With competitors already starting to anticipate Apple’s entrance into the TV market, Samsung has felt the need to clarify its confidence and throw Apple under the bus at the same time.
Philip Newton, Director of Audiovisual for Samsung Australia, told The Sydney Morning Herald that Steve Jobs’s revelation to biographer Walter Isaacson about “finally cracking” the iTV is “nothing new.”
When asked how Samsung felt about Apple’s inevitable foray into the television industry, Newton replied:
Do we see them as a threat, not specifically no … probably we’ll have some competitors that may suffer … but we see it as a great opportunity, the more big name brands that get involved in smart [TV] the better off we are as a brand because we know we can lead it.
Newton didn’t stop there. He felt the need to call out Jobs’s sentiment about “cracking” the television:
When Steve Jobs talked about he’s ‘cracked it’, he’s talking about connectivity – so we’ve had that in the market already for 12 months, it’s nothing new, it was new for them because they didn’t play in the space. It’s old news as far as the traditional players are concerned and we have broadened that with things like voice control and touch control; the remote control for these TVs has a touch pad.
Samsung has been heavily promoting its own monstrosities, “Smart TVs”, at CES all week. The televisions allow users to run apps, give voice commands and video conference with built-in cameras, but the technology lacks the polish and consumer attraction that Apple’s products possess. Not to mention the fact that you have to use a keyboard remote to control the damn thing.
Here’s what Steve Jobs told Walter Isaacson:
I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use. It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud. No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.
Newton’s statements are a classic example of how companies like Samsung don’t understand Apple. It’s not about being first to market; it’s about being the best.