Smartphones are the latest rage in mobile phone technology. The yearly sale of mobile phones worldwide is more than a billion of which 20% accounted for smartphone sales (Kenny and Pon, 2011). There is a 100% annual increase in the sale of smartphones, and the high rate of penetration suggests that by the year 2015, there will be 2 billion smartphone users globally (Kenny and Pon, 2011).
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Both, Apple and Samsung have innovated smartphones and have a huge market share. Together, Apple and Samsung form a major chunk of the global smartphone industry. Data from the IDC suggests that Apple recorded a whopping jump of 10 million units in a single year by selling 18.7 million units worldwide as compared to 8.7 million units sold the previous year (Albanesius, 2011).
Samsung ranks fourth in the race with a 10.8% market share, reporting a jump in units from 2.4 million to 10.8 million (Albanesius, 2011). With the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy S series smartphones, Samsung competes with Apple’s iPhone. This paper explores the comparing and contrasting factors of two major smartphone producers, Apple and Samsung.
The paper seeks to find similarities and differences in the features and use of technology. Apple is the pioneer of mobile internet with its pioneering and revolutionary iPhone in 2007. Through the iPhone, Apple offered its users a fully functional web browser which would connect them to the internet universe directly (Kenny and Pon, 2011).
Apple has its operating system the iOS which are vertically integrated with their handsets and application stores, giving users a unique experience. Samsung, on the other hand is a “handset-only manufacturer” which use licensed operating systems from Google Android (Kenny and Pon, 2011). Samsung uses a host of operating systems such as Android for the Galaxy S series and Windows 7 for its bada-powered smartphones.
Even though the Samsung Galaxy S series and Apple’s iPhones have different operating systems, they appear to be similar in design and specifications. The screen, look and feel of Samsung smartphones is strikingly similar to that of the iPhone. Both phones use touch technology and have some similar software such as voice recognition. However, there are striking differences in the design and manufacture process of both smartphone companies.
While Apple is completely involved in the development of its smartphone software, it is mainly a design company, unlike Samsung which is mainly a manufacturing company. This is the major point of contrast between the two giants. Many of Apple’s manufacturing needs are met by Samsung (Vergara, 2012).
Samsung is the largest manufacturer and supplier of raw and finished technological parts with its operations based in South Korea (Vergara, 2012). Apple outsources its requirement for iPhone parts such as flash memory, DRAM and applications processor (AP), which account for 26% of its iPhone mechanical parts (Vergara, 2012).
The App Store is Apple’s very own feature which enables it to sell applications to users of iPhone, making the novel and unique only to iPhone customers. Other popular features of Apple are iTunes and bookstore which sell music and books to its customers respectively (Apple: Apple Reports Third Quarter Results, 2010). Apple’s smartphone strategy is to launch a new product every few years, providing its customer with better features, better interface, and ease of usability (Kenny and Pon, 2011).
The iPhone was first released in 2007 and has been upgraded with the release of 5 models to date. Apple enjoys the trust and loyalty of its customers. Research and surveys indicate that users of the iPhone have the highest customer satisfaction of 83% (Siren, 2011). In comparison, the Android software used by Samsung showed a satisfactory rating of 77% (Siren, 2011).
iPhone 5 has an excellent user interface, a compelling design, brand value and a host of media application through its own iTunes store. The ease and availability of these multiple features grant Apple smartphones immense popularity and a huge market share. Samsung is primarily a handset manufacturer which has so far been unable to create its unique software or interfaces to match those of Apple’s iPhones (Kenny and Pon, 2011).
By using an operating system built by Google, the Android, Samsung smartphones lose their uniqueness to all its competitors who also use similar operating systems. This fact has a huge impact on the sales of Apple, which enjoys first place in the smartphone market (Kenny and Pon, 2011). However, Samsung with its Galaxy 4 stepped up its rivalry with Apple.
Galaxy 4 is very similar in design to the iPhone which has a long screen and is slim. The Galaxy series also has all the features of the iPhone 5 giving it a tough competition. It has a better, sharper and wider screen than Galaxy 3 and has been named as the ‘product of the year” (Arch Rivals: Samsung Vs. Apple, 2013). Galaxy 4 has a display screen larger than that of Apple.
It has the latest Android software, 4.2 and a 2 GB ram, double that of iPhone 5. Samsung phones having lower prices than the iPhone has upped its rivalry with Apple increasing its market share in the smartphone segment (Arch Rivals: Samsung Vs. Apple).
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Albanesius, C. (2011). IDC: Consumers Snapping Up Apple, HTC, Samsung Smartphones. Retrieved from http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2385013,00.asp
Apple: Apple Reports Third Quarter Results. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/07/19Apple-Reports-Third-QuarterResults.html
Arch Rivals: Samsung Vs. Apple. (2013). Retrieved from http://seekingalpha.com/article/1283321-arch-rivals-samsung-vs-apple
Kenny, M. & Pon, B. (2011). Structuring the smartphone industry: Is the mobile internet OS platform the key? Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10419/44498
Siren, A. (2011). Apple, Nokia and RIM – Rivalry and Co-operation between Three Mobile Phone Corporations. Retrieved from http://doria17-kk.lib.helsinki.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/72522/nbnfi-fe201111075807.pdf?sequence=3
Vergara, R. (2012). Samsung Electronics and Apple, Inc.: A Study in Contrast in Vertical Integration in the 21st Century. American International Journal of Contemporary Research, Vol. 2 No. 9.