Different companies have different rhetoric when it comes to explaining their very reason for existing. Apple likes to say that they make the products that their employees want to use. That’s a fancy way of saying they don’t really care what users want, because they know what’s best. Samsung on the other hand, in an interview with The New York Times, bluntly said that they have no problem with simply listening to the market and then giving it exactly what it craves. The exact quote, credited to Samsung Executive Vice President Kim Hyun-suk, reads:
“We get most of our ideas from the market. The market is a driver, so we don’t intend to drive the market in a certain direction.”
You can interpret that statement in several ways. You can say to yourself that Samsung waits to see what other companies do, and then follows in their footsteps, which means they’re not innovative. But you can also say that Samsung is a huge risk taker because they’re crazy enough to launch products like the Galaxy Camera and the Galaxy Note, both of which created two new product categories: the connected camera and the phablet.
Whatever you want to believe is fine by us because there is no definitive answer. Companies steal ideas from each other all the time. Taking someone else’s work, refining it, and then making it your own is called progress. Lawyers might not like that, but screw them, who likes lawyers anyway?
Next month we’re probably going to see the Galaxy S4. Many of the features that will be demoed on stage will be forgotten by the time the presentation is over. The few that do stick however, those will be the ones that people will use to judge Samsung.
Let’s hope S Voice II isn’t one of those features.