Apple has been a legendary name in computer and mobile gadgets so far. It created unprecedented market craze and turned consumer choices upside down with the introduction of iphone and ipad tablets. It seems, could be coincidentally, that it is falling behind the growth curve, specifically in smartphone segment, in line with the death of its legendary founder. Even though Apple is still holding its leading position in tablet segment, it is quiet alarming how aggressively Samsung has got its market share and the top position in smartphone segment.
The unique and early movers’ advantage goes to Samsung Galaxy series. Just when the tablets were getting grounds, Samsung introduced a revolutionary category of smartphone beating iphone in terms of functionality, brand promise and image. Doesn’t the brand name “Galaxy” itself denotes galactic possibilities of doing things on this gadget? While Steve Jobs and Bill Gates both predicted that PCs would be dead, could they wonder whether the multifunctional pocket-sized smartphone or the handheld tablet would kill it? First quarter report of 2012 reveals that, Samsung Galaxies have been sold more than Apple iphones, resulting in a record US$ 5.15 billions in profit for Samsung. Where are Nokia, HTC, and Motorola? Well, they would follow the leader and try to excel in foreseeable future. Well, Nokia’s Lumia series has already got some bad publicity due to software bugs. Anyway, one great advantage for Samsung is that it produces its own microprocessors for smartphone category. This vertical integration to technology has given Samsung an upper-hand in the industry. Interestingly enough, Nokia, HTC, Motorola, and Apple also use Samsung microprocessors for their smartphones, with Apple being the largest buyer of Samsung components, particularly microprocessor (the heart) for its smartphones. Samsung and Apple constitute about 90% of market share, with Samsung currently having the lead. The rest belongs to Nokia, HTC, and Motorola. No wonder that S&P recently downgraded Nokia’s stock rating to “junk”!
Now it is time to watch out what Apple would bring out in its next version of iphone. With the kind of publicity and brand image that Galaxy had already made, Apple would be facing tough road ahead in its smartphone segment.