10152018 Headline:

RAHS struggles to trust Samsung again

Tech giant tries to buyback consumers after S7 fiasco

By Jess Olmstead

RAHS junior Jeff Spaeth makes the tough decision between saving money and a new smartphone.

RAHS junior Jeff Spaeth makes the tough decision between saving money and a new smartphone.

Though the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Note 7 were hailed as some of the best handsets on the market last year, issues with incendiary batteries led to their complete recall.


RAHS junior C.J. Crowder has been an avid supporter of Android and a long-time Samsung customer. Recently, however, with many rushed releases, his mind may have been changed.


“Well, the only thing I don’t trust them with is quality,” said Crowder. “In their quest to appeal to fervent Apple supporters, they try to put out phones really quickly.”


In 2016, both of Samsung’s product lines, the Galaxy S7 and Note 7 sold well, but also developed issues with catching fire.


“They have two product lines going with two different things which cross over from year to year,” said Crowder, “and their probably stretched a little too thin.”


Obviously the flame fiasco dealt a massive blow to Samsung, causing them to lose over $5 million, and gave Apple a major edge on the market. The challenge will be overcoming the loss in time to sell next year’s flagships.


“Well their stock has recovered,” said Crowder. “So I think that was kind of a one time deal, but that’s not the major thing that worried me. They just overlooked the issue with the battery for too long, until it was too big to fix.”


Jeffrey Spaeth, another long-time Samsung user, has a generally favorable view of the tech giant.


“I think they’ve mostly recovered,” said Spaeth, “since it seems like they’ve been working hard to prevent such issues in the future.”


This raises the eternal question, yet again, of: iPhone or Android? The enormity of Samsung’s market meant that their 2016 failure has significantly tipped the scales towards Apple, and gives consumers more to consider when deciding on their next device.


“I’ll probably get an iPhone this time,” said Crowder. “But also for the purpose of buying into the Apple ecosystem, which is what my friends use, and when communication is the most important factor, that’s what matters.”


Android has always boasted numerous advantages, be it technology, performance, customizability, SuperUser (root-level access) or more, while many prefer to pay for support, usability, and ubiquity.


“I think the iPhone will pretty much just make things easier without detriment, since I won’t be using the SuperUser features anymore for lack of time,” said Crowder, “and why sacrifice usability for features I won’t use?”


Another troubling trend in the handset market is the hefty price tag, no matter the manufacturer. A new flagship smartphone from Apple, Samsung, or another reputable brand frequently approaches $1,000 dollars nowadays.


“I think [the S8] a really cool phone with a lot of great features and aspects,” said Spaeth, “but there aren’t enough reasons there to justify the cost, for me at least.”


The hype surrounding the new Galaxy S8 and upcoming iPhone 8 are exciting, but also confusing consumers, because the supposed competitors are actually collaborating on certain parts of the hardware.


“I’m not quite sure what to think of [Samsung’s] new collaboration with Apple on the new AMOLED displays,” said Crowder.


Overall, however, it is important to remember that iOS and Android will ultimately appeal to their own fanbases, despite issues and innovations alike.


“I think it’s pointless to talk about Android vs. iOS as an OS because everyone has a preference,” said Crowder. “But the main thing that swayed me to iPhone is just that all my friends use it now, and it makes communication far more convenient.”
Ultimately, the choice will remain in the hands of the consumer. The Galaxy S8 certainly boasts an impressive design and spec sheet, and will appeal to its own market, as long as it doesn’t explode.

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