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Samsung is the new Apple, and we need a new Samsung

Where have the years gone? Do you guys remember the old days when Samsung was the rockstar of the smartphone space? The company was the colorful and fun counterpoint to Apple’s clean and sterile aesthetic, and that made the smartphone industry that much more fun. It was the edgy one of the group, kinda like Sega to Nintendo in the 90s. However, things have changed. Samsung is looking to be the new Apple, and we’re all wondering what company will be the new Samsung.

Galaxy Watch 7 Ultra

We’ve been seeing signs over the years that Samsung was slowly transforming into an Apple Jr., but it’s been a gradual progression. Maybe Samsung nips a software feature (like the lock screen customizations) or it takes on some of Apple’s mentality (like launching the same device year after year). All of these actions warrant people to speculate that Samsung is taking some notes from Apple. However, years of derivation didn’t prepare us for what we saw with the company’s upcoming devices.

At the time of writing this, we saw some images of Samsung’s now upcoming smartwatch and TWS earbuds. They’re very pretty…. and pretty familiar. Let’s cut the crap; these are blatantly inspired by the Apple Watch Ultra and the AirPods. The other things over the years, we could almost excuse. This, however, is unacceptable. What makes this worse is the fact that Samsung’s previous devices all looked great!

Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra Renders (7)

The circular Galaxy watch is one of the most beautiful watches on the market. They look charming, elegant, and real! However, the company opted to square the design of the Galaxy Watch 7 to make it look more like an Apple Watch. Not only is it derivative, but it’s ugly. The watch lost all of its luxurious and elegant charm. It looks like a ruggedized smartwatch.

Galaxy Buds 3

As for the earbuds, these are the most disappointing. The Galaxy Buds have always had their identity with radical designs such as the Galaxy “Beans.” Sure, they looked weird, but they were a fun weird, and they were something that only Samsung had. The Galaxy Buds 3 Pro straight-up look like AirPods Pro. Everything from the position of the speaker grill to the overall shape. Everything matches. Sure, there are little visual queues here and there that differentiate them, but they’re not enough to make them look different.

Galaxy buds 3 2nd wave (7)Galaxy buds 3 2nd wave (7)
Source: Evan Blass

They look so similar, we wouldn’t be surprised if Apple hits the company with a lawsuit.

What happened to you, Samsung?

We know that there are things that Apple has taken from Android, but the company puts in the extra work to make them look and feel different. This is true for Samsung as well, but this time around, it looks like Samsung just stopped trying.

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Where is the Samsung that we used to know? Where is the company that kept the removable battery, MicroSD card storage, and headphone jack despite Apple? Also, where’s the company that resisted adding a notch to its phone even though the industry had all shifted in that direction? Samsung was a symbol of innovation and rebellion. While all of the other companies were trying to drink Apple’s juice, Samsung was doing its own thing because it had the power and sway to be its own beast and see results.

Now… the company has abandoned its spirit. When Apple stopped putting chargers in the box, Samsung swiftly followed suit. It’s adopted the tactic of sitting on designs for years amid the community crying for something different. The latest Galaxy phones have gone for the flat-edge aesthetic of the iPhone as well.

Speaking of aesthetics, Samsung’s flagship phones have all gone for that squeaky clean and boring aesthetic that Apple has pioneered. Its phones are boring metal and glass sandwiches. We’re not seeing the company do anything more than upgrading the specs in its phones and slapping a new name on the box. The old Samsung is gone.

We need a new Samsung

Samsung is a company that survived on its rebellious spirit alone. Now that it, Apple’s biggest competition, has basically jumped ship, we need another company to take its place. We need another company to be the middle finger to all of the Apples of the world. It’s important that other companies know that there’s more than one option when it comes to being a smartphone company.

Apple’s method works because… it’s Apple! The company already had a diehard fan base before the iPhone came out. It’s positioned itself as the definitive smartphone company. This only works for Apple. Samsung has been able to use this mentality because it also has a loyal fan base.

Now, we need more companies to push innovation forward and keep things exciting. We can’t have every company trying to be like Apple.

What company could be Samsung’s replacement?

What company can take up the throne? Obviously, Samsung is the biggest Android OEM, so its runner-up won’t have the sheer market share. However, there are plenty of companies out there with immense notoriety that don’t own a large chunk of the user base.

Google? Nah

One consideration would be the Google Pixel series, but let’s not kid ourselves, Google is not far behind Samsung in following after Apple. While the Pixel line of phones has carved out its own specific niche, even this company is going the way of the Apple. Leaks show that Pixel 9 has taken on the iPhone-esque flat edges. Also, it has also pulled chargers from the box and removed the headphone jack.

