Taiwanese trade officials are investigating a case in which Samsung is accused of hiring students to post negative reviews and comments about phones made by HTC. If Samsung is found guilty of this underhand and deceptive endeavour in Taiwan it faces fines equivalent to about half a million pounds. Samsung Taiwan’s official Facebook page has already admitted the marketing misconduct.
Kick a man when he’s down
A site called TaiwanSamsungLeaks published documents that are allegedly from Samsung’s marketing team, listing its hired guns’ negative forum posts upon various tech and gadget sites. The site has accused Samsung of “evil marketing” practices. Examples of the Samsung’s secretly ‘sponsored’ posts include users complaining about constant crashing of their HTC handsets and posting favourable selected benchmark results showing Samsung products as superior.
A statement upon Samsung Taiwan’s Facebook page admitted the skulduggery and said it regretted “any inconvenience and confusion from the Internet event.” Furthermore “Samsung Taiwan has halted all Internet marketing such as posting articles on websites” according to the same statement. In addition the BBC received a statement from Samsung saying the “unfortunate incident” went against the company’s “fundamental principles”.
Just over week ago HTC posted another in a series of disappointing financial results, showing a fall in revenue of 37 per cent compared to the same quarter in 2012. HTC had hoped for better results with the launch of its critically acclaimed HTC One smartphone. However the company had a bit of difficulty with parts shortages, particularly the camera sensor.
Samsung is worried the Galaxy S4 doesn’t measure up to the HTC One
Why would Samsung target HTC over and above the likes of Apple, LG, Sony and Nokia? Only yesterday Cnet reported that Samsung is “green with envy” over the HTC One’s design and build quality. An “all-metal” Galaxy S4 was made for internal company testing and was very popular with execs, says Cnet’s source. The tech site speculates that Samsung will debut an all-metal design spearheaded by the next Galaxy Note phablet. The Note 3 “will not use the design guidelines of the Galaxy S4”.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 will hit UK retail on 26th April. The HTC One is available now in the UK on various contracts and SIM free offers.