Top 10 Times Smartphone Companies Fought Like Siblings
By Karl Smallwood, Toptenz, 14 December 2014.
By Karl Smallwood, Toptenz, 14 December 2014.
Hey, remember in 2013 when practically every news source on Earth was sharing a story about Samsung paying a billion dollar fine to Apple in nickels? Then remember when it was actually revealed to be a hoax and almost nobody covered it because they’d already got their page views and felt no need to correct their mistake? Well to make up for that we’re going to share with you today 10 verifiable stories of companies who make smartphones trolling each other and generally acting like massive children, because why the heck not?
10. Samsung and the ice bucket challenge
In the first half of 2014 thousands of people across the world dumped buckets full of ice water over their head to raise money and perhaps more importantly, awareness for Lou Gehrig’s disease. The so-called “Ice Bucket Challenge” raised millions for charity and managed to attract the attention of some of the biggest names in Hollywood and caused at least one unfortunate individual to poop himself. (Google it!) The stunt quickly went viral as more and more people were challenged to take a metaphorical plunge themselves.
In an effort to clamber onto an already crowded bandwagon powered by the beating of dead horses, Samsung released a video of a Galaxy S5 being covered in ice water then issued a challenge for their closest rivals, Apple, HTC and Nokia to do the same with their flagship phones. For anyone who owns a Galaxy S5 you’re probably already aware that the phone is like, so waterproof. The iPhone 5S, HTC One M8 and Nokia Lumia 930 on the other hand, aren’t. Something we’re sure Samsung were well aware of when they issued the challenge.
However, when it comes to making phones you could accidentally drop in a toilet, our hats go off to Sony, who for no reason other than “they could” released a video of something unboxing their new Xperia Z3, underwater. Let’s see you top that one, Samsung.
9. Everyone (except Apple) loved Bendgate
It must be kind of annoying for Apple that their (at the time of writing this piece) top-selling smartphone, the iPhone 6 is mostly known for the fact it simply cannot handle the booty. To explain for the 3 people who have no idea what we’re talking about, shortly after the iPhone 6 was released it was revealed that the US$500 smartphone would bend if placed in the back pocket of a person who was sitting down or just so happened to possess an abundance of ass.
Almost immediately after the news hit, Apple’s competitors jumped at the chance to revel in the mockery using the derogatory hashtag #Bendgate. Samsung were amongst the first to take a potshot, tweeting out an image of their phone with the caption “Curved. Not Bent.” LG, HTC and Nokia were all quick to follow suit in a similar fashion, with our personal favourite being Nokia, who simply tweeted out an image of the nigh-indestructible Nokia 3210 with a caption reading “Will it bend?” The answer of course, heck no!
As if having your 4 biggest rivals all collectively laugh at you on social media wasn’t bad enough, several brands also tweeted out mocking images, you know, just to rub it in. We don’t care what anyone says about their being “no such thing as bad publicity” there’s no way to spin having your product that costs more than most people’s TV being made fun of by Whataburger.
8. Calling Apple users “Wallhuggers”
If you’re currently thinking “are all of the entries on this list about other companies making fun of Apple?” the answer is, no, only half of them are. We’d probably feel sorry for including so many stories at Apple’s expense if their entire advertising strategy didn’t revolve around assuming you’re an idiot.
But we digress, in July of 2014, Samsung, Apple’s eternal rivals released an ad poking fun at the comparatively paltry battery life of the iPhone compared to their phone which is apparently powered by ground up Duracell bunnies. The ad, which was set in an airport, showed dozens of Apple users “tethered” to the walls by their iPhone charger while the narrator chides them for missing out on the little things that make life fun like talking to your co-workers (while looking at your phone) and taking a dump (while looking at your phone). Ah, memories.
To ensure that the ad’s message is clearer than an Angel’s contact lens, there’s even a scene where a Samsung user changes his battery in front of a bored-looking iPhone user who seems bewildered at the idea of a phone trusting its user with such a dangerous and alien task. Because for some reason, iPhone’s don’t let you do that because, well, because they don’t like you.
7. Nokia trumped a billboard, with trucks
In recent years the focus of advertisers has shifted from the real world to the digital one and the holy grail of advertisers is to have something “go viral”. That said, physical advertisements still have their use and will likely be with us for a very long time, which we’re absolutely fine with as long as companies like Nokia are still willing to have a sense of humour.
Back in 2013, Samsung released a series of billboard ads in the UK for their (then) new Galaxy S4 Zoom with a caption boasting about the smartphone’s “10x optical zoom”. In response to the campaign, Nokia who at the time were marketing a similar camera-based smartphone, had arranged to have a bunch of trucks sporting an ad for the Nokia Lumia 1020 park directly in front of these billboards soon after they went up. What’s more, Nokia even put a caption on their ad saying “It didn’t see this coming.” Which you’ll notice only makes sense if the ad was put right next to Samsung’s, indicating that Nokia made this ad specifically to annoy Samsung.
6. Nokia trolls the iPhone 5c, repeatedly
As we already noted in the previous entry, a lot of today’s advertising takes place online and companies these days are all about making things go viral. While there’s no guaranteed way to make things go viral, Nokia seem to have a pretty good idea of how to use the internet and more specifically Twitter to score tons of free advertising.
