Is it Time for the Samsung Swan Song?

Shares in the South Korean giant have dropped by 14% in the past month as banks cut their profit forecasts due to disappointing sales of the Galaxy S4.

That’s ‘disappointing’ or ‘strong’ depending on which press release and which report you read. The S4 sold 10 million handsets in its first 28 days of sale (recession?) and predicts to sell 100 million in total before the release of the S5, sometime next year.

Samsung are exploiting their popularity with the release of the S4 Zoom camera – a smartphone with a camera with an SLR-style lens; an Ativ Tab 3 Windows 8 tablet; and the Ativ Q that runs both Windows 8 and Android.

Apart from being unable to answer the eternal question – will it be able to run Outlook without the system crashing or those funny little dots running across the window when you ask it to do a simple task like send an email or the email list faffing about when you click on one in order to reply to it so that you actually click on the wrong one and have to get to the right one via the up and down arrows once you’ve got into the wrong email in error – one wonders if Samsung are trying to flood the market because they intend to dominate it for the foreseeable future, or they are attempting to exploit the market while they can because they know that some other innovator is going to take their crown next year and that domination of the handset market lasts for 18 months/2 years maximum. We shall see…


And Taiwan have done it again. With the development of new technology, you’d probably be wanting a cure for all forms of cancer, solar-powered irrigation wells providing clean, drinkable water for the desert, an end to child poverty… nah, let’s not worry about those things, the big gap in the market is having your photo ‘painted’ onto your latte.

For those of us who are soul-searching and don’t want to bother looking in a mirror, or who think that our loved ones are good enough to, er, slurp, then this is a welcome addition to the current list of available consumer goods and services.

The dream of Taiwanese beverage company Let’s Cafe, the machine encourages users to take a ‘selfie’, which is apparently a picture of yourself, although you could use any image from your smartphone, I’m guessing within reason, and then upload it to the machine which ‘prints’ it out at the end of the process. According to the accompanying video, this caused such a wow that Let’s Café was able to gain greater respect throughout the country and compete with larger, more established chains.

I am currently staring at a pitcher of Guinness with my face painted in the foam, considering whether or not this is a great advancement for society, just a bit of fun or if I am just really, really old. I shall tell you once I have consumed the beer and slurped my own face.

Posted by Ben Spector on 28-Jun-2013 12:41:26
Ben Spector
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