Said to be worried by the build quality of direct rival, the HTC One, Samsung is reportedly putting more effort into sourcing and incorporating premium materials into its upcoming phablet, the Note III.
While Apple, Sony and now HTC all turn to aluminium and quality alloys when building the casings for their flagship phones, up until now, Samsung has used comparatively cheap-feeling polycarbonates to build its phone casings.
And whenever questioned about the choice, the company line has always been that the choice of materials ensures a fast-flowing supply chain, guaranteed availability to end users and, value for money.
However, according to reports on the SamMobile blog, the South Korean giant is "worried" about the response the HTC One is receiving and its potential success as an Android flagship device.
Also, due to issues with HTC's supply chain partners, the official launch of the One has been delayed.
As a result, both the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be going on sale in the US at the same time — the end of April — meaning that potential customers will get to see both sitting side by side when they step into a store.
Rumours, sources and reports have to be taken with a pinch of salt even when they come from a site that regularly seems to have the scoop when it comes to the South Korean company's future plans, but Samsung's concern that HTC might actually win back some market share are valid.
The FTC, Taiwan's equivalent of the Office of Fair Trading, has officially launched an investigation into fabricated Internet posts and reviews of HTC products, allegedly written by Samsung as a means of discrediting its rival.
Posts included complaints that the HTC One continually crashed and that other HTC products were inferior to the poster's other Samsung devices.
When asked for a response by PC Advisor, Samsung said it has as yet to receive a notice from Taiwan's FTC on the investigation. But did admit that the "unfortunate incident" occured.
"Samsung Electronics Taiwan (SET) has ceased all marketing activities that involve the posting of anonymous comments," it said on Tuesday in a statement.
The company adheres to "transparent and honest communications with consumers," and is working to prevent the problem from occurring again.
As well as a premium casing, the Samsung Galaxy Note III is expected to boast a pocket-splitting 5.9in full HD AMOLED display, a 13-megapixel camera and could even come with version 5.0 (Key Lime Pie) of Android pre-installed. — ©AFP/Relaxnews 2013
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