• Samsung promptly mocked the most controversial iPhone 12 announcement, but the company is doomed to repeat its tactics and copy the iPhone.
  • Samsung made fun of Apple’s decision to ditch the charger and earphones from the iPhone 12 box but reportedly plans to copy Apple as soon as early 2021 when the Galaxy S21 launches.
  • Previously, Samsung used the headphone jack to ridicule the iPhone in ad campaigns, only to quietly removed the 3.5mm audio port from its own phones a few years later.

Samsung has been copying the iPhone from the moment the first iPhone came out, and there’s clear evidence that shows the company modeled its touchscreen phone strategy after the iPhone. The first Galaxy S phones were the most obvious iPhone ripoffs, winning Samsung quite a few lawsuits. But the gamble paid off. Those lawsuits extended over several years, and they were practically inconsequential to Samsung’s bottom line. The most important thing that happened is that Samsung quickly became the world’s largest Android device maker, and all that success came on the back of the initial iPhone-like designs. All the while, Samsung kept mocking Apple in ads and marketing campaigns while continuing to follow in Apple’s footsteps. The Galaxy S phones no longer look like iPhone replicas, but Samsung certainly pays attention to Apple’s iPhone decisions and then adapts the same strategies for its own benefit.

The best example concerns Apple’s “courageous” design decision with the iPhone 7. Apple removed the headphone jack to prepare the arrival of the all-screen iPhone X a year later. Apple wasn’t the only company to ditch the bulky 3.5mm port that year, but it was the only one that received plenty of backlash. Samsung took advantage of the situation and kept mocking the iPhone’s lack of a traditional audio port. But then Samsung did the same thing with its own flagships and went ahead and launched wireless earphones just like Apple did years before that. Fast-forward to the iPhone 12, and Samsung has started mocking Apple, but the company is already considering copying Apple’s latest controversial move.

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During the iPhone 12, Apple announced that it would stop including chargers and EarPods in the iPhone box, just as the rumors predicted. The move would allow Apple to reduce the size of the iPhone packaging and increase the number of units that it can ship simultaneously. The move would allow it to reduce carbon emissions significantly, Apple said during the event. Apple also explained that most people own iPhone chargers and EarPods, and then went ahead and reduced the cost of the accessories by $10. The move also helps Apple keep the iPhone 12 costs down, and the handsets have better starting prices than the Galaxy S20 and Note 20 phones.

Samsung did not waste any time on the day the iPhone 12 launched to mock Apple for its decision to remove the charger from the iPhone box. It wasn’t just the iPhone 12 versions that lost the free accessories. All iPhones that Apple sells now ship without chargers and earphones — that is, unless you’re in France where EarPods are still mandatory by law.

Samsung ran a social media campaign that showed fans that a charger is “included with your Galaxy.” That marketing might soon come back to haunt it, just as it happened with the ads that mocked 3.5mm headphone jacks. Those ads vanished from YouTube once Samsung removed the 3.5mm port from the Note 10.

Galaxy Note 10
Screenshot from a Samsung commercial mocking the iPhone’s lack of a traditional headphone jack. Image source: YouTube

A report from Chosun says that Samsung is already considering ditching the charge and earphones from the Galaxy S21 box. That’s the next-gen flagship phone that Samsung will launch in the first quarter of 2021.

The report also notes that Samsung might remove the free earphones at first and keep the charger in place. Either move would help it reduce production costs and move more people toward its own wireless earphones. Samsung released various Galaxy-branded wireless earphones in the past few years, which compete directly against the AirPods.

Samsung saw plenty of criticism this year for the sky-high pricing structure of its Android phones. The Galaxy S20 and Note 20 series start at $999, a price tag that hurt sales. Ditching the free accessories might help Samsung reduce the costs without compromising on other features. The regular Galaxy Note 20 is a huge compromise that’s not worth the $999 entry cost.

Nothing is official regarding the contents of the Galaxy S21 box. But we’ll soon learn more details about Samsung plans for its first 2021 flagships. Samsung can’t keep these phones secret or doesn’t even try, and everything about them leaks well ahead of the expected launch.

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.