To those at Samsung,

I’m on your side. I really am.

I hate the closed and limited nature of the Apple ecosystem. I get frustrated when Apple restricts me the way they do. I think alternative and innovative products have huge potential.

Samsung… you’re doing it wrong.

Apple are far ahead of you in one very key area – showcasing their products to potential buyers.

I’ve spent a bunch of time over the Christmas period in the various technology stores. I’ve been in multiple Apple stores across Sydney, I’ve stopped by the Samsung store in Sydney and the many department stores across town. I entered this period as a Samsung advocate and left it so very frustrated and disappointed. I’ll paint the two different pictures for you now using tablets as an example.

Entering an Apple store
You enter an Apple store and want to try an iPad. There are a few iPads but they’re all pretty similar. They’ve got numbers after them. The higher numbers are the newer ones. iPad 3 is newer than iPad 2. The iPad mini is that new one that just came out and is a bit smaller. It’s all pretty simple for the layman to generally understand. Any clarification needed, there’s an Apple employee (if not two) who has already asked if you need any help with anything.

You walk up to an iPad and it comes on instantly. You do the first thing I see most people do – you go onto the Internet by clicking Safari. Straight away, you see the Google homepage and you search for whatever your heart desires. It’s impressively fast. The pages load quickly. Whatever you’re looking up, you get it pretty quick. You click around other parts of the iPad, maybe you take a photo of yourself or you write a random note for some passerby to come across later in the day. It all works. First time. No issues. Every time. You want to buy one.

Entering a Samsung store
You enter a Samsung store and want to try their tablet. There are a bunch of them laid across tables just like in an Apple store. This time there is choice. There are many more sizes and colours to choose from. It’s exciting! For a non-tech person though, none of the choices are clear. It takes Samsung employees a little bit longer to notice you looking confused but they do arrive to offer assistance. Their assistance seems a little overwhelming though. I heard Samsung employees trying to explain the products to customers in techno speak. This tablet is better because it has Flash storage and more RAM. The customer had no idea what any of it meant. We’re back to the confusing PC days of explaining things in terms of RAM, CPU speed, HDD space, Flash memory…

You walk up to a Samsung tablet and tap around, it leaves the screensaver and you’re ready to go. You decide to hop on the internet and see how this performs. You hit Google. It’s a bit delayed but it gets there. So you try a few more pages and find that it’s rather slow. What do non-techies instantly think? iPads are faster. Sure, it may just be Samsung’s internet connection that is slow but the average customer doesn’t understand this. The tablet is already struggling to compete. Those incredible features that Android has over iOS? Not important… the customer has just found a slow tablet and is doubting their purchase already.

Lets continue on and decide to switch to other programs… it’s slow too. Occasionally it crashes or hangs… I asked a Samsung employee who said they’d clear up what programs are running and closed all the programs running in the background. It didn’t make it too much better. The tablets seemed like public access computers that had been run to their last breath. They weren’t bright and shiny and fast like the Apple ones.

The result?
iPads and Apple look brilliant. Why would anyone want anything else? They’re quick, simple to understand and reliable. The Samsung ones were complicated, slow and sometimes just didn’t work. Apple products on display always looked and performed like they were brand new. Apple employees would even go around checking each one and adjusting them.

Even in department stores, Apple’s stock at least has good quality internet access. They are definitely less maintained though and usually left in foreign languages. Other brands have no internet (or occasionally very slow access) but are in a more pristine state (possibly because they haven’t been used at all?).

The whole reason for this post was for me to say one thing: please Samsung… your products are better than this. Please ensure they’re presented in the best way possible. Give them high speed internet, factory reset them each night so that they’re clean and fast for the next day’s potential customers and ensure that your employees go around and keep them looking their best. Train your staff to speak to customers in a simple, easy to understand way.

If you do these things and more, your products will truly compete with the behemoth that is Apple.

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