Monthly Archives: April 2012

Will Samsung Step Up And Challenge Apple?

Apple has established itself as a clear industry leader for consumer electronics.  It has market-leading devices in every hot category and has even created some of the categories themselves.  Apple sparked the smart phone revolution with the iPhone, sparked the tablet computing revolution with the iPad, and has put up impressive sales figures for its Mac personal computers in recent quarters.  To date, no one has truly tried to take Apple head-on, but if they choose to do so, I think Samsung would have a good chance.

Samsung competes in many of the same categories as Apple and is generally reviewed favorably for its products.

Product Apple Samsung Comment
Smart Phones iPhone Galaxy Android Phones
Focus™ Windows Phones
Apple owns iOS, whereas Samsung makes phones that run both Google’s Android OS as well as Windows Mobile.
Media Players iPod, including
iPod Touch
Galaxy Player (Android powered) Apple ignited the media player revolution, however this segment is becoming less and less relevant with Smart Phones taking over.
Tablets iPad Galaxy Tab Apple waged a legal battle against Samsung, and lost.
Television Apple TV Where do I begin? Samsung has a clear lead here, with Apple only currently considering this field a hobby, though that could change.
Laptops MacBook Air
MacBook Pro
Series 9
Series 7
Samsung has done a lot of copying of Apple’s industrial design and offers similarly spec’d products for hundreds less than Apple.  I’d like to see Samsung take a more leadership role.  The Series 7 Slate may be a start.
Desktops Mac Mini
iMac
All in Ones I am purposely leaving out the heavily overpriced, outdated, and rumored to be discontinued Mac Pro here.

Samsung has thus-far done an excellent job of playing in Apple’s shadow and following the trends that Apple sets, however with Apple’s emergence as such a huge player in the market I’d like to see Samsung take a more aggressive posture.

A perfect place to start for Samsung would be in its television business.  It’s “Smart TVs” are an okay start, but they are priced too high and need a better user interface in order to compete against what Apple is sure to cook up.  I’d encourage Samsung to consider obtaining an exclusive license to Microsoft’s Kinect technology and for integration into their Smart TVs.  Kinect-style interfaces are incredibly natural and intuitive and would be a great selling point.

Samsung matches up well against Apple also in the mobile chip business.  Whereas Apple designs its own A-series chips for its products, Samsung designs – and manufactures, it’s Exynos chips.

Samsung is well set up to compete head to head against Apple.  No other company has a platform that matches up as well against Apple and has the manufacturing power to match and beat Apple’s buying power.  The industry needs someone like Samsung to give Apple some stiff competition to keep technology advancing forward and prevent an industry Goliath from running rampant and claiming it is the only company that can innovate.