Samsung has finally made it. Never mind the fact that the Korean giant became the world’s leading smartphone producer last November, the real indication of success in the 21st Century is just how critical the blogosphere treats you when you announce a new product.
It seems slightly unbelievable. The third generation of Samsung’s game-changing Galaxy S smartphone lineup had built up a sense of expectation and excitement previously reserved for iDevices and pre-fabricated boy bands. Blogs were pouncing on every unsubstantiated rumour and every blurry photo, all in the name of giving their ravenous readers a preview on what is likely to be one of this year’s most successful smartphones.
But when Samsung lifted the lid on the phone at an event in London earlier this month, suddenly the sense of excitement deflated faster than a popped balloon.
“At first blush, we were a little disappointed that Samsung didn't intend to push the design envelope with its new flagship,” said Engadget. “Samsung’s products always feel too plasticky for my liking,” chimed Gizmodo. Newcomer The Verge was a bit more savage, stating, “We're told not to be sheep, yet Samsung itself is just falling in line with the herd. The company seems oblivious to the sense of betrayal this has engendered in the informed consumer.”
The sense of deflation, of disappointment, can be firmly attributed to the unyielding desire of the blogosphere’s love of unsubstantiated rumour. After all, Samsung wasn’t the one claiming how amazing its new phone would be months before it had even announced its existence.
But as any Apple shareholder will tell you, the collective disappointment of technology blogs is hardly a signal that your product is set to be a lemon. In fact, it’s seemingly a sign to expect even greater sales from the Galaxy S III.
“For the first time in recent memory, I’m walking away from an Apple hardware rollout unexcited and uninspired,” announced Gizmodo upon the launch of the iPhone 4S. Then Cupertino went to sell four million of them on the opening weekend, more than doubling opening weekend sales of the iPhone 4.
And so far, things are looking similarly spectacular for the Korean company, with reports that the Galaxy S III already has nine million pre-orders. With numbers like that, I’m sure Samsung is hoping that every product it announces gets the same sort of reaction from the online community.