The Art of the Launch

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Yesterday Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Gear Smart Watch. If you’re looking for a review, look elsewhere. What I want to talk about is how Samsung continues to attack Apple (by becoming Apple).

When Apple became the powerhouse they are today, they did it with the help of big product announcements. Apple was not always first to market. They did not launch the first cell phone. They did not launch the first MP3 player.

What Apple was good at was the actual announcement. Yes, they made superior products. They made products that were visually appealing and easy to use. But the way they marketed those products was unlike any other company in history. Press events and fanfare, large budget television commercials leading up and following the launch. They created demand before there was even a product to sell.

So while other companies may have beat them to market, Apple always managed to “appear” to be in a market by themselves.

But now there’s Samsung. Over the past couple years, Samsung has been slowly stealing some of Apple’s thunder. Their advertising blitz against the iPhone has worked. They are starting to compete directly in R&D, coming out with new products and new features even before Apple. And now, with the release of the Smart Watch shortly before Apple is expected to release their iWatch, they are figuring out the announcement.

I imagine that several years ago, someone at Samsung saw an opportunity to beat Apple by being Apple. And I think they are there. They have taken what Apple does so well and copied it, even surpassing it in some areas. The battle between these companies is going to be long and hard fought, but one thing is clear. Apple is not in a market by themselves anymore.