Think Different

A few months back, Apple bloggers screamed out that Samsung does nothing but copy Apple. In their heads, Samsung doesn’t have an R&D or design team; they have a “watch-the-Apple-keynote” team that re-creates Apple products and throws Android on them. They find every article, picture, and video that tries to prove this ideology and absolutely dismiss any evidence that they’re not doing that at all. Selective blindness can be dangerous when you have a large readership.

Exhibit A: The Samsung Galaxy Note

The moment the Note was announced, Apple bloggers everywhere laughed at the idea. “HA!” they said “It’s not 3.5-inches so it simply can’t be comfortable for the user! What are they thinking?!”

Apple bloggers repeated that statement over and over when some guy did an “experiment” and found that a 3.5-inch screen is the perfect size because – since we all have the same-sized fingers – it’s the size that allows us to hit every part of the screen with one hand. Apple did tons of research behind this, so it has to be right. I mean, what do Samsung, HTC, and Motorola not understand this? What do they know? It’s not like they’re doing any market research; they just use Apple’s research and build their products based on that, don’t they? After all, to put it in the blogger’s terms:

It’s one of the things that makes Apple products Apple products.

Yeah, it’s got nothing to do with the fact that they started with that screen size and can’t increase it because it would screw over a huge developer community that hasn’t been warned to make their applications fit multiple screen sizes. Even John Gruber admits to this iOS development flaw.

What’s even funnier is if Samsung did make a 3.5-inch device, they’d be thrown under a train because it looks too much like the iPhone.

Damned if you do. Damned if you don’t. Or, rather, in the distorted vision of Apple citizens – damned if you aren’t Apple.

Now let’s take a moment here to show what’s really happening in the world. That is, outside of the Apple offices, stores, and Mac-filled homes. Yes, there is a world out there like this, guys. I know – it’s terrible, isn’t it? In this world, there are people who need different kinds of devices. Not everyone wants a 3.5-inch brick-shaped, glass “protected”, app-on-app-off device. Some people need devices to be bigger, smaller, rugged, media-focused, camera-focused, mutli-sim, multi-screen, physical-keyboard equipped, single-purposed software, multi-purposed software, non-restri…well…you get the point.

Different people are different. I know it’s hard to grasp this concept, but it’s a reality. Hopefully it’ll set in before this next part that’ll absolutely blow your Apples to the core.

There are people – people who understand the smartphone market as a whole – who think the Galaxy Note is the best phone out there right now. Yeah – that’s right. This 5-inch beast of a device you laugh and mock is actually awesome and it has a huge market (pun not intended). I’ve used it and I’ve loved it. I don’t need that big of a screen size because I already have a tablet, but I can see the appeal, just as much as I can see the appeal of the iPhone 4S, the Galaxy Nexus, and the Nokia Lumia 800. It’s a fantastic phone that solves a few problems that some people may have with today’s phones.

So who are these smartphone experts? Jon Rettinger from TechnoBuffalo. Yeah, the guy that refused to give up his iPhone for anything else has decided to make a switch because he can’t find a phone better than the Galaxy Note. He even went ahead to say that it’s the best phone of 2011 and that the large screen size is a plus. The audacity!

Aaron Baker from PhoneDog did a Galaxy Note challenge where he spent a few days using it and swiftly went back to his iPhone 4S. Within a few days, he went to the Galaxy S2 because he loves the 4- to 4.5-inch screen size; yeah, not the 3.5-inch size, can you believe it? Now he says that there’s a 60% chance of him going back to the Galaxy Note.

I’ve even seen some posts on Google+ that have a similar confession of loving the Galaxy Note over any other device.

Oh, and let’s go a little deeper for a second if this isn’t enough for you. There was a study – not just some guy telling us his fingers can reach the edges of the iPhone – that said that majority of smartphone users prefer larger screen sizes.

when presented with the option, almost 90 percent would go for a device with a larger display. The 4-4.5-inch range was described as the “sweet spot,” though the one sticking point for most users was that the device still needed to be thin.

Now there’s a study you’ll never find on DaringFireball or ParisLemon. It just doesn’t fit into their world, perhaps. Regardless, it does fit with 90 percent of the world, and that’s what actually matters. You keep making crazy claims – or endorsing claims – like the Galaxy Note is the stupidest phone and you’ll start looking like Steve Ballmer talking about the original iPhone.

I’m not saying that you’re wrong in thinking the Note might be a little big. I’m just telling you that maybe you want to step outside of your comfort zone for five minutes and realize that we’re not all drones – we have our own needs. Some of us need more than just a list of icons and a 3.5-inch screen. Just because iOS doesn’t come packaged with a larger screen doesn’t mean that no one wants a screen bigger than 3.5-inches  – it just means that Apple doesn’t cater to the group of people that do. And that’s where extensible operating systems come into play.

Think Different.

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