Steve Jobs Screaming, Howling in His Grave; Samsung Debuts Galaxy S4 Phone in NYC

Unconfirmed reports have it that screaming, banshee wails were heard this evening in Alta Mesa Memorial Park, Palo Alto where Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is buried.

The manic screams in Palo Alto coincided with the launch in New York City of Samsung’s stunning new smartphone, the Galaxy S4.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Launches in NYC

Embarrassment of Riches

Weighing a mere 130gm and sporting a 5-inch screen, the 7.9mm thick Galaxy S4, which runs Google’s Android software and comes with a 13MP camera, is a beauty of Ingrid Bergmanesque proportions coupled with jazzy new features.

A dual camera feature lets you use both rear and front cameras simultaneously, which means you can insert yourself into the picture you’re taking in a variety of ways (think PIP).

The ‘Dual Video Call’ function allows you to make and receive a video call with friends and family while showing what you are looking at during the call.

Motion detection technology lets you control the phone with face movements! How much more Wow can  a smartphone get!

The rich set of features in the Galaxy S4 easily makes Apple’s flagship iPhone 5 look antediluvian in comparison.

Samsung is already the No-1 smartphone maker in the world in units and the Galaxy S4 should help to expand its lead over arch rival Apple.

Galaxy S4 Availability

Galaxy S4 will be available in the second quarter globally.

In the U.S., AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, US Cellular and Cricket will offer the new phone.

Deutsche Telecom, EE, H3G, Orange, Telenor, Telia Sonera, Telefonica, and Vodafone will peddle the Galaxy S4 in Europe.

No word on when the Galaxy S4 will hit Indian shores.

Samsung did not disclose pricing but I suspect it’ll be $199 with a 2-year contract. That’s the same price as the Galaxy SIII.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Ad in Times SquareSamsung Galaxy S4 Smartphone Billboard in Times Square, NYC

Samsung Galaxy S4 – Key Specifications:

* Display – 5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080) display, 441 ppi
* OS – Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
* Processor – 1.9 GHz Quad-Core Processor / 1.6 GHz Octa-Core Processor
* Dual Camera – Rear: 13MP Auto Focus  with Flash & Zero Shutter Lag; Front Camera: 2MP, Full HD recording
* Memory – 2GB RAM
* Dimension – 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm, 130g
* Battery – 2,600 mAh
* Recording & Playback – Full HD (1080p)
* Expandable Storage – 16/ 32/ 64 GB User memory + microSD slot (up to 64GB)
* Network
2.5G (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE): 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
3G (HSPA+ 42Mbps): 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
4G (LTE Cat 3 100/50Mbps) : up to 6 different band sets (Dependent on market)
* Voice Search
* Colors – Black Mist and White Frost

Cool Features

* Samsung Smart Pause lets you control the screen by where you look. For instance, when you are watching a video, the video pauses when you look away and starts right up again when you are back.

* Samsung Smart Scroll allows you to scroll the browser or e-mails up and down without even touching the screen. The amazing piece of technology recognizes your face looking at the screen and movement of your wrist and then scrolls the pages up or down accordingly.

* Air View allows you to hover your fingers to preview the content of an e-mail, S Planner, image gallery or video without having to open it.

* Air Gesture lets you change the music track, scroll up and down a web page, or accept a call with a wave of your hand.

* S Voice Drive allows you to activate commands via voice control for optimization when driving. After connecting to the car Bluetooth, the Galaxy S4 automatically turns into driving mode converting text to speech so you can easily and safely check messages without needing to glance at the screen.

* Samsung Optical Reader automatically recognizes text, a business card or QR code information, and provides  functions such as translation, call, text message and search.

* IR remote lets you control your home entertainment system including TV, set-top box, DVD player and even air conditioner.

Proof of the Pudding

Ha, ha, everything sounds grand on paper.

But there’s many a slip betwixt the hype of an announcement and the reality of the performance with electronic devices.

Remember the hype surrounding Apple’s Siri voice search feature and how it failed to deliver?

Let’s see if Samsung’s execution has matched its tall claims of the Galaxy S4 being “A Life Companion for a Richer, Simpler and Fuller Life.”

I can’t wait to read the first reviews of the Galaxy S4.

In any case, my love affair with the iPhone is drawing to an end.

Most likely, Samsung’s Galaxy S4 will be my new amour.

11 Responses to "Steve Jobs Screaming, Howling in His Grave; Samsung Debuts Galaxy S4 Phone in NYC"

  1. pauldeleo   March 15, 2013 at 1:41 am

    S4 is gonna be a sure shot winner!!!

