HTC's President of Global Sales and Marketing, Jason MacKenzie, doesn't seem too worried about the unveiling of the Galaxy S4. In fact, he even goes to say that he felt bad for Samsung, when watching their event, and some of the embarrassing moments we saw there. While all the theatrical stuff may have been appropriate for the place where they held it, at the Radio City Music Hall in New York, I felt it was quite awkward to watch it livestreamed like that.
I think a lot of us were expecting something more like a Google I/O or Apple WWDC keynote. Up to 500,000 people were watching the livestream, and they were all waiting for Samsung to talk about the phone itself, but it felt like they were too busy with all the theatricals instead.
"I went from laughing to actually feeling embarrassed at some of the acting, MacKenzie told CNET.
But perhaps what disappointed HTC's president the most was Samsung's whole focus on marketing and on promoting the Galaxy S4, and not so much in making the actual product that much better. They didn't even even bother to change the design significantly compared to Galaxy S3, after all, while HTC tried to make the best possible phone after they already released a great looking phone last year - the HTC One X.
"Watching the presentation, it looks like they invested a lot in marketing instead of innovation," he said.
The Galaxy S4 feels very much like a simple evolution of the Galaxy S3, with some new software features (some of which are still only gimmicks, or won't be used much), so if it still ends up being a very successful product for Samsung, in terms of sales, then I could see HTC becoming very frustrated with that, after all their hard work in making a better product, rather than just better marketing.
We still haven't seen how good the hardware of the Galaxy S4 really is, though. We need to see how the CPU, GPU, display, camera, wi-fi and other hardware features compare to the HTC One before deciding which is the best overall product. But in terms of design and build quality, I doubt there will be that many who would think the Galaxy S4 is the winner in that competition. Hopefully for HTC, that will be a major deciding factor for customers, instead of all the Galaxy S4 ads we're all going to be bombarded with in the next few months.