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Apple vs. Samsung: Why Looks Matter

Forget about microprocessors and dual cameras, it’s looks that matter the most when it comes to the heated battle between smartphone giants Apple (AAPL) and Samsung Electronics (005930.KR).

The Wall Street Journal has published an interesting feature story this morning on how 10 years after Apple launched the first iPhone, the smartphone war is now shifting to how a phone looks and feels.

How a smartphone looks now accounts for about half a consumer’s purchase decision, with the assessment formed in roughly one second, according to Charles L. Mauro, president of MauroNewMedia, a product-design research firm that has done consulting work for Apple and Samsung. Mr. Mauro says peer-reviewed research reveals aesthetics matter much more than previously believed, as older surveys pegged looks as influencing only 7% of a phone...