The End of A Dynasty?: Clash Between Industry Titans


The battle for technological dominance is beginning to heat up. Apple and Samsung have been at each other’s throats competing over market share and cultural relevance for years now, with Apple seeming to come away the victor year after year. However, the momentum has seemed to shift in Samsung’s favor recently. So why the sudden change? In 2013, Samsung took a huge leap forward against their arch rival by enjoying a monumental 56% surge in sales pertaining to smart-phones. Whereas Apple only saw a disappointing 6.6% increase in sales within the smart-phone sector. Samsung now has a stranglehold on the market share, controlling 33% of the smart-phone division compared to Apple’s mere 18%. With this sudden charge in 2013, Samsung experienced soaring profits and revenue sales of $47.6 billion, a 17% increase compared to Apple’s 11% increase.

People are beginning to wonder why Apple has become so stagnant with their products, while Samsung continues to innovate, push the limits, and surpass new boundaries as a organization. As we all know, Apple as a company has gone through major changes when it comes to management ever since the passing of their charismatic and brilliant leader Steve Jobs passed away on October 5, 2011. However, they are not helping themselves with their lack of new products entering the market, along with their rather “elementary” tweaks to the iPhone 5 that have left many longtime customers of Apple disappointed and looking elsewhere for new and innovative mobile devices. For example, Apple upset a good portion of their customer base by changing the adapter that charges the battery life for a majority of Apple products. One of the major draws for Apple’s iPhone line was the fact that their mobile devices had become standardized with the ability for users to charge their phones just about anywhere, even if they forgot their phone charger because they could just use someone else’s. All the while Samsung continues to focus on the quality of their products by offering a wider range of specifications regarding smart-phones that have consumers clamoring for more. Also, Samsung’s new handset, the Galaxy S4, has premiered to critical acclaim among customers and could potentially threaten Apple’s iPhone as the gold standard among smart-phones in the industry.

Samsung has been able to achieve this triumphant comeback through intense quality focus and strong leadership throughout the organization. Especially at the top with former Chairman Kun-Hee Lee who strove for product quality so much that he took a trip to one of the company’s plants that had developed a batch of defected products and required all 2,000 employees to wear headbands that read, “Quality First”. Through this philosophy, Samsung has been able to efficiently produce quality products at a cheaper price compared to industry standards, which in turn allows them to charge a higher price that consumers are willing to spend. The end result, an incredible first quarter of 2013 for Samsung and a devastating blow to Apple. Will Apple recover from this disappointing 2013 start? Possibly with  the iPhone-5S. Or will Samsung continue jabbing away at heavyweight champ?



12 thoughts on “The End of A Dynasty?: Clash Between Industry Titans

  1. Thanks for the informational post. I agree that Samsung is definitely taking the role in the cell phone industry. I know plenty of Apple users who were quick to switch to the new S4 because their Apple 5 was boring and had nothing new compared to the brand new S4. I am most likely switching from my iPhone to the S4 or even another phone.

  2. I agree with you that Samsung’s phones are completely innovative. You can always expect something new and trendy with their new phones. However, I feel the appeal is still going to be more towards Apple phones. Even though changes are completely small Apple’s consistency is what separates them from the rest. When you buy an Apple product you know exactly what you are getting and how to use it. I believe the release of the IPhone 5s will once again set them on top of the market even if the changes are minimal. People are extremely loyal to Apple products.

  3. Having played around with some of my friend’s Samsung phones I still believe that the iPhones are better. I think a big part of the reason why Samsung phones became so successful in the past year is the fact that people are just getting bored with the iPhone. Many people have gotten every update for the iPhone since the first one came out, so when the Samsung s3 came out many jumped on that. I’m not saying the S3 is a bad phone, but personally I prefer the iPhone.

  4. This is an interesting post. I have noticed that more and more people are using Samsung cell phones. I think it’s because the Samsung phones are a little more affordable than the iPhones. When the iPhone5 was released, I heard many current users complaining about the different charger. Personally, I am more of an Apple fan but I am open to trying the Samsung Galaxy S4.

  5. Despite having these innovations in their devices, I don’t think its going to do much for their market share. As other people have said, Apple customers have become a very loyal customer base and sometimes small changes are all that’s needed to keep them happy. I debated before getting the iPhone 5 because all I heard about was the change isn’t that significant to get it, so I guess it was in my mind that it wasn’t worth it and maybe it was time to try something else. So before getting the i5, I tried the GS3 and it wasn’t up to my standard. I thought the new iphone was well worth it and couldn’t be happier. The simplicity that Apple gives customers is why they have become loyal. I think a turn off to Samsung phones for me is that Samsung has to take shots at the iPhone in their commercials to get people talking in the first place, but Apple simply shows what your getting. I’m not saying Samsung isn’t a good company because they do make a very awesome TV, but I don’t think their phones are for me, specifically the android operating system. Good post.

  6. I am not loyal to either company but I appreciate the fact that competition between the two has driven both companies to put out innovative products and leading to them trying to outdo each other. I feel that is a benefit for a consumer who is in the market for a smartphone because they will be able to choose products from two great companies.

  7. I agree with your assertion that Samsung has taken over the majority of the market with the Galaxy. It may have taken them four models to do it, but the market has definitely shifted in their favor. Through intense marketing and and superior quality, more and more supposedly “loyal” Apple customers are shifting their allegiance to Samsung. At the same time, Apple has done little to keep their own customers. Changing their charger on the new iPhone really pissed off a lot of their customers, and for good reason. Instead of actually improving their products, Apple is just changing them to force people to spend more money. Shameful. And that’s why Samsung has deservedly taken over the top spot in the smart phone market.

  8. Samsung is most definitely gaining momentum and cutting away at the cell phone market share, but I do not think it will dethrone apple any time soon. A big part of what Steve Jobs did for apple was making its products more than just products. Owning an apple computer, an IPod, IPad, or an IPhone has become a fashion statement, and a statement about you as a person. People do not just want apple products…they need them, and it is this consumer driven stigma that will keep them on top.

  9. Interesting post. I’ve been noticing a switch towards Samsung products as well. It’s pretty crazy to think that a company can lose one guy and see this period of stagnation follow. In my opinion, though, I don’t think that Samsung has what it takes to take the lead in the cellular phone market. Apple still has it cornered, and I feel that they will come up with something soon that will get everyone excited.

    1. Very informational post. It was enjoyable to read, and surprising that Samsung currently has a larger market share. Not too long ago I conducted a 60 person survey asking DePaul students what type of phone they prefer. A majority heavy majority said Apple. I agree with many of the other comments, and that Apple will bounce back. Their current product line is lacking, but they have the capital to come back from this down period.

  10. I was unaware that Samsung had such a stranglehold on the smart phone market share. That being said I do not believe that they will completely dethrone Apple and the Iphone. Apple has a lot of loyal customers and I do not think that Samsung can sway many of these loyal customers. Apple is always coming up with new innovative products so I would guess that they wil be firing back at Samsung very soon. Looking forward to seeing what both of these companies have planned for this summer and the rest of 2013.

  11. I like what this author said about both companies and I definitely agree with you about Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs was a recognizable icon for Apple and when they lost him, a lot of customers who were previously brand loyal, may have jumped ship. I think this shows the importance of leadership in huge companies like this.

    I also like what this post said about quality. I think Samsung has been putting a much greater emphasis in product design in the introduction phase, to relate this to our conversation on the product life cycle in class. Clearly, concentrating on research and development has paid off for them, versus Apple’s dismal design changes angering a lot of customers. Thanks for the post!

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