Is Samsung the New Apple?


On February 20th, 2019, Samsung announced their latest endeavor, a foldable smartphone. Utilising what Samsung is calling the ‘Infinity Flex Display’, this phone is indicative of how far technology has come in just a few years.

Twenty-six years ago, in 1993, a samsung development team headed by Lee Kun-hee, the son of Samsung founder Lee Byung-Chul, created the SH-700. The phone marked a historic turning point for the company, making it the first compact, easy-to-carry phone in the market. Despite the size, the phone was very similar to any old home phone we have today. There was a small screen and a keypad, and the phone could only be used to place calls. Still, the creation of the SH-700 was a landmark for the company. For the first time ever, people were able to easily carry technology in their pockets, enabling communication across long distances.

Since the SH-700, Samsung has been an industry leader in the field of mobile phones, competing with companies like Apple today. For a period of time, flip phones became all the rage. In 2003, Samsung created the SPH A500. For the first time in Samsung history, you could text on a phone. The flip phone was durable and multi purpose, keeping it one of the most used pieces of technology for a long time. Thus began the evolution of the smartphone.

However, as time progressed, flip phones fell out of popularity, and the well known and well used smartphones took the lead as the most used type of phone. Most notably, Samsung created the Galaxy, utilising the Android platform. Like most of their competitors, Samsung began to focus on creating a phone almost entirely made of screen with little to no buttons or keys. Now, it’s just as common to see an Apple iPhone XR as it is a Samsung Galaxy S10+ in the hands of a fellow Hunterdon Central student.

For many, though, it feels almost as if phones are moving back in time. For years, making phones more compact and easily carried was a must have. But now, phones seem to be growing in size. People are demanding larger screens and other fancy features. Moreover, the creation of the foldable smartphone practically brings back the old idea of a flip phone, allowing the user to open and close the phone at will.

Yet, it’s evident that phones and technology as a whole has progressed leaps and bounds since the SH-700 in 1993. We’ve developed the ability to text as well as call with amazing speed. Users are able to have a phone that not only can be used as a form of communication, but also entertainment and research. Using smartphones, one can surf the internet, go on social media, or simply play games, something that compact phones never allowed. While it’s true that in some ways, technology seems to be moving backwards, the advances made as a whole show just how far communication and entertainment has come in the past two and a half decades.