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Apple isn’t the only smartphone maker going on the defensive against Samsung’s new Galaxy S4.HTC, Samsung’s biggest Android rival, has been reaching out to several outlets since the GS4 announcement to give its take on the device. It also hired a street marketing team to pass out free snacks plus some coupons for its next flagship phone, the HTC One, to people waiting in line outside of Samsung’s GS4 launch event at Radio City Music Hall.
We spoke to Mike Woodward, President of HTC North America, this morning for his take on the GS4.
“It feels very iterative. It looks a lot like the Galaxy S III,” Woodward said of the GS4. “We were pleased to see no innovation in the design itself.”
Woodward went on to criticise the Galaxy S4’s slew of new software features as gimmicky, and said users probably won’t be interested in them.
So what would they be interested in?
Woodward rattled off a slew of the HTC One’s own features, which has a new user interface called Sense 5 that pulls in live content from partners like ESPN and social networks like Facebook and Twitter. The One also has an all metal and glass design, while the Galaxy S4 stuck with a plastic construction.
But it seems like an odd argument, considering it doesn’t quite address how the HTC One would be a better choice for people. Many of these features are a matter of personal preference.
Look, we get that HTC is the underdog here, but it’s not because they make bad products. The HTC One is a stunningly gorgeous phone, and early reviews are really good. HTC also makes the best Windows Phone you can buy.
Unfortunately, HTC is at a huge disadvantage because Samsung has a massive marketing budget. HTC is correct in its assessment that Samsung is able to essentially buy a lot of its hype.
“I think Samsung is trying to overwhelm us with money and marketing and then pushing multiple features out there,” Woodward said.
Woodward said HTC can’t match Samsung’s marketing budget now, but will be able to get more aggressive in the future as it sells more devices.
This isn’t a story about who makes the best phone. It’s about who has the best messaging.
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