‘Galaxy S4 could outperform the iPhone’

The new Galaxy S4 could outperform the iPhone, experts claimed, after Samsung took its battle with Apple on to its rival’s home turf in a theatrical show of force.

‘Galaxy S4 could outperform the iPhone’

The device — which allows users to control the screen using their eyes — is expected to pose the greatest threat yet to Apple’s flagship phone.

Industry experts predict it could even tip the balance in favour of the South Korean electronics giant as the two companies wrestle for top spot in the smartphone market.

Critics have already lavished praise on the new device — unveiled at New York’s Radio City Music Hall — with some predicting the S4 could take a large bite out of Apple’s market share.

The launch was shrouded in secrecy until the last possible moment, meaning Samsung achieved a fever-pitch level of excitement that would be more commonly associated with its California-based competitor.

Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch, said the S4 “more than” lived up to its hype and will have “worried” Apple.

“They have taken the fight to Apple’s back yard. This could tip the balance in Samsung’s favour until we see what Apple’s defence might be.

“It was October last year when the iPhone 5 came out so presumably it will be a little while before we see their rebuttal.

“They clearly do see Samsung as a threat and I think they are going to have to fire on all cylinders to deliver something genuinely novel to turn the focus back on them.”

Predicting the S4 could become the “biggest handset of the year”, he added: “Pricing will be the final piece of the puzzle, and if Samsung can get it right, then the Galaxy S4 could take a huge bite out of the smartphone market at the end of April.”

Paul Thompson, managing director of mobile advertising firm BlisMedia, suggested the S4 would set the benchmark on how a mobile device could be integrated into daily life.

“There is certainly enough to set the Galaxy S4 apart from the iPhone 5 by some distance,” he said.

But observers have expressed doubts about some of the phone’s features. These include technology which enables the user to change music tracks or accept a call with a simple wave of a hand, and a “smart pause” that stops video when a viewer looks away from the screen.

Stuart Miles, founder of technology and gadget site Pocket-lint, said the S4 offered “an incredibly powerful handset” that would sell well but insisted Samsung’s device took the smartphone “one step forward rather than two or three”.

“I think it will be an incredibly popular phone,” he added.

“If someone is getting fed up with the iPhone, and there are a lot of people like that, then it’s a compelling offer.”

But he said many of its new functions — such as an inbuilt translator — already existed elsewhere while others could become a headache for users.

“I think a lot of people will get baffled and either not use half of these things or be frightened by them because it may not be intuitive,” he said.

Drico app

A smartphone app released late last year by Leinster and Ireland star Brian O’Driscoll, has already exceeded 250,000 downloads making it the world’s No 1 rugby app.

The free app, Ultimate Rugby, launched by O’Driscoll and software entrepreneur Ray Nolan, provides coverage of all top flight competitions in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

It quickly emerged as a global winner, being particular popular in Ireland, Britain, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand.

The app also offers fans up-to-the-minute news of all professional matches around the world and provides content, news, and messages direct to fans’ smartphones from professional players.

It also alerts users, who have set up notifications for particular teams or competitions, when a team has been announced.

And, it notifies fans of match results less than a minute after a fixture has concluded.

Meanwhile, Ultimate Rugby have confirmed new partnerships with Leinster and Harlequins. The newly forged partnerships, announced yesterday, allow the clubs to create a unique club page within the application giving them complete content control by linking to their website, Twitter, and Facebook profiles.

The partnership model is currently being rolled out to all Aviva Premiership and Rabo Direct Pro 12 clubs.

— Pat Flynn

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