Samsung's 'iChanged' campaign targets iPhone owners, BlackBerry and Nokia fans

"What's your excuse?", asks Samsung website

Korean technology giant Samsung wants users of other smartphones to switch to a Galaxy S4, with the launch of an in-store and online advertising campaign touting the ease of transferring user data and the features of the company's flagship device.

The 'iChanged' advertising appears throughout Samsung's Sydney store, located only 180 metres down George St from Apple's glass-fronted, four-storey centre. It is centred around a large, multi-coloured logo, with digital signage within the store aimed towards passersby showing the advantages of switching to the Galaxy S4.

One of the services displayed in advertising is Samsung's Smart Switch software, which automates the process of transferring photos, music, videos and contacts from an existing smartphone to a new Samsung. The software supports Apple iOS devices, as well as BlackBerry OS version 6.0, Nokia Symbian 6.0 and LG handsets running Android 2.3 or above. No other Android handsets, or Windows Phone devices, are listed as compatible.

Joining the Smart Switch software is a section of the Galaxy S4 website, devoted to "dispelling some of the excuses" against changing to Samsung's premier smartphone. Potential buyers can input some of their concerns, and read pre-registered responses — typing "I don't like Android", for example, defaults to a paragraph explaining that "millions of people can't be wrong".

Asking about losing contacts touts the features of the Smart Switch software. Less reasoned, and more profane, excuses deliver an even more abrupt reply.

Any claims that the advertising is not mainly targeted at Apple and iPhone users are easily countered by the 'i' sitting prominently at the start of the iChanged slogan — an informal Apple trade mark since the launch of the iMac in 1998, appearing on products as varied as the iPad, iPhone, iPod, iTunes, iButt, iBook, iAd and iMovie.

Apple faced its own uphill battle in 2002 advertising the features of its Mac OS operating system, trying to convince prospective users to switch from Microsoft Windows with examples of "real people"— including Ellen Feiss, who gained Internet notoriety after it was suggested that she was under the effect of illicit drugs while filming the ads. Apple's first switcher campaign was largely unsuccessful, although the company found success in the subsequent "Get A Mac" shorts.

The iChanged advertising has been prominently featured in Samsung's George St store since the middle of August. Samsung has one other 'experience' store worldwide, in Vancouver, Canada, where Apple has 412 retail stores across 14 countries. The George St Apple Store is the largest in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere — according to ifoAppleStore, it covers 10,752 square feet of retail display space.

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Campbell Simpson

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