As much as many great achievers throughout history might joke that the world would be better without their competition, the reality is that humans thrive on competition and rivalries to inspire improvement. Would John Landy and Roger Bannister both have run under 4 minutes for a mile at the 1954 Commonwealth Games without each other as competition? Would the Airbus A380 and Boeing Dreamliner both exist without the other driving the business to greater heights (sorry for the early pun). Would we be driving the advanced automobiles of today without GM opening up in 1912 to compete against the established innovator in Henry Ford? Would the game of female tennis enjoy equal prizemoney today without Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova facing off against each other eighty times over fifteen years? Would Maverick be the best pilot he could be without the Iceman?

The reality is that, in all pursuits, competition and rivalry pushes everyone to be the best version of themselves.

Today we see another chapter in one of the greatest current business rivalries. Apple is the darling of America as the first trillion-dollar company in the US and the leader in premium mobile sales while Samsung flies the South Korean flag as the overall number one seller of mobile phones by volume.

The latest volley today by Samsung sees the newest attempt by the organisation to oust Apple as the premium market leader. The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 was officially launched this morning at 1am (Sydney time) at a gala event in New York. The model is an update from the reasonably successful Note 8 which had a power of work to do to recover from the ill-fated Note 7 which, you may remember, was a product that was a little too hot to handle at times.

What will the Note 9 be offering to tempt the smartphone users of the world? The size and style will remain similar to the Note 8. That means a great big phablet style screen (slightly increased to 6.4 inch) and a stylus (called an S Pen). It retains a USB Type C port for charging and downloads and the headphone jack hasn’t been removed. The almost standard for larger smartphones dual-lens camera has been retained and the fingerprint sensor is still on the rear of the phone with a slight move in position.

With so many similarities, what are the differences? Firstly, the battery. The Note 8 had a 3,300mAh battery which was less powerful than the fire-prone 3,500mAh battery on the Note 7. The Note 9 jumps to a massive 4,000mAh battery – the largest battery ever on a Samsung smartphone. Memory is the next game changer. The largest memory model will have 512GB of memory with an option for a 512GB microSD card. That means 1TB (terabyte) of storage. I am typing this article on a modern portable notebook – yet the SSD hard drive on this is only 1TB. That is a massive amount of space but indicative of the modern users of phones who use them for videos and photographs and music and e-mails and, maybe, an occasional phone call.

The display has been upgraded to a QHD+ Super AMOLED display – which translates to a brighter and better-defined screen than the Note 8. The pair of 12MP cameras on the rear and the single 8MP camera on the front have also been upgraded with the most noticeable feature the dual-aperture lens on the rear camera to match the Galaxy S9 along with a more advanced Super Slo-Mo feature.

Supporting all of this latest technology will be an upgraded Snapdragon 845 processor.

As with many smartphone upgrades at the moment, this is more evolutionary rather than revolutionary with no one killer feature but for fans of the larger style screen, they will be keen to drop the latest offering from Samsung into their hands. Competition is alive and well in this market. Once I get over the sleep deprivation from the launch this morning I will start counting down the days to the next major launch. I can hardly wait to see what we will be coming next!

Mathew Dickerson

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