Should Apple Really Fear the Galaxy S4?

I remember a time, not long ago, when the idea that Samsung and Apple would be in a war for technology dominance seemed laughable. The companies were partners in chip production, Samsung's products were largely also-rans, and it was perhaps best known for its televisions and home appliances.But now, with the Samsung Galaxy S4's unveiling almost upon us, we're here wondering if there will ever be a day when Samsung and Apple aren't going for each other's necks. The companies literally can't stand each other. And although they're both generating all of the profits in the mobile space, they'd like nothing more than to take each other down.

The issue is, neither company is succeeding at even putting a dent in the other's business. And although the iPhone and Apple now have true competitors in the Galaxy S and Samsung, each year brings new devices and new opportunities for one of them to pull ahead.

Which brings us to the Galaxy S4.

Samsung's upcoming device looks – at least according to the rumor mill – to be the kind of device that we might all want. The handset, the reports claim, will come with a 5-inch screen, a beefed-up processor, and all of the Samsung bells and whistles that we've come to expect. The device, in other words, could be even better than the already popular Samsung Galaxy S3.

But what does that mean for Apple? The iPhone maker has for years now been the leader in the smartphone market, but Samsung is coming on strong, and in some quarters, actually beating out Apple's smartphones. What's worse for Apple, an increasing number of consumers who years ago would only consider the iPhone are now saying that the Samsung Galaxy S3 (and soon, the S4) are the kinds of devices they would want to buy.

[aquote]If Samsung wasn't a threat, Apple wouldn't be suing its pants off[/aquote]

So, is it time for Apple to fear Samsung and its upcoming smartphone? The folks out in Cupertino, always ready to prove their confidence, would scoff at such a claim. But let's not let that go to our heads. If Samsung wasn't such a big threat, Apple wouldn't be suing its pants off everywhere in the world. And if Samsung's products weren't selling so well, Apple might not find so much trouble with the company. In other words, Samsung is a threat.

But being a threat and being enough for Apple to fear Samsung are two entirely different things. And it's important that we point that out. Apple and Samsung are certainly at odds and there's a chance that the companies' battle will only get worse over time. But it's also important to note that Apple is extremely strong. And its products, despite the challenges Samsung presents, are no slouches in their own right.

It's hard to say what the future holds for the mobile market. On one hand, Apple could very well become the dominant force and prove that Samsung is nothing to worry about. On the other, Apple might quickly find that yes, it should fear the Galaxy S4, and there is something very, very serious to worry about.

I guess we'll find out soon when Samsung unveils its new smartphone and Apple has a chance to respond with one of its own.