Fanboys Rising: How A Little MP3 Player Tells Us Samsung Has Won

Reading the comments in Eric’s article about the Samsung Galaxy Muse last night (link) made something abundantly clear to me: Samsung fanboys are now a thing. And they’re probably here to stay. And they will vouch for almost anything with the “Galaxy” brand emblazoned on it – including this remarkably dumb little MP3 player.

The Galaxy(R) Muse is a 4GB glorified iPod Shuffle that syncs MP3’s via the headphone jack on your Samsung GALAXY(R) phone using a Samsung GALAXY(R) app, and can’t be used any other way. It costs $50. Edit: This is wrong. It can be synced to your PC via Kies, too.

Wow, an accessory that only works with a single OEM’s hardware because it’s stupidly and unnecessarily restricted for the sake of encouraging bundling… Who does that? Because a product that’s easier to use and has more features (like FM radio and expandable storage) and is compatible with anything with a USB port and is cheaper doesn’t already exist.

Let’s think about this same product release from a different perspective. If Apple came out with an iPod Shuffle that was only able to sync music via connecting to an iPhone’s headphone jack, how do you think the average Android fan would respond? I’m guessing innumerable spelling and caps lock variations on “haha stupid crapple that’s so dumb lol.”

Looking at the comments on Eric’s article, though, you’d think this was a great product. In fact, when it comes to almost anything Samsung makes lately, the sentiment I see all too often is that because Samsung made it, it’s OK to find as many ways as humanly possible to justify its existence, even if it only works with Samsung products. Let’s call it “niche.” Yeah, that’s a nice word that describes things that aren’t particularly practical or desirable unless you twist your logic like a pretzel.

And yes, I know – some people were happy to point out that you could get this little gizmo for $25 after applying a coupon code. Huzzah! It doesn’t change the fact that you’d still have to be putting on brand-loyalty blinders to buy the Samsung Music Rock over a $30 Sansa that is so clearly superior I already feel slightly ill thinking about how someone will still manage to justify purchasing the Magical Galaxy Musical Stone. I guess it’s better shaped for use as a suppository?

This does say something important about the smartphone world, though. Samsung has clearly done something no other handset manufacturer besides Apple has – achieved significant brand loyalty among consumers. And while it’s not like any company endorses frothing fanboys on blog post comments, it’s not hard to see why attaining that kind of status is every marketing guy’s wet dream.

Let me be clear: I don’t hate Samsung. In fact, my daily driver right now is a Galaxy Note II, and for the most part, I love it.

But watching the Samsung-faithful set up their own little reality distortion fields (oh yes, I’m going to start making all sorts of Apple analogies to describe Samsung fans) tells me we’re going to be witness to a fan-war on a Ford / Chevy scale over the next few years. Get your popcorn.

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4 thoughts on “Fanboys Rising: How A Little MP3 Player Tells Us Samsung Has Won

  1. Matthew Smith (@snype09)

    I liken the situation to the way baseball fans used to react to the Yankees and the Red Sox. Everyone always hated the Yankees for their anti-competitive practices. Then the Red Sox started beating them and everyone got on the bandwagon. The problem is that the Red Sox were doing the exact same things the Yankees were to gain advantage, but nobody ever claimed they were bad for the sport or anti-competitive. The reason? They were the Anti-Yankees. Much like Samsung is the Anti-Apple right now. No matter how many stupid or Apple-like (proprietary garbage) things they do, they can’t be wrong because screw Apple.

    Reply
  2. Wayne

    I for one enjoy your rants, especially those about blind fanboism of any species. Kudos for putting this out there.

    Just don’t take a contrary position to anything I hold dear.

    Reply

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