Samsung and Apple Inc. are one of the leading companies in the field of Information Communication and Technology by manufacturing products that meet the needs of individuals in the digital era. Samsung, through their Samsung Galaxy Tablet and Apple through iPad 2 have brought tremendous impacts on the media and internet access for personal and business use. Despite the threats and opportunities that these companies have, they both have a bright future given the Information Technology industry is expected to grow with time.
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We are living in a progressive world. Ever since the early days of civilization up to the present moment, the world has undergone a lot of changes in terms of lifestyle and culture. Some of the notable changes that the world has experienced were the agrarian revolution during the 16th and 17th century that led to the industrial revolution in the 18th and 19th century.
These revolutions brought about a lot of changes in the field of commerce and science with a view of making the world to be a better place for man through the sustainable use of resources. At the present moment, we are in a digital era. This has come about as a result of the advancement that the world has been experiencing in the field of information technology.
This change has mainly been spearheaded with the invention of the computer and the internet, factors that have contributed greatly to globalization and e-commerce (Kaplan and Norton, 2010). The advancements in the field of Information Technology (IT) have modifies the manner in which businesses operate and people interact. This has played an important role in the emergence of social networks, brand communities, globalization, virtual organizations and e-commerce.
Samsung and Apple Inc. are some of the companies that have played a critical role in the current changes that we are experiencing in this digital era (Dimitrova, 2010). These companies are involved in the production of electronics and computer related devices that have improved the process of information communication and technology. Through their products, individuals and corporations have been able to conduct their activities at ease.
Samsung for instance manufacture hi-tech televisions, digital cameras, mobile phones and personal computers that have made life easier for people in the 21st century. On the other hand, Apple Inc. has played a relatively important role in the 21st century. Established in the 1970s, the company has grown to be one of the leading manufacturers of personal computers and mobile phones. Brands such as the Macintosh, the iPod, iPhone and now the iPad has changed the means through which individuals communicate and entertain themselves.
Therefore, the aim of this report is to critically examine these two companies, their products (focusing on the Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1 and iPad 2 from Samsung and Apple Inc. Respectively), determine the impacts these products have on the lives of individuals and on the business level and finally determine the threats and opportunities that the companies face in the course of their operations.
An Overview of Samsung
Samsung is a multinational company having its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea (Jovanovic, 2011). The company comprises of a number of subsidiary companies most of which have the name Samsung. Some of the notable subsidiaries of the brand include Samsung Electronics, Samsung Heavy Industries, Samsung C&T and Samsung Engineering. Samsung is the leading corporation is South Korea.
In the year 2010 alone, the company accounted for approximately one fifth of the country’s exports. In terms of revenue, the corporation was ranked the 35th largest economy in the year 2006. This is more than the GDP of many countries of the world (Kurtz, 2010). Due to its influence, Samsung plays a critical role in South Koreas economy, politics and social life.
Samsung Electronics is perhaps the most notable brand with the log o of Samsung. In the year 2010, Samsung electronics was ranked the world number one electrical brand (Yeaple, 2009). The company had reported the highest revenue as compared to other companies in the field of information technology. Through their diverse products that are of high quality, the company has managed to command a large market share in South Korea, Asia and the rest of the world.
Samsung Electronics has a direct or indirect influence in almost all countries of the world. It has plants and branches distributed all over the world. This has enabled the company to manufacture goods that meet the specifications of their diverse customers. It is due to this fact that the company stands at a competitive edge over its rivals.
Through the creativity and innovation of its employees, Samsung Electronics has managed to meet the ever-changing demands of its customers. This has not only enabled the company to maintain its loyal consumers but also to attract new ones.
From its humble beginnings in 1938, Samsung has strived for over 70 years to become one of the leaders that advocate for change and innovation in the field of information, technology and digital media. Through its high quality products, dedicated and talented employees, a responsible economic approach and its determination to meet the demands of its customers, Samsung Electronics is striving to take the world into newer and better imaginative directions that the world has never experienced before.
The company is a leader in the electronic industry through the manufacture of hi-tech electronics such as Televisions (CRT, LCD, Plasma and LED), DVD players, digital cameras, hi-fi systems and so on. The company also plays a critical role in the production of mobile phones. At the present moment, the company has produced approximately 800 million mobile phones. However, its greatest impact is on the production of smart phones and personal computers.
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With the increased need of internet access and the use of the internet for personal and business reasons, the company has manufactured the Samsung Galaxy Tablet. This android-based device debuted the market in 2010 capable of meeting the needs of individuals and businesses in the digital era.
An Overview of Apple
Steve Jobs was the CEO of Apple Inc. until his death on October 5th 2011 (Apple, 2011). While at Apple Inc, Steve was successful in leading the organization into the right path. Through the technical innovations that were unleashed by the organization coupled with its proper marketing strategies, Apple grew to be one of the leading corporations in the field of Information Communications and Technology (ICT).
To achieve all this, Steve Jobs had a rather unique style of leadership. In 1976, Steve Jobs partnered up with Steve Wozniak to form the Apple Computer Company. A year later, the company released its second-generation computer; Apple II (Wether and Chandler, 2006). Apple II was successful. It made Apple to be considered as one of the leading computer companies in the world. As a result, the company went public in 1980. In 1984, the company released the Macintosh.
However, due to the differences in leadership styles and production priorities, Jobs left Apple Computer Company and founded NeXT. In 1997, Apple and NeXT merged and Steve Jobs became the interim CEO of this new organization. A few months later, he announced that he was the CEO of the company. The influence that he had, he led these two companies to success up to his death in 2011.