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If any company could have been the Anti-Apple, it could have been Google. It sure as hell has the money to do so. But, the company is gradually transforming into its competition.

Motorola? Uhhh…

In terms of market share, Motorola is the closest to Samsung in certain markets. It’s the 3rd place contender with about 10% of the U.S. market. The only thing about Motorola is the fact that people don’t really look toward the company for its rebellious spirit.

While it hasn’t started stealing from Apple, most of Motorola’s best qualities are under the radar. The company makes good devices, but more people buy its cheaper phones. Also, not many people know about its great desktop mode. MyUX is a great Android skin, but it’s no OneUI.

Motorola will likely remain the silent-but-deadly company it’s been for a while now. It’s a good company, but it’s just no Samsung replacement.

Maybe OnePlus?

One company that comes to mind that could be the replacement is OnePlus. This is a company that came out of the gate swinging at the status quo. It introduced us to the flagship killer. It was the company that said, “Why are you overpaying for flagship specs? Here’s a phone that can do the same at half the price.” It had a job to do, and it did it well.

While, over the years, its prices have crept up, and its phones started to lose some of their luster, the company rebounded with the incredible OnePlus 11, OnePlus 12, and OnePlus Open (Review). All of these phones undercut the competition, but that’s not the only thing. The company still has this rebellious and fun nature. Its phones have an identity of their own. No matter how tempting it is to copy Apple, OnePlus continues to redefine itself and stick to its identity.

This is a company that also has a pretty decent presence in the U.S., just like Samsung. It’s been hanging in there, and it’s a company to look toward when we need some color and life. So, if the title New Samsung is up for grabs, OnePlus might be a strong contender.

Maybe it’s not one company

One thing to consider is the fact that it might not be one singular company. We’ve reviewed a bunch of phones from overseas, and we’ve seen some amazing devices.

Companies like Tecno (which we should keep an eye out for) have delivered wild, crazy, beautiful, and fun phones like the Camon 20 series, Camon 30 series (Camon 30 Premier Review), Pova 5, Pova 6, Phantom V Flip, and Spark 20 Pro. Neither one of these phones shares a design with the other. They’re all great devices, but the thing is that it shows that Techno is not afraid to experiment and take risks. We’ve seen different materials and design aesthetics with these phones.

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Also, the Poco F6 and Poco F6 Pro (Review) are some of the best phones we’ve reviewed this year. We can’t forget about companies like Infinix, which has also made some kick-ass phones. Companies like Vivo, Xiaomi, and Oppo have put Samsung’s foldable phones to shame with their sheer innovation and quality.

There are so many companies out there that steal from Apple, but there are also companies like the ones mentioned above that aren’t afraid to be different. They’re not afraid to say “We’re not your precious Apple! Love it or leave it!” These are the companies that seem to have that certain flair that Samsung brought back in the day. This is something that we’ve missed.

We’re getting reports that the Galaxy S25 Ultra will have rounded corners. That’s cute, but plenty of smaller companies completely revamp their designs year after year. The Infinix Note 30 Pro had this pretty pearlescent color-changing pink color that drew the eyes. However, the Note 40 Pro was this elegant money green with gold accents. What is the Note 50 going to look like? Who knows? That’s what makes it exciting.

The collection of smaller companies out there that don’t want to default to Apple might be the true Samsung replacement. They’re letting us know that there are still entities out there that aren’t afraid to go against the trends. These are the ones that don’t do what’s popular; they do what’s not popular and make them popular. Before Oppo brought its foldable phones, the general consensus was that foldable phones needed to be narrow because “That’s what Samsung did.” No, Oppo dared to be different, and other companies like Google took note. Now, the foldable phone market is different and much better.

Yes, times have changed

Remember when everyone wanted to keep their phone screens under 4 inches? What company was it that brought the large-screen phone and created the phablet category? It was Samsung. It went against the industry trends, but it was so successful that even Apple folded and brought a larger screen phone. Thinking about that and looking at the leaks of the Galaxy Watch 7 Ultra and Galaxy Buds… well, it makes you think. Can we really call it Samsung vs. Apple anymore? Or, should it be called Samsung and Apple vs. everyone else?

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John Smith

My John Smith is a seasoned technology writer with a passion for unraveling the complexities of the digital world. With a background in computer science and a keen interest in emerging trends, John has become a sought-after voice in translating intricate technological concepts into accessible and engaging articles.

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