By the end of the year 2020, 78.05 percent of the global population was using smartphones, according to Statista. The report also details that many people use multiple smartphones which results in a higher number of smartphone subscriptions than the physical handsets. What was 6.23 billion smartphone subscribers in the year 2021 is expected to rise to a whopping 7.7 billion by the year 2027.
The two prominent market leaders in the smartphone industry are Apple and Samsung. Statista also reported that, at the first quarter end of the year 2022, Samsung held 23.4% of the global smartphone market share, closely followed by Apple. These two smartphone brands are fiercely competitive and are continuously swapping the top two positions in global market share. Here’s a look at both these brands and their journey, highlighting their fierce competition.
Product & OS Comparison
Headquartered in Cupertino, California, Apple currently enjoys the status of the world’s biggest company by market capitalization. In the year 2022, it was the world’s largest technology company by revenue of USD 394.3 billion and is one of the Big Five American technology companies. As valuable as the company is, its story is one that has been told many times. Suffice it to say that Apple Computer Company was founded in the year 1976 by Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and Ronald Wayne to develop and sell Apple I Computers. A year later the company changed its name to Apple Computers, Inc. and then went public in the year 1980. Management disagreements and power struggles between the executives led Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak to step back from their respective roles and pursue other individual ventures. The company landed in more trouble over the next decade and brought back Steve Jobs in a bid to guide the company back to success.
It was then, that Steve Jobs turned Apple Inc., around by introducing a number of tactics and devices that included the iPhone, Mac, and the iPod. Through the years it launched many memorable campaigns, opened Apple Store retail chain, and acquired numerous companies to broaden its product portfolio. The brand enjoys a high level of customer loyalty and has been consistently ranked as one of the world’s most valuable brands.
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.
The South Korean company was founded in the year 1969 and is headquartered in Suwon, South Korea. It was established as an industrial part of the Samsung Group. It was the result of a joint venture that was named Samsung-Sanyo Electric with Sanyo and Sumitomo Corporation. Samsung-Sanyo Electric was the predecessor to today’s Samsung Electronics.
The company went on to produce electronic and electric appliances including television, calculators, refrigerators, air-conditioners, and washing machines. Since then, over the years, the company grew its product footprint and expanded its presence across the globe. The company launched its first mobile phone in the South Korean market in the year 1988. It was only in the year 2007, that the company became the world’s second-largest smartphone manufacturer.
By the end of the year 2021, Samsung Electronics was ranked at number two as the ‘Best Global Brands’ by the market research firm YouGov and by mid-2022, PricewaterhouseCoopers ranked it at number 22 on their global top 100 companies by market capitalization.
Product & OS Comparison
Both of these conglomerates make some of the best products in the industry. Within the scope of consumer electronics, both these companies make the same products like smartphones, laptops, wearables, etc. Product commonality, however, breeds a very different customer base for both of these giants. The main reasons behind this are differences in design, price, compatibility, functionality, and the elusive idea of brand loyalty.
This is a look at one such common product – smartphones and how each brand fares in this particular product category.
Even though both the smartphone brands work on different operating systems, Android on Samsung and iOS on Apple, the user experience in both is very similar. Samsung has made significant improvements over the years. Having said this, both these brands can improve in terms of design and optimization.
Historically, both Apple and Samsung had huge issues with product durability. However, in recent years, both companies have made huge leaps and upgraded their products to be waterproof as well as have highly-improved glass tensile strength.
Performance of the Product
Samsung is leading on the performance part as they have beaten Apple in 5G Systems by at least a year. However, the chips in Apple phones far outperform Samsung. Apple optimizes its chips rather than sourcing designs from other semiconductors on the open market. Samsung, on the other hand, leads the market with its display screens due to its concentrated R&D efforts. Overall, the product performance of an Apple smartphone in the real world is faster than that of Samsung.
Supply Chain Integration
This is a category in which Samsung is the clear winner as Apple is dependent on Samsung for product parts like OLED displays, NAND flash, and DRAM. Although Apple designs its own chips and is very competent in the area, its dependence on Samsung for procuring some parts reduces its competition with Samsung.
App Ecosystem and Native Services
Apple is unbeatable in this particular category due to its ecosystem in terms of the quality of services it offers on its devices. Samsung is dependent on Google for its services on Android. Also, Google’s apps and services that are implemented on iOS, sometimes work better than the Android version.
Platform Privacy and Security
Samsung’s platform openness versus Apple’s closed and personally managed platform means there is no comparison between the two when it comes to platform privacy and security. Apple has a track record of hardly keeping any personal logs or information about its users which stands it in good stead in the privacy category. Google, used by Samsung, is, at its heart, an advertising company. This means that the company collects data and information about its users for future use. Also, the Android ecosystem is full of malware making its usage a risk.
Both, Apple and Samsung, are highly innovative companies that apply their innovations differently. However, customer loyalty is built by product offerings and whether it delivers value for the cost as well as in comparison to its competition. Both these companies are prime players in the consumer electronics sector and each has its own consumer base. It remains to be seen how they will both perform in the coming years.
When was Apple founded?
Apple Computer Company was founded in the year 1976 by Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and Ronald Wayne to develop and sell Apple I Computers.
Which was the first Samsung mobile phone?
Samsung launched its first mobile phone SH-100 in the South Korean market in the year 1988.
On which operating system does Samsung work?
Samsung works on Android platform.