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Comparing the Galaxy S and iPhone 4

The Galaxy S and iPhone 4 from competitors Samsung and Apple have more in common than you think. They were released in June both have similar touch-only form factors, support GSM & HSDPA networks rather than the alternative CDMA option, and the two phones were drawn into the ‘antennagate’ scandal with Apple seemingly listing the Galaxy S as amongst numerous other smartphones with the left-hand grip problem.

Since its release Apple’s iPhone 4 has gone on to sell over 3 million units, and it’s sure Samsung’s flagship Android smartphone has also sold units on the AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile networks as well.  A comparison between both phones is therefore a handy decider for those looking to get one of either phones in coming weeks.

The Galaxy S and iPhone 4 are compared over a number of benchmarks and here’s what they reveal.

Physical

The Galaxy S weighs less at 119g compared to the iPhone’s 137g. Physical dimensions are 122.4 x 64.2 x 9.9 mm    for the Galaxy and 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm for the iPhone 4 proving a slightly thicker body frame for the Samsung phone. The Galaxy bundles a 1Ghz snapdragon processor same frequency for the iPhone 4 A4 processor also at 1Ghz. There also have similar RAM pegged at 512MB. Similarities in hardware properties make phone handling, smooth and real quick on both phones. There’s really no difference here.

Display

The iPhone 4’s retina display was center for much of its buzz and ad campaigns till its antenna problems took over and Apple had to deploy some damage control notably by synching it’s reception issues to every major smartphone around. A 960 x 640 resolution fitted on a 3.5 inch touch screen renders the highest quality image views on a phone. Text reading on the iPhone is crisp and highly visible; it’s same for videos and photo views. You don’t get any much better than this.

On another hand, Samsung’s Galaxy S (tagged the Samsung Captivate on AT&T’s network) features a 800 x 480 pixels 4.0 inch touch screen that does appear just impressive until you consider its screen is actually a super-AMOLED. Both displays are capacitive touch screens with support for up to 16 million colors.

Comparing the Galaxy S and iPhone 4 1

This comparison photo with the iPhone 4 to the left and Galaxy S to the right shows some difference in both screen technologies. S-AMOLED’s give deeper color contrasts and shaper colors than any. Compare the phone icons on the lower left corners of both screens and you’d notice the sharp difference. Colors in general appear to be much sharper on the Galaxy S.

Comparing the Galaxy S and iPhone 4 2

A second pic shows both phones at a slight angle to compare the visible angles on the screens. Again, the S-AMOLED screen comes top. You still see a sharper display that remains highly readable whereas the iPhone’s screen would take considerable effort.

OS Comparisons

This is more or less a straight comparison between Apple’s iOS 4 and Google’s Android 2.2 OS. It’s important to note the Galaxy S ships with 2.1 but the Froyo update is now available and there’s no reason comparing with 2.1 since most users end-up upgrading anyway. For fairness sakes the iOS 4 is bumped to 4.0.2 and features from this version are mentioned wherever applicable.

Starting with the basics, there’s multi-touch input, landscape to portrait mode with accelerometer sensor, proximity sensor to prevent accidental input during calls common to both phones.

Multitasking is possible on the Android and iOS platforms although Apple’s version of multitasking is more of fast app switching than true multitasking (running more than one app in memory at the same time). There’s almost no difference to the user though and an iPhone 4 does a good job of giving you the benefit of different apps without closing any. Android provides true multitasking with the OS automatically ending applications to suit its’ memory needs.

True multitasking gives Android the slim edge here.

Browser. When compared with RIM’s webkit and iOS4 browsers, the Android 2.2 browsers came a distinctively first. It’s worthy to note though that users on 2.1 still lag behind as the same tests show the 2.1 come lag place compared to the other two OS browsers. Of course browser tests do not usually include ease of use where the iPhone 4’s browser could gain a higher voice. There’s also no mention of the Flash app been a benefit as it’ll depend on the user. Mostly iPhone users already accustomed to non-flash browsing will willingly forgo this option when making a decision.  If the desktop browsing experience is preferable, then the Galaxy S’s android browser supporting Flash 10.1 makes mobile browsing a joyable experience especially on its 4.0 inch display.

