Samsung Ridicules iPhone For Lacking “Tilt to Zoom” Technology

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Sept. 17 2012 10:46 AM

Samsung Ridicules iPhone For Lacking “Tilt To Zoom” Technology

Samsung Galaxy s iii ad
Samsung's new anti-iPhone ad, which began running in national and regional newspapers on Sunday.

Image courtesy of Samsung

Amid news that Apple’s new iPhone 5 crushed sales records with 2 million pre-orders in 24 hours, Samsung has come out with a fresh ad that aims to take its rival down a notch. Beneath the cheeky boldface headline “It doesn’t take a genius,” the ad shows a list of iPhone 5 features side-by-side with a much more extensive list of Samsung Galaxy S III features. At a glance, the ad suggests that the Galaxy already does everything the iPhone 5 does, and much more.

The iPhone 5 has a four-inch screen? Well, the Galaxy has a 4.8-inch screen. The iPhone 5 has Siri? The Galaxy has “S Voice.” And in a dig that my colleague Farhad Manjoo would appreciate, Samsung notes that the Galaxy has a “standard micro USB plug” while the new iPhone has “a totally different plug.”


But the real fun starts when you get into the extra Galaxy features for which the iPhone 5 ostensibly has no answer. That list starts and ends with arguably legitimate features—it’s true that the iPhone omitted NFC, or near-field communication technology, and its battery is not removable. In between, though, are such dubious Samsung advantages as “Smart Alert,” “Shake to Update,” and “Turn Over to Mute,” which are basically just gratuitously capitalized descriptions of how to do things on your Galaxy that you can do in different ways on any other smartphone on the market.

My favorite, though, is this gem: “Tilt to Zoom.” According to Samsung’s chart, the iPhone 5 has no comparable feature. Say, why doesn’t Apple let you zoom by holding two fingers to the screen while simultaneously rotating the whole device to an inclined angle? Oh, right. 


Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.


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