STYLE

As Apple goes big with new iPhones, Samsung gets snarky

09/24/2014 02:31 EDT | Updated 11/24/2014 05:59 EST
TORONTO - There aren't many companies that dare sass Apple, but these days, Samsung is happily launching snarky potshots at its biggest competitor.

Earlier this month, when Apple officially unveiled its two new larger iPhones — the modestly enlarged iPhone 6 and the super-sized iPhone 6 Plus — one of Samsung's Twitter accounts sent out a not-so-subtle dig in response.

An image embedded in the tweet included the quote "No one is going to buy a big phone," a reference to a comment made by the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who dismissed phablets and other oversized smartphones back in 2010 as a passing fad.

For good measure, Samsung's tweet added: "Guess who surprised themselves and changed their minds."

Samsung has also produced a number of TV commercials poking fun at Apple and its fans, so it was really no surprise when Samsung Canada's senior vice president of mobile, Paul Brannen, couldn't resist jeering the company during an interview about the glut of new smartphones hitting the market.

Samsung will release a competitor to the iPhone 6 Plus next month, the Galaxy Note 4, and another phablet, the Galaxy Note Edge, early next year.

On Thursday, Samsung also tweeted a photo of the Galaxy Note Edge, which has a curved screen along one side of the phone, and the message: "Curved. Not bent." It's a reference to reports that some new iPhones have bent in customers' pockets.

"We kind of created, defined, and continue to refine the large-screen category and I think that's really what the Note 4 is about," says Brannen.

"When you look back at some of the doubters and think about it, we have some iconic industry leaders and experts who had negative things to say about the large-screen technology, but now some of those people are starting to follow us.

"There are probably some loyal consumers with my competitor who have probably been waiting for this for years and I think potentially some of the success you're seeing right now is (because) there hasn't been any meaningful evolution in that product in the last couple of iterations. And I think consumers are saying, 'Finally you're where the other leaders are in this industry with large-screen technology.'"

While the Galaxy Note 4 is more of an incremental upgrade over its predecessors, Samsung is hoping the curved screen built into the Galaxy Note Edge connects with consumers.

The rounded screen acts independently of the main display. It can light up with notifications when the device is in standby mode, or be used to display specialized content like headlines, sports scores or stock prices.

"It's really up to the imagination of the developer community and the carrier community and ourselves to create a unique experience for consumers that you can't get on any other device," says Brannen of the screen's potential.

While he was happy to take a few swings at Apple, Brannen was more diplomatic in talking about BlackBerry, which on Wednesday released its own large-screen device, the Passport.

"We take all the competition seriously, because if you're not aware of your competition people can sneak up on you," he says.

"The feedback we get from both the business community and the consumer community is they're really looking at two primary manufacturers they focus on in the marketplace, one being Samsung. I think it will be a long road for them to recover but I think you should never underestimate anybody."

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