Samsung's anti-iPhone X ads show why it keeps losing to Apple

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
July 26, 2018 – Samsung publishes three new ads designed not to promote its own products, but to tarnish the image of a competing product. A classic case of a company in a losing position, frustrated by unsatisfactory results, and desperate to "make something happen".

The three new ads join the others in Samsung's "Ingenius" series, which has almost nothing to do with the Galaxy S9, and everything to do with just how bad Apple's latest iPhones are. Right off the bat, you know Samsung isn't going to build a very strong case.

Storage: I don't care its 2018, give me my SD card slot!



One of the new ads, called "Storage", shows a female customer struggling to find the "microSD slot" on a new iPhone. Apparently, she also doesn't wish to keep any of her content in the cloud, or to stream her video and audio; she happens to need more than 64, 128 or 256 GB of native storage to keep stuff right there ON THE PHONE. Most computers nowadays ship with around 256 GB SSD storage, and an increasing number of those no longer have SD card slots. But we need this much storage on a phone?

As many other features, SD cards are on the way out and are now almost exclusively relegated to professional or prosumer equipment like the cameras that we're using here at work. They are of questionable reliability, have slower speeds than native storage and can be easy to steal (vulnerable data). All compromises that you wouldn't want in a truly premium smartphone, let alone one that costs $1000.

Notch: People with 'notch' haircuts. Really, Samsung?



This consumer here is expressing his frustration at the iPhone X's display notch, which covers a small area in the top edge. While the notch is absolutely not a perfect design and is bound to be improved with future iPhone generations, it did allow Apple to have consistent, super-thin bezels surrounding the screen. In the meantime, the Galaxy S9 still has slightly thicker top and bottom bezels. Both solutions are different types of compromises, and while Apple used the iPhone X's notch to house the superb Face ID module, Samsung is using the top bezel of the S9 to house its deeply flawed iris scanner that is basically good for nothing. Maybe we should talk about that, Samsung? Instead of making fun of the others.

Finally, the ad gets extra cheesy by showing, for whatever reason, a sad family of people with terrible "notch-style" haircuts. Seriously, who's this spot targeted at? 12-year-olds? An incredibly immature move by Samsung, and one that doesn't befit a huge technology company that's confident in its own products.

Multiwindow multitasking: I don't know what it is, but my sister has it, so I want it!



Ah, yes, multitasking on the phone! Here we have a customer who wants to find how multiwindow (the one where you have two apps opened side by side) multitasking works on the iPhone X, because her sister has been doing that on her Galaxy S9. So maybe she should have gone to a Samsung store to buy a Galaxy S9, like her sister did? That's a big problem with the tech industry these days: too much noise and too little meaning. Too much "want want want" without any idea "why".

If this young woman had actually used side-by-side multitasking on a phone, maybe she would have known what a crappy experience it is. Then there's a quick exchange between her and the 'ingenius' rep who compliments her on her beautiful nails, which involves a number of false statements. She responds with "Thanks you! They change colors, they multitask too" ..... "which your phone doesn't". First, this is wrong, because the iPhone multitasks quite successfully and efficiently, as it carries out a number of processes and services at the same time (for example, downloading a movie and streaming music, all happening while you're typing in a Word document or playing a game). Then, her nails don't do "side-by-side" type multitasking, they change colors one after another, which is the equivalent of switching apps one after another, which is not what she's going for in this ad. That's some weak, technically incorrect writing that's playing off emotions and not facts.


Then there are other potentially misleading statements in Samsung's 'Ingenius' ads, such as the one about download speeds, where a lady, who's apparently such a nerd that she's been going through the theoretical download speeds of the modems inside these phones, points out to the sales person that the iPhone X doesn't have the "fastest download speeds", unlike the S9. Had this archetype done a bit of actual research, instead of just starting at raw numbers and specs all day, they would have known that all these phones well surpass the actual bandwidth that consumers get in real life, so it's absolutely pointless to demand having the "fastest download speeds". The sad thing is this could mislead a normal customer into thinking that there's really something wrong with the iPhone's "download speeds", which isn't true. Again, a cheap move by Samsung there.

The difference between Samsung and Apple


All of these ads are really not designed to highlight the advantages of Samsung's own products, but to make fun of the few and exaggerated issues in the iPhone X. Why is that? Samsung could have easily shown all these in a positive scenario, where a customer walks into a Samsung store and ends up impressed with how you can easily expand the storage on the Galaxy S9, or how it has a normal, no-notch display, or how you can do side-by-side multitasking, which could make at least a little bit of sense on the big Galaxy S9+. "Oh wow, that's awesome, this wasn't even possible on my old phone! That's such a cool feature!", the customer could have said, marveling at all the great possibilities of a Galaxy phone.

Instead, Samsung decided to focus on the negative marketing and go after its rival. What's happening is Samsung is trying to play a finite game here – its objective is to win the battle of this smartphone generation, which comes at the expense of its own brand strength and integrity. Such unprovoked aggressive behavior is never typical of the winning side; it's most often exhibited by the losing team, which, realizing that the final seconds of the match are ticking away, starts playing in a rough and desperate, pissed off way. After the confident Galaxy S8 launch, surely the missed expectations for this year's Galaxy S9 have put some pressure on the consumer products team. But again, Samsung is not playing the game it should be playing, and its behavior is atypical for a gigantic tech company that's supposedly a market leader and innovator.