After Steve Jobs left the company up to his return in 1997, Apple Computer Company had not been profitable. However, this trend soon changed after the company released the iPod on October 2001. A portable music player with an internal memory of 5 GB with a capacity of holding over 1000 songs, the product gained a lot of publicity. It sales sky rocketed and brought Apple Inc. back into the tract of profitability. Different versions of the iPod were released.
To support the increasing need of consumer to purchase and store music on their devices, Apple Inc opened up iTunes; an online music store. With the increasing demand of individuals to access the internet for personal and business purposes, communicate via social networks and exchange pictures with friends, Apple Inc. released the iPhone in June 2007 (NASSCOM, 2011).
The iPhone had all the capabilities of a phone, the iPod, a digital camera and allowed instant internet access. All the five generations of the device have recorded high sales with all the stores worldwide being sold out on their debut date including the latest version iPhone 4S that was unveiled in October 2011.
Apple Inc. has a history of producing tablet computers. The first tablet computer of the company was the Newton Message Pad that was released in 1993. However, with the increased demand of the public to have an up to date tablet that could function as platform of audio-visual display and have a modern interface, Apple Inc. in the January 2010 released the iPad (Gibbs, 2011).
In March 2011, the second generation of the iPad, iPad 2 was unravelled by the then CEO Steve Jobs. These tablets changed the means through which people accessed, shared and utilized audio-visual media for personal and business purposes.
Current and Future Impacts of the Tables for Personal and Business Use
Samsung has also embarked on the production of tablet computers. In September 2011, Samsung released Samsung Galaxy Tab. Having an android operating system, Bluetooth capabilities and a TFT-LCD touch screen, the device received high rating from the people who bought it. The device can also serve as a phone through with the help of a loudspeaker and an internal microphone. This thus allows individuals to hold conference calls especially in business meetings situations.
However, it is possible to hold private calls with the use of a Bluetooth enabled earpiece. The android operating system has enabled the device to support a number of applications. For instance, application such as Adobe Flash, MPEG-4, Office Suit and Tango enables the user to view various forms of documents and videos. This enables the user to utilize the device at an individual scale and at a business level.
In 2011, Samsung released the second generation of the Galaxy Tab; Galaxy Tab 10.1. As compared to the older version, Galaxy Tab 10.1 is super thin, has a more sensitive screen, is much faster, allows multi-tasking, has a larger internal memory and through its android system enables the use of application that can create and edit various forms of document (word documents, power points, excel files and spreadsheets) photos and videos (Samsung, 2011).
Its home screen allows easy access of multiple emails, social sites, media and so on. These devices also have a futuristic element. The android operating system is capable of accepting upgrades. This will ensure that the device is capable of meeting new and changing needs and demands of the user with time.
On the other hand, Apple Inc. has been producing tablet personal computers for a long time. Their first tablet, the Newton Message Pad proved to be successful. However, the latest version of these tablets, iPad and iPad 2 are perhaps the most successful tablets that have ever been manufactured and released into the market (Apple Inc., 2011). The iPad has been used as audio-visual media interface for games, e-books, periodicals, applications and internet browsing.
Its small size and lightweight makes it to be a portable device, efficient for personal and business use. The device has an operating system called iOS. This operating system has been produced by Apple Inc. Without any modifications, iOS can support and run the applications of the iPod, iPhone and the iPad and other applications available at the Apple Apps store (Apple Inc., 2011).
However, with further modifications and upgrades, the operating system can run a variety of applications. It is thus evident that the device can meet the present and future needs of the user through system upgrades.
In March 2011, Apple CEO Steve Jobs while on sick leave unveiled the iPad 2. This device was 33% slimmer as compared to iPad. This increased the ease of portability given that it was also 15% lighter. In addition, the device has a duo-core processor hence it was two times faster than its predecessor. It also has a twin cam, one on the face of the device while the other one was at the back. This allows face time communication that is good for both personal and business purposes. The device battery also lasted for 10 hours just like the iPad.
Opportunities and Threats Facing these Companies
As stated earlier in the report, we are living in a digital era. Most of the operations that individuals are involved in on a day-to-day basis relies on IT either directly or indirectly. This thus gives the IT industry a great opportunity to grow and develop.
However, environmental, medical ethical considerations are some of the threats that the industry is facing. There have been a number of debates on the negative effects that these technological advancements have on the health of individuals, the environment and culture (Cavoukian, 2011).
Samsung on the other hand is one of the most successful industries in the world. With the dominance of the company in the semiconductor manufacturing industry, electronics and communication, the company has established a strong brand name and has the chance to maintain its customers and attract new ones through its current and future productions.
The growth of the Indian and Chinese market also gives the company the opportunity to expand its operations (Cavoukian, 2011). However, the major threat that this company is facing is from rivals companies such as Apple Inc, Blackberry and Sony who produce similar goods. In addition, the increasing cost of raw materials and operational costs have greatly reduced its profitability.
Apple on the other hand has the chance to improve on its products such as the iPhone, iTunes and iPads to meet the ever-increasing demands of consumers. The emergence of new markets such as China, India, South East Asia and Africa provide a bigger market for which the company can expand into.
However, the major threat that Apple Inc. faces is the availability of many other IT companies that offer similar products. Samsung, Nokia, Toshiba, Microsoft and Intel are some of the companies that offer stiff competition to the company. This in turn reduces its level of operations and profitability in the short run.
Both Samsung and Apple Inc. have been pioneers in the Information Communication and technology industry. Through their products, these companies have been able to meet the individual and business needs of users. The Samsung Galaxy Tab and iPad 2 are some of the products that have brought a lot of change in the field of personal computers.
However, for these companies to be sustainable in the short run and in the long run, they need to maximize on their strengths, improve on their weaknesses, capitalize on their opportunities and come up with measures to avoid their threats.
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