A good example of this was the announcement and subsequent release of the iPhone 5c. Literally minutes after Apple announced the phone, the main selling point of which was the fact you could choose which colour it was (wow!), Nokia sent out a Tweet of their own line of colourful Lumia phones which they’d been selling for a year with a caption saying “Imitation is the best form of flattery”. They then doubled down when Apple announced you could even pick a gold cover (double wow!) by sending out a Tweet reading “real gangsters don’t use gold phones” with a picture of Heisenburg from Breaking Bad. Over the course of the evening, Nokia racked up tens of thousands of re-tweets and their shenanigans ended up being covered by a number of tech sites, but they weren’t done yet.
After sales of the iPhone 5c fell short of Apple’s expectations, Nokia sent out a tweet reminding the public that the “cheap, colourful smartphone” Apple were trying to market as a new idea in 2014, was something they’d already done 12 months earlier with their Lumia 520. But hey, you guys, you can have a gold iPhone, how cool is that?
5. Nokia astronauts
You’ve probably guessed by now that the only thing Nokia seems to love more than their Lumia line of phones is annoying their competitors. In May of 2014, Samsung held an event in a London airport to showcase the Galaxy S5. Curious about this new phone’s capabilities, Nokia decided to send some representatives from their company to the event, dressed as astronauts.
Dubbed “Lumianauts” these representative spent a few hours wandering around the event looking increasingly disappointed that they weren’t actually exploring a new galaxy, stopping every now and again to take photos with their Lumia phones in full view of Samsung representatives.
4. Nokia shows Samsung how customer service should be handled
As much as we enjoyed making fun of Apple during the Bendgate entry, we have to admit that Apple, at the very least, didn’t screw up as bad as Samsung did when a user reported that his brand new Galaxy S4 caught on fire!
The user, identified as Richard Wygand, uploaded a video illustrating the problem so that other users would be aware that their phone might, you know, burn their freaking house down and then sent his phone (which was under warranty) to Samsung asking for a replacement. Samsung agreed on the condition that Wygand took down his video; in response, Wygand uploaded a new video showing people the letter Samsung sent him, because he’s a legend and possibly a hero.
As you can imagine, people weren’t exactly impressed that Samsung were trying to suppress information about their phones doing a Jennifer Laurence and catching fire and the company received a deluge of complains, and Wygands video rightly went viral. Nokia, sensing an opportunity for some free publicity, sent Wygand a tweet offering him a new phone so that he could experience how “customer service should really work”.
3. Nokia has nicer hair than you
Hey, remember when we told you about how Nokia used twitter to deliver an all-mighty series of never-ending mouth slaps to Apple as they announced the iPhone 5c like 3 entries ago? Well they did it again when Apple announced their new iOS 8 operating system and things got a little, weird.
Along with making fun of all of the supposedly “new” features iOS 8 boasted that you could find on any bog-standard Nokia, the company sent out a tweet making fun of an Apple spokesperson’s hair. We’d say that this was a childish jab if it wasn’t for the fact that Joe Belfiore really does have way better hair than any of Apple’s representatives.
We’d say there’s a time and a place to draw attention to the fact one of the lead guys at your company has awesome hair, but we all know that, that time is always.
2. Samsung released a video making fun of the iPhone 6, before it released
One of the key selling points of the iPhone 6, other than that it can bend to accommodate the contours of your ass is that it has a bigger screen than the iPhone 5. Prior to the phone’s release, in an effort to shoot cannon holes in Apple’s sails, Samsung released a video of an Apple user bragging to a man who we assume is his on-off lover that the iPhone is about to get a bigger screen. To which his velvety voiced man-friend responds “that hasn’t happened yet?” while simultaneously demonstrating how much bigger his own phone his is while clutching it in his superior, man-sized hands.
The smooth talking Samsung owner then says “you must be happy” as the iPhone owner stares at his friend’s phone with what can only be described as “the phone version of penis envy”.
Immediately after this conversation ends, text reading “the next big thing is here” appears in the centre of the screen as the iPhone owner face’s contorts into a delicious mix of confusion and anger at the world.
1. Why fight when you can just raise the price?
You’ve probably noticed that a lot of the entries in today’s article focus on interactions between Samsung and Apple and there’s a good reason for that. You see, both companies have spent years in court battling over a number of patents costing both of them millions, if not billions in court fees, legal expenses and settlements.
In 2012, Samsung decided they’d had enough of Apple’s crap and sent them a letter politely explaining that they were raising the price of the mobile processor they needed for all of their iPhones, because oh yeah, Samsung just so happens to make a lot of the parts Apple uses in their products. Apple was still trying to sue them.
When Apple received the letter it suddenly dawned on them that they had no choice but to pay the increased price because Samsung was the only company in the world selling them. Samsung later reversed this decision, presumably just to show Apple that they could screw them over at any point. Apple in turn filed yet another bunch of lawsuits.
Boy, it’s no wonder Samsung keep making fun of them in their ads?
Top image: Apple-Samsung feud, via Tech Radar.
[Source: Toptenz. Edited. Top image added.]