Why the World's iPhone Users Are Looking to New Zealand

Publish Date
Wed, 14 Apr 2021, 5:11PM

Why the World's iPhone Users Are Looking to New Zealand

Publish Date
Wed, 14 Apr 2021, 5:11PM

Number 8 wire.

That's our thing right? You got a problem? No problem. We'll sort something.

Never been done before? Who cares? What difference does that make? If it needs to be done, let's get it done.

Haven't got the tools for the job? We'll make the tools.

The tools haven't been invented yet? We'll invent them. No worries.

So here's the problem; converting iPhone users to Android.

What's the issue? The cult of Apple. Like the Hotel California, you can never leave. In fact, depending on how deeply you've immersed yourself in the Apple ecosystem, you're probably convinced there's no reason to leave.

You've been trained to accept things like built-in obsolescence. Questionable battery life. Compatibility issues with other devices. An inflexible operating system that can't be customised.

Don't worry.

I'm sure it's all fine.

Keep drinking the Kool-Aid.

Don't even consider the alternatives.


Down in New Zealand, little old New Zealand, the team at Samsung has got something to show you. They went out to the shed and knocked up a little web-based emulator called they've called iTest...

According to Samsung's press release, the platform lets non-Android users navigate the Samsung operating system via a web app that mimics Samsung’s operating system. Once the experience is launched, users are prompted to explore all of the apps and features in an interactive simulation of a Samsung Galaxy device.

"The iTest allows users to see what they’re missing out on in a no risk environment," says John Alexander, Marketing Manager Flagship Mobile at Samsung NZ. “We know that the idea of switching to a new operating system can be daunting for many mobile users. iTest was designed to give consumers a taste of Samsung, without changing phones."

Obviously, it doesn't replicate a full-featured Galaxy experience but it's not a bad little taster.

And it's not just New Zealand Appleytes who've had a look, in fact, Samsung's little iTest seems to be gaining momentum in tech media around the world - it's been featured by GizmodoEndgadgetPC World Australia, MacRumours and Yahoo to name a few.

Reaction has been mixed but nobody would expect every dyed-in-the-wool iPhoner to have their head turned by a little piece of online fun like this. In fact it's just made some of them angry...

On tech review site Engadget, one member of the iCult commented, "What kind of s$&t are you smoking this is just another desperate attempt for Samsung.... sad and true."

Another... "I've given the iTest app a try, and it is awful. Why on earth would anyone want to switch to Samsdung UI??"

Protesting too much? Some comments have been more balanced - like these from MacRumors...

"Oh man, seeing the Android home screen pop up on my iPhone was wild."


"The Android flat design is so similar to Apple's, and that's precisely because Apple copied flat design from Google and Microsoft."

Even back at Engadget, some users were prepared to give a little credit where it's due...

"It's impressive how convincing and well-designed this is. I got some laughs from the humor they sprinkled in."

The general vibe from what I've seen has been sarcastic, self-righteous and interestingly defensive... but hey, at least they've been trying it and at least Samsung has got them talking.

Of course, the joke is on those outspoken Apple disciples (disc-Apples?) given those of us using Android have been able to install iPhone-look-alike launchers and themes on our handsets for years. And years. And years. Not that I'm sure why anyone would want endless home screens of almost identical app icons when they can have useful widgets, media controls for different apps, scrollable calendars etc...

Okay, don't start me. I'll be here all day.

From recent reports I've read, the global chip shortage is having a major impact on the production of a wide range of products, now including some Apple gear. Like the gaming console sales battle leading up to Christmas, this year's fight for flagship phone sales supremacy might depend more on who can supply the goods, not who actually has the best device. After all, you can't buy what isn't on the shelves. From everything I've heard, Samsung seems to have a stronger supply chain than most, so they might have an advantage when it comes to sheer numbers of available product.

So it's not outside the realms of possibility some iPhone users will be forced to consider Samsung just to get their hands on the very latest advances - the Korean phonemaker still has a host of foldables due out this year, along with rumours of more camera and display innovations.

In some ways I'm just disappointed I can't try Samsung's test site for myself; it's only for iPhones. Yes, like so many things, it only works on iPhones.

Wow, these jabs come out almost by themselves.

Whether or not Samsung has actually successfully converted anyone over to the "dark side" is yet to be seen but once again, you can't help but be impressed by some more classic Kiwi ingenuity that has the world's tech media looking our way.


Visit iTest.nz using your iPhone if you're just a little bit curious. Go on. You know you want to.