Usability. Voice search, multi-notification are notable OS miss outs on the iOS. Users also forego the endless personalization options available to Android users. There’s no dedicated screen with facebook, twitter for social users and RSS, Gmail and Email for the business types. I conclude that many iPhone users have come to live with this and that you might not necessary be unsettled by these absences especially coming from a previous iPhone 3G or 3GS.

Camera. Not entirely away from OS comparisons, the Samsung Galaxy S and iPhone 4 both feature the same cameras hardware spec-wise, 5 Megapixels, Autofocus, except for an unforgivable lack of LED flash on the Galaxy. Both cameras support High-Definition video recording at 720p 30f/s. Consumer Reports acknowledged the iPhone 4 camera as being the best in the industry although the eventually failed to recommend the device due to its antenna problems.

Battery Life

Samsung rates the Galaxy S/Captivate for five hours and 50 mins of talk time, 340 hrs standby while the iPhone 4 has a seven hour talk time and 300 hour standby rating.  This is a sort of mix match on both phones with the captivate doing better on standby while the iPhone 4 performing better on calls.

Comparing the Samsung Galaxy S or Captivate as it’s called by AT&T to Apple’s iPhone 4 also exclusive to AT&T reveals a tight match between both. For the user it all bores down to the specifics, agreed, the lack of flash is a huge turn off for photo snapping buffs, the iPhone platform would also be a considerable turn off for people who love to play with their phones. You can’t root the iOS for better performance and yet again you don’t have to go through a desktop software (iTunes in this case) to install new software or transfer songs from a PC. Now, that’s a big ‘no’ for buffs like me.

The Apple Supply Chain Manager Saga and What It Means for Today’s Competitive Environment

A former Apple Supply Chain Manager Paul Shin Devine, pleading not guilty to 23 counts of wire fraud, money laundering and taking kickbacks summarizing a bribery case currently being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, FBI and privately by Apple Inc. Devine 37, was arrested and charged in a Federal District Court of Northern California. During his time at Apple starting June 2005, he was in charge of the supply chain for iPod accessories mostly involving Asia suppliers.

Although Apple has taken Devine to court in a civil case involving leaking company trade secrets to the supplies, a breach that Apple claims led to a compromise in its supply chain. Paul’s kickback debacle led to Apple paying more for accessories supplied to the company over the years. A federal prosecutor sought to deny bail in hopes it would speed up an appearance in court.

Paul is charged with accepting bribes worth more than $1 million during his spent as Apple’s supply chain manager. His bank accounts including those of his wife are frozen till further notice.

This case is not the first involving bribery allegations against a former employee in charge of supplies. It however brings back to thoughts the sensitive position which comprises a Supply Chain Manager. This positions are found in all types of organizations from the fashion industry to technology and consumer electronics, the position of a supply chain manager to link up the company he represents with intending suppliers is becoming more important. We don’t expect to see a decline in these positions anytime soon.

It’s pretty sure no firm would employ Devine for a very long time but there’s no saying what could happen to the countless undetected managers still in the game of backhand deals and kickbacking at major US companies. While many would probably argue otherwise it’s my opinion that kickbacking has a chagrin effect on the affected firm not to talk of the possibility that the firm would have purchased supplies from partaking suppliers at higher costs.

“Higher production costs, Higher Consumer Costs, Lower Sales”. In most cases, this simple economic line of thought self-explains the disadvantage of buying components whether it’s for an iPod, laptop or Timberland boot at a comparatively higher price.

In summary, Paul Devine’s case as a corrupt Supply Chain Manager at Apple underlines the important nature of the position he once held. Apple may not have suffered financially or otherwise in a way we are informed about, but that’s not to say all companies this happens to would be this lucky.