know they love that word) with iOS and at least open up 1st party OS mods, iOS will not be able to truly stand head and shoulders above Android.

But to put things in perspective, the market is being flooded with Android devices. It is by pure logic that any fool can see that Android (as an OS) will hold most of the market share. Now I honestly don't see any one Android rising from the crowd and truly challenging iOS on a one-on-one sales comparison.

But again... Apples and Oranges.

Long story short - the claim is complete blah blah blah

tim