This past week Samsung has taken a fair amount of heat for appearing to unveil a golden version of the Galaxy S4 less than a two weeks after Apple launched a new gold incarnation of its latest smartphone: the iPhone 5s. Given previous history between the two companies — notably the $1 billion fine levied on Samsung for patent infringement in 2012 — many assumed this was Samsung copying Apple once again.
Samsung, however, begs to differ on that count. The company published a blog post on Friday which — while not mentioning Apple or any claims of copying directly — makes it very clear that it has been selling gold colored phones for some time.
— SamsungMobileArabia (@SamsungMobileME) September 25, 2013
Here’s the subtle intro to the post, which also states that the gold Galaxy S4 was released before the iPhone 5s was unveiled:
About a month ago on August 27th, Samsung launched the GALAXY S4 Gold edition in the United Arab Emirates (These were available in stores starting September 8th). It’s since also been released in Kuwait and Qatar.
Everybody loves gold, which is why we sometimes make phones in that color. (Or sometimes even with actual gold for the body!) See below to check out some of the phones we’ve released in gold in the past (just off the top of my head).
While Samsung has more of a background in gold devices, rumors that Apple would finally embrace the color had been rife even before the iPhone 5s was unveiled, so the Korean company may well have prepared its own golden smartphone just in case. Although, conversely, the gold Galaxy S4 is available only in the Middle East (for now, at least) which you could argue exonerates Samsung of copying.
Unsurprisingly, given the hit that its reputation took following the 2012 patent suit verdict, Samsung is keen to press home its innovation, particularly when it is first in the industry or ahead of Apple.
The company unveiled its Galaxy Gear smartwatch last month, beating Apple’s much-rumored ‘iWatch’ concept to market. However, with the Galaxy Gear syncing only with Samsung’s latest devices — the Note 3 and Galaxy S4 — and relying on its parent to provide data, the smartwatch has been criticized as lacking features and not being ‘smart,’ which could indicate that it was indeed rushed to market.
Samsung this week also promised to deliver the industry’s first consumer smartphone with a curved screen next month. Flexible computing is seen as having vast potential for the future, so it will be interesting to see whether Samsung’s first effort can live up to the expectation.
In case you were wondering about Samsung’s golden phones, here is an example from 2004: the Anycall SCH-E470, SPH-E3200, SPH-E3250, a series of devices that were specially released around the Olympic Games in Athens:
Headline image via JUNG YEON-JE / Getty Images, other image via Samsung