iPhone 6 presence loomed large in Galaxy S6 unveiling

When Samsung's biggest competitor reported over 74 million devices sold in the previous quarter, it's not surprising that the iPhone 6 would get a few mentions at the announcement of the Galaxy S6.

Samsung was only too keen to point out all the ways its new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge handsets were superior to the sales record-setting iPhone 6.

(Image: Josh Taylor/ZDNet)

In the Galaxy S6, and S6 Edge, Samsung has completely overhauled the design of the phone, both inside and out. The devices boast an improved camera; an aluminium frame, ditching the plastic; wireless charging, ditching the removable batteries; the new contactless payment service Samsung Pay; and up to 128GB of storage -- without an SD card.

In announcing the devices in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress (MWC) on Sunday, it was only too clear that the company had noticed the record-setting sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and needed to point out how the company plans to tackle Apple's domination, in the wake of it selling 74.5 million iPhones in just three months.

The comparisons came through soft ribbing, when the company's head of mobile marketing Younghee Lee said that the metal used in the devices is 50 percent stronger than the make of the iPhone 6.

"This stuff will not bend," she said.

There were also the more serious technical comparisons, including a shot-by-shot comparison of a night-time video of a couple filmed on both the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S6.

In acknowledging that the company is finally moving away from removable batteries, Samsung said the decision had been made when Samsung could promise a better battery life for the phone; the company announced that the Samsung Galaxy S6 charges in half the time it takes to charge the iPhone 6.

It also didn't help that Samsung's new near-field payments competitor to Apple Pay is similarly called Samsung Pay. Samsung has followed in the footsteps of Apple, and has partnered with MasterCard, Visa, and a number of US banks in a move that can only boost the use of contactless payment services on mobile devices.

In the quest to prove how much better Samsung's latest flagship device is than the incredibly popular iPhone 6, Samsung was careful, however, to play to its own originality. The introduction or wireless charging, the curved screen in the Edge, and partnering with Ikea to build relevant furniture for the wireless chargers all set it apart from Apple.

"I believe Samsung has an important role to play in advancing technology in our daily lives. We push ourselves hard, we take our steps forward. If we get there first, others will follow. That's how we transform society for the better," Samsung Mobile CEO JK Shin said.

"Some companies have set themselves apart through design. Some through practicality. People want both. We did it from the ground up," Shin said.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge will launch on April 10.

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