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Worst of the Week: Apple, it’s time to one-up Samsung

WOTW gives full props to Samsung for taking lucky No. 7, but really hopes it draws a snarky response from Apple

Hello! And welcome to our Friday column, Worst of the Week. There’s a lot of nutty stuff that goes on in this industry, so this column is a chance for us at RCRWireless.com to rant and rave about whatever rubs us the wrong way. We hope you enjoy it!

And without further ado:

One of the highlights of the recent Mobile World Congress event was Samsung taking to a stage the day before the event officially kicked off to rollout its latest Galaxy S7 headliner. (It should also be noted that this event took place on a Sunday. Who takes to a stage to roll out a new product on a Sunday?)

For those not in the know or for those not familiar with how numbers work, this would be the seventh iteration of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphone family, though there have always been different Galaxy spin offs garnering additional name glitter. Each new iteration of the Galaxy line up has included various new hardware and software specifications thought of to be enough to woo consumers into purchasing the newest model, but all also seemingly to have “failed” to reach the sales numbers expected by the analyst community.

Thus, while the Galaxy S7 has the latest and greatest specifications, it will inevitably be a failure in some circles.

In addition to the hardware and software updates, Samsung has also done a swell job in updating the looks of their Galaxy devices, and by that I mean Samsung has done a great job in making sure their Galaxy devices look nearly identical those of its main rival at Apple. Every once in a while Samsung will go a bit crazy with some sort of new screen-shaping technology or color, but for the most part if Apple does it you can bet Samsung is not far behind.

However, in its latest move, Samsung got out in front of Apple in one very important regard: the number “7.” You see, Apple is currently using the number “6” and letter “s” for its device identifier, with expectations and precedent indicating the next iPhone version would be labeled with a “7.”

But, with Samsung now using the “7” for its Galaxy flagship, how can Apple in good conscience do the same? It would almost seem like Apple is copying Samsung in a more obvious way than it might be already, and also in a way that most people might even recognize. Can Apple be seen by the masses as a follower?

Obviously, Apple now has to jump past naming its next iPhone iteration the iPhone 7 and go right to the iPhone 8. It’s science.

It’s not like there is precedent for such a numerical hurdle. Apple early on moved from the original iPhone to the iPhone 3G, in a move that looked to have been caused by the 3G model having support for AT&T Mobility’s 3G network. At that point so early in the Apple iPhone game we didn’t think anything of the move, just assuming Apple would simply rollout new iPhone models inline with network technology improvements.

Of course, Apple proved that basic theory wrong and has now gone with yearly launches of new iPhone models alternating between an increase in the number and throwing an “s” at the end. What of the iPhone 5c you may ask? Let’s just ignore that one as I am sure Apple would agree.

Outside of the numerical hurdle, Apple could really cause a stink and take steps back and forward by naming the next iPhone the 5G, which would make everyone think it was somehow compatible with 5G networks that everyone want’s to talk about, though no one is even close to launching commercially. Oh the mass hysteria that would cause!

Or, Apple can just do what it always does in going its own way with no regard for its rivals or the mobile community at larger (see Lightning cable).

Regardless of what Apple does, you gotta at least give Samsung a bit of credit for getting a jump on the number game and at least giving Apple something to think about before it inevitably rolls out its next iPhone model later this year. I just hope Apple’s response is worthy of at least some much-needed drama across the device space.

Thanks for checking out this week’s Worst of the Week column. Now, here is an extra or two:

–A financial analyst firm this week called into question how wireless carriers are accounting for the monetary impact of device payment and leasing programs, which have swept the domestic market. That questioning focused mostly on Sprint, which has seen a fair share of financial questioning, but the overall line of questioning applies to varying degrees to all domestic carriers.

The topic has been a bone of contention for the market for some time and is always part of telecom operator quarterly conference calls, with at least one question from a financial analyst targeting the matter. Carrier executives to varying degrees have attempted to tackle the topic on those calls, with most seeming to have failed in really getting their points across.

With this most recent challenge to the topic, it seems that perhaps those executive have purposefully been vague or misleading on their responses in order to allow for a bit of wiggle room in terms of their financial reporting. Or maybe the accounting gymnastics are indeed just that confusing.

I welcome your comments. Please send me an e-mail at [email protected].

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