Apple’s policy of not talking publicly about any future products or initiatives is well known around the industry. Back in the days the company did everything in order not to unveil details about its future products or their images ahead of the launch. Given the power of Apple brand, such a secrecy created a mystique atmosphere around the company and made many praise it as its presentations were not only excellently made, but they were presenting breakthroughs. But is such a policy viable today?
Samsung Electronics, one of the arch-rivals of Apple these days, has generated a buzz around its new flagship smartphone Galaxy S4 long before its arrival. Staring from November or December timeframe numerous leaks were made about the new Galaxy and while officially Samsung remained quiet, the rumours surrounding the smartphone generated loads of conversations in different forums, social networks and tech communities worldwide. Closer to the launch, Samsung’s partners even revealed numerous technology specifications about the Galaxy S4 to keep the media busy posting stories and creating a buzz. The awareness about the Galaxy S4 was so high that it made Phil Schiller, chief marketing officer of Apple, to talk about it in an interview, effectively putting him into a defense position.
The sound rumours and widespread talks about Galaxy S4 created an impression that Samsung is seriously ahead of Apple when it comes to mobile gadgets. But while Samsung’s Galaxy S smartphone line looks more competitive than Apple’s iPhone family, the latter just sells better and manages to offer functionality not available anywhere else thanks to iOS platform solely controlled and used by Apple. Moreover, when it comes to tablets, then Samsung’s only competitor for the iPad 3 and iPad 4 (when Nexus 10 is not considered since it carries Google brand and is barely available) is Galaxy Tab 2 10.1”, which was obsolete even when it was released in April, 2012. The tablet sports old 1280*800 display and outdated dual-core Cortex-A9 application processor, whereas the iPad 4 sports 2048*1536 screen resolution and an application processor featuring two custom ARM Cortex-A15-like cores which Apple calls Swift.
According to Peter LaMotte, an analyst with Levick, a strategic communications consultancy, and a former executive of Apple, the company needs to be more open about its future products and start to play like everyone else does.
“We will always recommend that it's better to be in the conversation than not. The way it is now, Apple is letting others create the narrative. If Apple is not in the back seat, they are in the passenger seat, and Samsung is driving the car. […] They are trying to fight off basic social media tactics,” said Mr. LaMotte in an interview with ComputerWorld.
Perhaps, Apple is too quiet about its future products. However, the company is clearly the creator of many market trends and market-firsts, which is why it is continuously under discussion by the analysts and the media. Throwing bones (in the form of exciting, yet incorrect information) has been a strategy for many high-tech companies in the recent decade, but doing so creates a risk that at one point the crowd will start to think that one or another company is actually under-delivering on “its” promises…