Is Samsung Tech’s Top Dog?

November 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

Why Samsung could top Apple, Google & Microsoft even without an OS.

There are many numbers associated with Samsung: 370,000 employees, a $250bn annual turnover, nearly $400bn in total assets and more than 80 diversified business units which cover everything from shipbuilding and jet engines to investment banking and medical services.

That said, for many the most eye popping figure in Samsung’s recent history is a relatively meagre 1.8 million. For this is the figure by which the Samsung Galaxy S3 outsold the iPhone over the last three months to become the world’s most popular smartphone.

Admittedly both companies did huge business during what were their third financial quarters. Apple shipped 16.2m iPhones, Samsung shipped 18m Galaxy S3s. Furthermore the win wasn’t as clear cut as it appears. The trading period came in the run up to Apple’s iPhone 5 and even CEO Tim Cook admitted customer anticipation curtailed sales. As it turned out the iPhone 5 had just 10 days on sale before the Q3 figures were filed.

And yet for Samsung this matters little. Circumstance or not it demonstrated to the world – however briefly – that the Korean giant can stand toe-to-toe with Apple and win, even in the battle of the iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3. It could also argue that anticipation for its Samsung Galaxy S4 is already building and it has to compete with every other Android handset, while Apple knows many of its customers will only choose iPhones.

Furthermore Samsung has now shipped 30 million Galaxy S3s in the five months that the handset has been on sale. Projected over the course of 12 months this would put it neck and neck with the iPhone 4S while remaining just one of the many models Samsung sells. Even more heartening is – despite the continual reference to limited apps – it is clear Apple’s stranglehold on the tablet sector is weakening. In Q3 2010 Apple had a remarkable 93 per cent market share, but Q3 2012 it has fallen to just above 50 per cent. The dominant force behind this fight back, with models like the Tab range and the Samsung manufactured Google Nexus 10.

Make no mistake Samsung is fighting a war on price. Both the Samsung Galaxy S3 and, in particular, the Google-branded Nexus 10 significantly undercut their targeted Apple products, but they do so without significantly sacrificing features or style. It is a trend we have already seen with the company’s laptops as its budget offerings have been augmented by premium designer ranges like the ultra-slim series 9 Series. This flagship line-up is continued in its television series where the company again dominates the segment and has shaken off its bargain basement roots. And besides isn’t the next tech battleground said to be the living room?

And yet there is a huge hole in all of this: Samsung lacks an ecosystem… or does it?

This is a sample, to read about Samsung’s potentially killer ecosystem build from radically unconventional means see the full editorial @ TrustedReviews.

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