Geek Speak: Samsung rising

Yesterday, Samsung announced the imminent release of the

of their flagship smartphone: The Galaxy. The

will be a bit l

, coming in at 5.38 inches with a 5-inch screen. It will be full HD and has a battery nearly a quarter again as large as the SIII. In short, it is larger and faster and will last longer.

of all the important (and not important) specs. As an aside, you can find full specs for just about every phone ever at


Now, this is all


, and if you are looking for a phone in the next few months, this is one to certainly keep your eye on. But it brings up a much more interesting issue to think about: The ongoing battle between Samsung and Apple.

Samsung and Apple used to be friends, but that was way back when you only knew about Samsung because of TVs. Now, Samsung is a major player in the technology world, and especially with smartphones, and they are targeting Apple in a significant way. Apple knows this, and that is why they are

for often ridiculous things. Apple sees Samsung as a threat, and they should.

Samsung is growing their sales quickly, riding on the Android train to success. And their phones are very high quality. But that isn't want is making Samsung's sales grow at a much faster rate than Apples. In fact, Samsung will very likely beat Apple in smartphone sales in the first or second quarter this year, or both. The reason Samsung is coming out ahead in this is that they are following, and in some cases setting, the new smartphone trends.

Setting trends and ruling the marketing sphere have always been what makes Apple lead in its various markets. Let's face it. Apple makes inferior products in almost all cases. They aren't bad products, really, but they aren't as good as many of their competitors in most cases, and they certainly didn't come up with very many ideas. MP3 players, smartphones, and tablets all existed long before Apple made them massive trends. But to be fair, it was Apple that broke out the markets in all of those things. They did it by making them seem cool, which Microsoft, who came up with the ideas for most of the things we use now every day, has never really been able to do.

Apple does this with powerful, interesting marketing and carefully crafted commercials. They know how to make something the public has never used before seem like a necessity. They can penetrate the market at just the right time to create the trends that decide what the "next big thing" will be. And because of that, they might have done more to move the industry forward in the past decade than anyone else. They push the public forward to using new innovations that never had a place in our daily lives before. They create a need for a certain product, and then fill that need.

This strategy has served them well, but nowadays they are just one player among many, not just in computing, but in all our technology accessories. Things are changing fast, particularly in the smartphone arena, and while Apple has been creating trends for the technology world, they are having a hard time changing their plans and ideas to work with new ideas and new trends that come from other places.

The best example of this is the Galaxy line of Samsung phones. Most people, myself included, didn't think that these very large-screened phones would sell very well. People want smaller, leaner phones, I thought, phones that will fit in their pockets easily. The Galaxy line has been getting increasingly larger, however, and selling better with each generation. And the Galaxy Note phones are huge for phones, being very much like small tablets, with a stylus and all. But the markets liked these ideas, and Samsung is getting better at marketing them. And so the direction of smartphones has changed, and the desires of consumers are changing. Samsung is either guiding this, in part, or following the will of the public. Either way, Apple is failing to do so, and their iPhones have changed very little in the past few years, remaining almost the same phones, just with better hardware. And they don't seem to know what to do when they are not trendsetting.

The next year will be very interesting, especially

, to see how Apple is managing this problem. As Samsung sales, and the sales of Android phones in general, continues to climb, and Blackberry continues to falter, Apple and Samsung, and to a

, are the real players in the field. Will they continue to go in different directions, or will they move the industry in the same direction, bowing to market shares? Certainly, though, we can be sure, they will continue to sue one another at every available opportunity.