Samsung vs. Apple… Who is Winning the Mobile Wars?
By Doug Smith
Ahh...the classic battles...King Kong and Godzilla, Ali and Frazier, Samsung and Apple...what's it all mean? Who is winning?
Few would dispute that Apple changed the way we think of mobile with innovations like the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. Sleek cool design, a fantastic mobile operating system. Even a cult of personality in Steve Jobs.
Then along came Android...the copycat. The upstart. Where Apple was sleek and proprietary, Android was open source and customizable. Many companies jumped on the Android bus to try and take a bite out of the mobile apple.
Apple's competitors are shooting to be bigger and better, and maybe they're getting there quicker than we all think.
The sales numbers don't lie. Apple's biggest mobile competitor is Samsung. Samsung's Galaxy devices are widely considered the best Android devices on the market, and Samsung is getting more and more synonymous with Android, according to a recent CNN article.
Samsung's worked hard to market it's Galaxy line, offer itself up as the cooler alternative to Apple, and offer features Apple doesn't make available on its devices. Samsung is also quicker to offer software updates that push automatically to devices running Google's Android OS.
Recent Apple launches haven't had the bang that Apple product launches have had in the past, or the new features. Apple users often have to wait years for iOS upgrades, and sometimes new features just don't work on older devices. In a lot of way's Apple's closed nature is alienating.
Apple and Samsung have been embroiled in a legal battle over copycatting and copyright infringement. Apple has not been able to prove that sales have been damaged by imitators, a double edged sword for them.
Now, Apple and Samsung have worked together on the past, and even have a tenuous business relationship right now. Back in 2005, Apple needed a reliable supplier of flash memory. Apple needed flash memory chips for products like the iPod shuffle, iPod nano, and the iPhone. The companies scratched each other's backs for a while, and certainly gained some insideish info on one another, each contests.
The iPhone and iPad were huge successes, and changed the mobile market. Samsung was...inspired, and in 2011 released the Galaxy Tab, which many at Apple saw as an iPad copycat. Apple files suit, but was stabbed by the aforementioned double edged sword. Apple's profits were so astronomical, they weren't able to prove that Samsung had damaged sales by copying Apple products.
Interestingly, looking at Apple and Samsung is like looking at...apples and oranges. Apple has one smart phone, and four high end product lines with little variation. Samsung has more than 30 phone products, with multiple price points and variations, as well as a myriad of other product segments.
According to CNBC, 'Samsung's fourth-quarter net profit rose 76 percent to $6.6 billion, as 'solid sales' of the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 helped boost results.' Apple, on the other hand hasn't fared as well as of late--'Since the iPhone 5 went on sale on Sept. 21, Apple shares have taken a sharp downturn, falling more than 35 percent...'
In the long run, it's hard to count Apple out, but for now Samsung seems to have the upper hand. Apple has its intense fans, and will continue to have its fans. Samsung, however seems to be the not so little scrapper, patterned with Google Android, continuing to chip away at the Apple mobile market.
So what do you think? Apple or Samsung? Who wins? Who SHOULD win?
Is there room for BOTH, since they offer so many different products and options? I think there is...