Meanwhile, Apple is playing the infinite game – it's not obsessing over a single battle; it's playing to keep winning the war. Sometimes, it's a little ahead; other times, it's a little behind, but on average, it tends to consistently outperform its competitors in the long term, bringing in the big profits and leaving the rest of its competition to feast on the leftovers. It's always focusing on what makes the iPhone product great, trying to make it better with each generation, and never compromising the integrity of its brand with cheesy, aggressive spots, or by cutting corners. As a result, all of us (even those who dislike Apple products) know what the Apple brand stands for. What does the Samsung brand stand for?

Related phones

Galaxy S9
  • Display 5.8" 1440 x 2960 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Octa-core, 2800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(31h talk time)
iPhone X
  • Display 5.8" 1125 x 2436 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A11 Bionic, Hexa-core, 2390 MHz
  • Storage 256 GB
  • Battery 2716 mAh(21h 3G talk time)

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115 Comments

1. baldilocks

Posts: 1543; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

Another Apple biased article. It's amazing how far this website has fallen in the 10 years I've been coming here.

18. c.m.s

Posts: 239; Member since: Dec 10, 2017

If phonearena write something good about Apple or bad about Samsung it's biased, if they write something bad about Apple its "the truth"... It's the opinion of the writer, you may not agree but deal with it. This site have without a doubt the most anti-Apple readers (or at least by judging by comments) of any of the tech-sites I read. I can't figure out these people still hang around if they think it's that biased. I agree with the article in general. I think an ad should focus on your product, not the competitors, it makes them feel desperate. And no, I do not think "Mac vs PC" was a good ad either. And it did not work on me since I was an all-in PC-guy back then :)

21. Hollowmost

Posts: 425; Member since: Oct 10, 2017

Link me some bad articles about apple , I'm waiting!

91. sam90

Posts: 4; Member since: Jan 27, 2012

I am waiting too

117. GalaxyLeads_iCrapFollows

Posts: 216; Member since: Nov 29, 2017

PA and its craapple supporters are afraid of the inevitable day when Samsung will outworth craapple. Everything said about Apple in that Samsung AD is 100% factual. PA and its craaple supporters just can't handle the truth.

23. baldilocks

Posts: 1543; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

I've been a member of this site for 10 years and I am pretty sure that my experience with this site is light years above yours.

42. Godlymansean

Posts: 339; Member since: Apr 14, 2017

HES BEEN A MEMBER FOR 10 Y E A R S

88. audibot

Posts: 668; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

i have been a member since 2008 but because of 1 word to a iphone fan i got banned for a year now i just dont care about this site really just wanted to see the vids of the notch

96. T12RYK

Posts: 849; Member since: Jun 10, 2011

10 YEARS PEOPLE! 10 WHOLE YEARS!!

46. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2482; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I will say that simply stating the number of years you’ve been a member is not a winning counter argument. I just feel like instead of actually responding to c.m.s.’s comment or the content of the article, you just stated you’ve been a member for 10 years and that you know better. Well I’ve made 1000 more posts than you have, does that make my argument more valid than yours? And what’s funny is that instead of just posting comments saying what bias this is, you could have presented a winning counter argument. Here’s what I would have said in response to this article: “You say Samsung is losing to Apple in this article, but in reality they’re the ones winning by forcing you to argue point by point why it should be acceptable that iPhones don’t have popular features like expandable storage or a normal display. How can you say that expandable storage is a feature people don’t care about? Not everyone should have to pay $5 or more every month for cloud storage when you could get the storage you need for a fraction of that cost. And for those who may game on their phone in addition to taking pictures or video, you can run out of 64 GB of storage very quickly. What is the purpose of the notch besides saying you can fit a display that fills all 4 corners? If the notch isn’t a problem then why are android manufacturers baking in display settings that automatically black it out? And you never mention in your article about the one ad that REALLY matters to the overwhelming majority of smartphone owners: battery life. Where was that ad? Did you not feature it because you know it’s true? While Samsung is about to release a phone with a 4000 mAh battery, Apple is still sticking with batteries less than 3000 mAh. That’s a problem and one that every poll shows is one of the top issues they want to see improvements with.” You see? That’s a winning argument, not your bloated egotistical comment about being the oldest member of a website.

100. Phullofphil

Posts: 1829; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

Not mine. I have been here since the beginning or close to it whenever that was. Of coarse by a different handle. I think your wrong. I don’t get that vibe. Some writers in here prefer android and some pr get Apple. So what.

25. phljcnth

Posts: 557; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Wrong. Unless this is an editorial, this 'news article' should be kept free from the writer's opinions and must only contain information and facts. You can even tell from the writer's composition of the title that he is too butthurt for Apple.

