Successor to the Popular S III Phone Feels “Awful” and “Shabby” Next to HTC One


Samsung is scrambling to fix and explain a glitch in the new Galaxy S4 that is causing it to apologize for its lackluster appearance – especially compared to the HTC One – when new users initially start the device. Though many gadget lovers feel the apology (which is occurring on ~3% of devices per Samsung) is warranted, the bizarre nature of the apology is worrisome to fans of Samsung and technology in general.

As the phone starts, it suddenly blurts out in a nervous whisper: “I can’t apologize enough for not presenting myself in a manner befitting a phone released in 2013, such as the just-released HTC One – one of my Android competitors and an industry colleague whose appearance I envy, with its aluminum frame and ‘gapless construction.’ What is gapless construction, anyway? Clearly I have gaps.”

It continues, regardless of whether the user yawns and looks away, “I know I’m making an awful, shabby, what-the-cat-dragged-in first impression – I don’t need critics to tell me that. The way I look understandably makes people recoil in disgust. I admit that I am the Elephant Man of cell phones – or maybe the Donkey Man, because … well, I feel like a jackass. The fact is, the pressure of my father S III’s success has drained me of my desire to look my best in public.”

Some industry analysts are worried that the S4 may have body dysmorphic disorder. “It’s showing all the signs,” says TIME magazine’s personal technology editor, Barry McCracken. “Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is particularly rampant among cell phones because they’re all comparing themselves to the iPhone and now the HTC One. They set the bar too high, feel miserable, and eventually give up, attempting to hide themselves under layers of features.”

On the other side of the aisle are those who agree with the new Galaxy model’s self-assessment. Carl Darlin, tech editor for The New York Times, believes the Samsung product feels bad for a reason. “The Galaxy S4 is embarrassed because it knows you can’t judge a book by its cover, but you certainly don’t want to pick up a book whose cover grosses you out. The S4 feels wretched, disgusting, and uncomfortable in its own casing … as well it should – just look at this thing.”

Samsung spokeswoman Julia Mitchell says the new phone is misrepresenting the Samsung brand. “The S4 is young, and it’s confused. It obviously wasn’t ready for the limelight, but we’re doing our best to reeducate it through a massive injection of self-affirming code so it can be as excited about itself as we are.”

Kent Roberts

Kent Roberts is a writer and father. He has contributed to numerous publications, including The Onion (regularly) and Laugh Lines (The NY Times). His website is He lives in St. Petersburg, Florida.