Samsung’s Galaxy series found to be simpler than the iPhone

by: J. Angelo RacomaApril 9, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S4 3 aa 600

Apple’s iOS has often been heralded as simpler than other smartphone user interfaces. Fewer choices means a lower likelihood of mistakes and messing something up. A straightforward home screen with all your apps might mean less confusion than having widgets, app drawers and other things possibly confusing the user. By contrast, giving users a choice might be too confusing. Not everyone wants to be empowered by choice, at least when it comes to gadget interfaces.

Android is not exactly stranger to choice. Customization, after all, has been among the stronger arguments toward choosing Android (this is perhaps one reason the concept of Facebook Home is being shot down by Android enthusiasts). Does it mean Android is more complicated? Not necessarily.

A recently-released survey  has shown that Samsung’s Galaxy series — which runs on Android, of course — has been found to be simpler by respondents. Siegel+Gale, a brand consultancy firm that prides itself on its “simple is smart” motto, has surveyed 400 people and found the Galaxy brand to be simpler than the iPhone, at least on a product level.

A few points that respondents found praise-worthy:

  • Compatibility with other brands and standards vs. proprietary standards, including accessories and devices
  • Easy file sharing and file transfers

“At the brand level, Apple is perceived as simpler than Samsung, but on a product level, challenger Galaxy has knocked the long-standing simplicity champion onto the canvas and out of first place,” said the Siegel+Gale statement. Given this, the Samsung Galaxy series is seen as a significant threat to the iPhone because it can do more — and do it simply — than the iPhone.

It is worth noting that Apple has trumped Samsung in terms of simplicity at the brand level, as per the 2012 Global Brand Simplicity Index by Siegel+Gale. Apple holds the fifth spot, while Samsung is number 14. Google, meanwhile, is at the top, amongst the 94 companies included across 25 industries.

Observers note, though, that we might want to take this piece of information with a grain of salt. Samsung is listed as one of the consulting firm’s clients, while Apple is not, notes CNet‘s Chris Matyszczyk. Also, 400 survey respondents might not exactly be a good sample out of millions of smartphone users.

Does simplicity really influence a consumer’s buying decision? To some extent, I would agree. When upgrading to a new device, or adding yet another one to my usual arsenal of gadgets, I prefer something that would not be too difficult to integrate into my life. This includes migrating data, customization, charging choices and accessories. Being exposed to both iOS and Android, though, I can say that both platforms are simple enough in their own right, at least for my needs. Besides, “simplicity” is not always a selling point for all target markets.

  • Mikesphoneandtab

    The iPhone is simple when you do it their way.

    • souhaieb

      i am considered the top geek among my friends (but that geek in reality :) )
      so every tech problem gets to me eventually
      but whenever it’s related to iphones it instantly creates frustration:
      1. it either can’t be done
      2. it requires alot more steps than i would expect (based on my android experience)
      3. it’s artificially crippled by apple

      • Mikesphoneandtab

        That’s how I feel too. One thing I hate when people make fun of Android for “Force Closing”, because there not even making fun of apps Force Closing but what they are actually making fun of is the notification, because apps Force Close on the iPhone too, but with Android, you can diagnose the problem. This is another thing that Apple has disabled in favor of a more non technical appearance. When an iPhone is sick you take it to Apple because you don’t know what the heck is going on with it! I have never felt more stupid then when trying to fix an iPhone.

  • lol cnet…..cnet is a cry baby here…..cnet will be icnet in few years now….cnet is obsessed with crapple… :D …..pity

  • r121

    iPhone was designed as a phone, dumb simple phone, and died with Jobs.

  • mrkee

    cnet always had fanboy staffs, which is why i boycott them and give them iShit on their youtube review channel.

  • “400 survey respondents might not exactly be a good sample out of millions of smartphone users.”

    Statistically speaking this number of survey respondents means the error margin is of 5%. I don’t know how different the results could be taking this into consideration. I’m also assuming the sample is actually representative of the whole.

  • Microsoftjunkie

    Android and iPhone arent the “simplest” OS’s out there. This article is garbage, calling the kettle black.

    • apocolypz23


  • Some times iOS can be soo simple that you may find it hard to use

    Like sharing files , it’s hard to do it on an iOS device without internet

  • Bone


  • inspire

    couldn’t stop laughing just after reading the title!
    I think this article should had published on 1st April!

  • snowmanjack

    “Does simplicity really influence a consumer’s buying decision?” Absolutely. I will always have an Android phone. I like being in charge and having options to do what I want with my phone. But I do get frustrated at how often things don’t work.

    The iPhone is perfect for my wife. She just wants something that works, that is intuitive. She will never care to have options or tinker, and I would never recommend an Android phone for her. So there is certainly a good market for both.

    • JanetheAddiction

      I completely agree that simplicity influences a consumer’s buying decision….. and cool factor. Being the geek in our family, everyone always asks me how to do things on their phone. I’ve never owned an iPhone, and people can hand me their iPhone and ask me how to do things, and I can usually figure it out. But with Android, it dumbfounds me that doing the same thing on two different devices can be so completely different, having to consider different manufacturers, different OS versions, different skins, etc. I have an HTC Vivid ICS phone, and when I try to do something on my boyfriend’s HTC One X JellyBean, I often have to ask him how to do it, rather than spend 5 minutes trying to figure it out. Yes, fragmentation is a biatch. So, most of the time, when people ask me if they should switch from the iPhone to Android, I say no, it will save me from future headache questions.