    It made you (SI), an ardent apple admirer, fanatic, preacher, boaster, lover, etc., to change minds…Hurray!

    Welcome to the Samsung-Android Family. Responds:

    I can’t wait for April (U.S. shipping start for S4).

    But I still love my iMac and my iPad! 😉

    • pauldeleo   March 16, 2013 at 1:48 am

      Who can’t forget their grand parents? Again, who would want to go out with them these days 😛 ?

  2. Aswin_Kini   March 15, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Woh-woh-woh,… Did the sun rise on the west today? Am I really reading SI’s blog? Or has Samsung really prepared a Brahmasthra (Weapon of Mass Destruction) to bury Apple finally? Whatever it is, I am pleasantly surprised to see you say a good word about a non-apple product.

    Let the jury reserve its judgement for a few more weeks….. Having known Samsung, I think they would have ensured that the product contains atleast 70% of good features that are actually useful to the end users….

    Even if S4 is going to a be a runaway success, I am sure that Samsung still has a long way to catch up with Apple, at least on the quality of their product features…. They certainly seem to be catching up fast with Apple. Without the presence of the iconic Steve Jobs at its helm, Apple is going to face some really tough days ahead…

    Apple vs Samsung – Let the battle begin. Responds:

    Hasn’t SI always been the last bastion of objectivity in the Western hemisphere? 😉

  3. shadowfax_arbit   March 19, 2013 at 7:26 am

    Even S3 had crazy features. iPhone 4 was a kid in terms of features when compared to S3 itself.

    Samsung is indeed a mighty opponent for Apple! Responds:

    1. Given that none of the recent iPhones have come out with game-changing features, it does look like Apple’s time under the sun is drawing to an end.

    Even if Apple launches the Television or the iWatch this year, I doubt they’ll have enough appeal to get the company soaring again.

    Only on tablets, is Apple still strong.

    2. But Apple has some $150 billion in the bank. That huge cash reservoir may help the company to perform some miracle!

    • zarboan   March 19, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      150 billion,..experts say that huge figure may further increase by the end of this year$170-billion-by-years-end Responds:

      Yes, the massive cash hoard gives Apple a lot of leeway to move in directions that many of us can’t even anticipate now.

      What acquisition do you think can help Apple surmount the challenges it currently faces (severe competition from Android/Samsung and absence of game-changing products/features?

      So far, Apple has not done any major acquisitions but that could change!

      • zarboan   March 19, 2013 at 4:07 pm

        Looking at current situation,Apple is receiving lot of criticism all around the world,even from the die hard fans of iphone for the main reason being,the same old UI since the first iphone which is very much unchanged and lack of any new ground breaking features and smaller screen compared to all the big boys in the market.(although siri made quite some buzz ,but it has very limited functionality)
        In the above link,Blackberry CEO Thorstein Heins says “History repeats itself again I guess … the rate of innovation is so high in our industry that if you don’t innovate at that speed you can be replaced pretty quickly. The user interface on the iPhone, with all due respect for what this invention was all about is now five years old.”

        May be that’s gonna happen ,remember the craze blackberry used to have before iphone. Blackberry was thought to be the future of mobile phone before iphone.But now the blackberry’s annual sales are even lesser than apples annual quarter sales.
        I think apple need renovate its iOS well enough to compete android and other mobile platforms as well.It has well established app ecosystem with over 800,000 apps but the smaller screen of iphone kills the fun.An extra .5 inch is not enough.

        And with the launch of S4 it has very big reason to worry ,concerned over the migrating iphone users it gets defensive,adding new page why iphone reminding the best of iphone.
        I doubt this will have any affect on those who are thinking of buying a new android phone.

        And the rumours surrounding the features of iphone 5s ,finger print recognition,introducing new kind of screen IGZO diplay,128 GB memory,none of’em sound like game changing features except the last one,even if it they did come up with new one,its not gonna help’em much if they keep the same old UI,for example Lumia 920 has the best camera but that didn’t made it the best phone because of microsoft platform which has very limited app selection and bleak future,you can call it as a dying platform.

        The competition is going to be even tougher when google starts production of its own motorola nexus devices and arrival of nexus 5 which is gonna be equipped with nikon camera sensor.And newly sprouting mobile platforms like Sail Jolla,Mozilla firefox OS,Ubuntu,Tizen are slowly making their way into the market.
        I think in future we might expect smartphones running on multiple platforms simultaneously,there’s already enough hardware technology to make it happen.Imagine a smartphone,that’s running both android and windows or mozilla platforms and switching between them whenever we want without actually buying new phone to experience different OS.

