Samsung released a new ad, titled Growing Up, on their YouTube channel late Sunday evening, shaming Apple for every decision they’ve ever made with the iPhone. Featuring a young man who buys his first iPhone in 2007, the ad tracks his iPhone purchases — and frustrations — over the course of a decade. The ad culminates, naturally, with the protagonist switching to a Samsung Galaxy phone.
According to CNET, our protagonist’s problems begin in 2010, when his Apple iPhone can’t take a picture because he’s out of storage space; for reference, the original iPhone came in 4, 8, and 16GB models. The memory could not be expanded with a microSD card, something which still holds true (the latest Samsung devices offer expansion up to 256GB, with some competitors offering up to 2TB of expanded memory.)
In 2013, he upgrades to an Apple iPhone 5, meeting a woman and exchanging numbers, he notes how “big” her phone is (“Is it?,” she asks,) and how much harder it is for him to add her to his contacts as she hand-writes his details with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 stylus. But in 2015, he faithfully waits in line in a rainstorm for the new iPhone 6.
In 2016, disaster strikes when he and his girlfriend fall off a dock. Her Galaxy device is fine — Samsung has had at least IP67-class water resistance since the Galaxy S5. Our protagonist isn’t so lucky, as he desperately dunks his iPhone in a bowl of rice (which, as The Verge notes, doesn’t actually work.)
The year 2017 shows our erstwhile hero puzzling over Apple’s headphone adapter after they removed the 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone 7, and desperately daisy-chaining adapters to watch video and charge his phone while his partner sleeps — all while her Samsung device charges wirelessly. Finally, he puts his iPhone away, and in a scene that mirrors the start of the ad, “upgrades to Galaxy” while Apple customers waiting in line for the iPhone X eyeball him; for those with a sharp eye, the man in line has a haircut shaped like the iPhone X’s infamous “notch” (a fact highlighted by the carefully-positioned banner behind him.)
Whether you agree with Samsung or not — and their tone probably leaves something to be desired — it’s a strong message to send as Apple releases the iPhone X — their “best iPhone ever” — for their 10th anniversary. Beyond that, they raise a compelling point with the decade-spanning ad: many of Apple’s newest, most “innovative” features, have already been done years prior.
Is the ad going to convince anyone to switch from an Apple iPhone to a Samsung Galaxy? Probably not. But if nothing else, it will stand as a bit of catharsis for Samsung’s own fans.
That said, it remains to be seen how Apple will be responding — it’s likely that they won’t be taking this one lying down.
[Featured Image by Nick England/Getty Images]