Samsung spends more on marketing than any other smartphone manufacturer. Their marketing budget alone dwarfs the profits of many of their competitors. Needless to say, they don’t like bad press, even if they frequently get it in reviews for bloatware and flimsy plastic designs. However, bad press in their home country of South Korea is especially bad, and reflects poorly on the company on a global scale, specifically when it mentions their manufacturing process. What would look worse than bad press would be a lawsuit against a publication solely for that negative report, right? According to Samsung, somehow suing doesn’t look as bad.
To anyone who lives in a country that celebrates free speech, hearing of a news publication being sued by a company for bad press is disgustingly horrifying. Yet that’s precisely what Samsung is reportedly doing right now. Of course, getting Samsung to admit they’ve done something immoral is fiercely difficult. Samsung claims the newspaper is lying, and should issue a correction. The news site, on the other hand, claims that Samsung is being dishonest to save face.
The publication, ETNews, is sticking to their report, which claims Samsung is having issue with production of their camera lenses for the Galaxy S5. They reported that with the thinner camera lens, it’s typical for an increased chance of distortion from imperfections. They implied that this is leading to delays in the production of Samsung’s latest handset, throwing the overall quality of the device and Samsung’s manufacturing methods into question. That could potentially frighten investors as well as tech-savvy customers, who pay attention to industry news. Of course, these savants will likely have read more than one review complaining about the cheap feel of Samsung’s handsets, so a report claiming that the quality of the devices may vary isn’t surprising.
Is the report true? Without being able to check their sources, I can’t say for certain. Publications are especially cautious about revealing their sources, as without their trust, they cannot get the scoops that will sell papers and get plenty of clicks. That’s why Samsung is suing, it’ll be hard for the publication to prove the validity of the story without their source or a subpoena of Samsung’s internal documentation, which may also be hard to get ahold of. Apple’s been fighting Samsung in court for years. Samsung knows it would just be easier for the publication to give up, as Dyson recently did over their vaccine cleaners, than to actually fight them in court.