        And given the hard following of iPhone,even if they release the same iphone 5 as 5s saying that it has better processor and graphics inside and it has iOS 7 people will buy it blindly.There’s no immediate threat to Apple’s supremacy in USA at least. Responds:

        1. My hunch is that the iPhone halo is wearing off a bit….but Apple still has a strong core following who’ve struck by the company during good times and bad.

        For instance, I work in an all Apple environment (Mac for computing, iPad for tablet, iTunes, iPod, iPhone for music, AppStore for apps and iPhone for phone)….and there are millions like me in the U.S.

        2. I doubt Blackberry or Windows have any chance of survival.

        They’re both much too late to the smartphone party and there’s no developer support.

        Microsoft outside of its core Windows/Office franchises is a joke!

        3. Your cross-platform/Multi-platform mobile phones dream won’t happen because it’s not in the interest of the vendors to offer such devices.

        The history of computing and digital media industries is the story of locking in customers into walled gardens (Apple, Windows, Android, Blackberry etc).

        Don’t you forget the mid-1990s promise of Java with its Write Once Run Everywhere never really took off!

        4. The best hope for Apple lies in Samsung and Google getting into a sparring war…that could happen.

        Samsung is already pushing its app store at the expense of GooglePlay.

        5. But the big question remains Apple’s $170b cash reserve! Where will that go?

        • Aswin_Kini   March 21, 2013 at 11:22 am

          SI said: “But the big question remains Apple’s $170b cash reserve! Where will that go?”

          My dear SI, perhaps you didn’t read this news on Apple’s decision to pay 35 Billion Dollars, yup you heard it right, 35 billion dollars as dividends to its shareholders..

          So, guess Apple only has to worry about the remaining 135 Billion Dollars now…. Perhaps they can recruit intelligent people like SI to provide them great ideas ;), for a small price of a few billion dollars or sponsor SI to review films for Life 🙂


          Analysts seem to think Apple will have $170 billion by the end of 2013 (I assume that includes the previously announced dividend but obviously excludes any unannounced cashback/dividend to shareholders).

          Whether it’s $170b or $135b, it’s still a humongous amount of money for one company.

  4. STG   March 20, 2013 at 3:36 am

    Hello there! hows you?
    long time no see (thats for me :P).

    I just barged in to tell you that before clinging to S4, take a look at Sony Xperia Z. IMO, major drawback of S4 is its similarity in looks with is predecessor – S3 and Grand. And its plastic!. Come on, you can’t flaunt your ~INR 40K phone if its gonna look the similar to another phone which is half the cost (Grand cost ~INR 20K). And Smartstay et al are pure gimmicky junk. Whereas Xperia Z boasts refreshingly new design with eye popping specs. Hey, its even dust and waterproof, if the claims are true. For once, Sony got it almost right with its look n specs.

    Worthy competitor to consider! Responds:

    Sweetie, Sony Xperia Z has not come to the U.S. yet. Wonder why?

    I don’t see any of the major carriers (AT&T, Verizon or Sprint) offering it.

    Sony might still be strong in India but it’s becoming an irrelevant player in the U.S.

    The specs for Sony Xperia Z look good though (except for the older Android 4.1 software).

    • STG   March 21, 2013 at 10:31 pm

      That’s strange!

      Katrina kaif already started washing the phone on TV ads here 😛

      Cnet UK had given rave reviews n people who bought here are suffering from non-stop orgasms 😉

      It seems Sony promised update to 4.2 shortly. Responds:

      You write: Katrina kaif already started….Cnet UK had given rave reviews n people who bought here are suffering from non-stop orgasms

      Katrina Who?

      We’ve only heard of Isabel Kaif and the infamous MMS video! 😉

      • Madmax673   March 22, 2013 at 4:42 am

        Hi SI,

        off topic:

        I turned it in at 5:21 am. Let me know when you have it. Thanks. Responds:

        Thank You, Sweetie! Published!

  5. zarboan   March 22, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Nokia CEO Stephen Elop says that Apple’s iPhone is embarrassing,sounds interesting right.checkout this link

    Too bad we didn’t get to see Elop’s expression when the interviewer shows his iphone, i think he got bit nervous out there,but somehow averted situation with that weird smile of his.what do you think? Responds:

    I read that yesterday…seems like a scripted interview to get attention for a phone that nobody gives a fuck for!

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