32. andrewc31394

Posts: 301; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

if you don't like it go somewhere else

71. ShadowUnleashed

Posts: 88; Member since: Feb 08, 2018

Yeah, no impartiality at all. The article seemed more like if someone had asked him what he thought about the ads.

20. Zylam

Posts: 1822; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Stop coming here. I loved these ads, they are funny and well made to me, but nothing in this article in unture. Attacking a rivals weak spots is below the belt, a move only made by the weak who know they cannot rely on their strengths. Also no one really won anything here in the end, Samsung has made its own fans look like dumb superficial people who are basically there because they want an iPhone but with Android features. If the S9 is so good then honestly why aren't they in a Samsung store? Also the most ironic part is how most of the S9 advantages are not Samsung advantages, they are Android advantages, something a 250 dollar Xiaomi will happily provide.

73. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

Apple has never attacked another companies weak spots? Apple is the only OEM that can remove useful features, and no one cares. When Samsung removed the microSD card, the sales let them know it was a bad idea. Apple removed the headphone jack, and the battery grew 5% bigger. The Galaxy S still has a jack and the battery is nearly 60% bigger. Since the iPhone is nearly the same size, shouldnt the battery be too? In fact the Galaxy S5 and Note 5 are smaller than the iPhone X and they both have a larger battery still. Most of the S9 advantages are Android advantages? List them please. Most of the advantages of the S9 is due to better hardware. The S9 has better cameras, better display, still has a headphone jack, has a higher IP rating, a better design, better speakers, more capable software, faster modems, better battery-life and more. What do any of those have to do with Android, since those are MOST of the S9 beat features. Oh still has more option for security, that have NOTHING to do with Android. And a $250 Xiaomi can't so everything the S9 does. I am sire everything on the phone I list certainly is not better on a phone in that price range. Sounds like you don't know much about phones.

115. F34nor

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

Never forget they removed the headphone jack to prevent people from using Square and forcing people into Apple Pay. Follow the money.

122. JohnnyJazzy

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 10, 2018

"...they removed the headphone jack to prevent people from using Square" I'm not sure you truly understand the differences in Square and Apple Pay. First off, an adapter from lighting-to-3.5mm jack is in the box so while it may make the Square pay device hang off the phone a bit more it's hardly a barrier or a means to stop businesses from using it. But more importantly Apple Pay doesn't directly compete with Square. It's just another method for people to securely pay for products and services in the same way that Google Pay and Samsung Pay are both similar secure payment platforms.

82. kakudiego

Posts: 123; Member since: May 21, 2014

thats why i call this site: iphoneArena

110. Reybanz88

Posts: 102; Member since: Jul 28, 2016

I could agree more! How are all the caveats of the iPhone a fail on Samsung in any shape way or form? People literally in the same room as I on the same network with an iPhone X has low bars and slow loading times and me on my Note 8 0 issues... And what do u mean the Iris scanner isn't good... Are u insane? I literally don't even use the finger print sensor because as soon as I wake my phone it unlocks from my iris being scanned. Sometimes its too good, I'll want to check the time and bam unlock.

7. Orion78

Posts: 214; Member since: Mar 27, 2014

Awwww someone got upset from the Samsung ads lmao. I'm not even a Samsung fan but damn you need to keep your emotions in check buddy lmaoo. Samsung did something right....it hit a nerve with you apple fanboys that's for sure.

9. aegislash

Posts: 1528; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

You think this article is funny? You should see the one he wrote two years ago about a headphone jack joke that Samsung made.

8. toosmoove

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

"I don't know what it is, but my sister has it, so I want it!" The same can be said about probably 50% of iPhone owners. They got the phone cause someone else has one. This is coming from someone who worked in wireless for almost 2 decades & still picks the brain of cellphone users.

16. Ray.S

Posts: 460; Member since: Jul 19, 2011

With this I agree.

111. Reybanz88

Posts: 102; Member since: Jul 28, 2016

Big FACTS! I have several family members that hate their iPhones but the only thing keeping them on iOS are their app purchases and "iMessage." It's sad that to do what a Note can do, they have to buy an iPad, the pencil and an iPhone.... Lololol I can literally use the same peripherals on my phone as my UltraBook that uses USB C as well.

10. Hollowmost

Posts: 425; Member since: Oct 10, 2017

You have a beautiful nails Thank you they change color , they multitask So your nails multitask Yeah but the phone doesn't .... This savagery level :o

27. apple-rulz

Posts: 2198; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Too bad that “savagery” can’t help the S9 sales!

97. PopeFrancis

Posts: 111; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

Which is good. Let's not get Samsung in the absolute top position, so they don't get lazy (Apple?). Most of us don't care which company makes more money, we just care for a good product at a good price. Now, please tell us how Apple is "the richest" by charging you the biggest profit margins in the industry, we haven't heard it enough.

54. Vokilam

Posts: 1347; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

So Samsung is basically saying that split window is as useful as paint on nails. Got it. These ads made me cringe and I’ve been a long time Samsung user - they should not throw rocks.

74. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

Actually that particular ad makes zero sense. The original 3 ads were perfect.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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