Why Apple vs. Samsung is like BMW vs. Honda

“You can draw your own conclusions about what has been said in the courts with the ongoing patent litigation between the two bitter rivals, but Samsung still had to execute its business. Samsung figured out what Research in Motion, Microsoft and Nokia was not able to understand – if you were not going to win in Apple’s market, you had to create your own,” Richard Saintvilus writes for Forbes. “Samsung understood Apple’s ecosystem better than other rivals. It also appreciated the fact that it was never going to attract Apple loyalists to buy Samsung phones. It’s like driving a BMW for years and expects Honda to try to win that customer over – It’s not likely to happen.”

“So Samsung decided to market to those who were only looking for Honda’s price tag and offering them all the trimmings. Essentially Samsung created a showroom where phones of all types with “Apple-like features” could appeal to a population that did not have ‘Apple-like money,'” Saintvilus writes. “What’s more, Samsung was always ready to drop its prices lower if it felt it had to, whereas Apple kept its price point the same. Again, this is because Apple operates with the mindset that BMWs sell themselves. It’s hard to fault Apple for this stance – particularly as it is growing revenues year-over-year at an average rate of 30%.”

Saintvilus writes, “Samsung is now #1 in device sales – so what! If Apple wants to regain the top spot all it has to do is drop the price of its phones and tablets and watch all of the ‘Samsung enthusiasts’ rush into Apple stores. Though it’s margins would decline, it would still be the world’s most valuable company. But I don’t see why investors would want this. Likewise, Apple have suppliers all over the world fighting for its business, and it has no interest in entering Samsung’s low-end market. What’s the benefit of being the best selling device and produce no earnings per share?”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple rakes in 71% of the world’s smartphone profits.

Related articles:
Apple’s iPhone takes top spot from Google’s Android in U.S. smartphone market share – November 27, 2012
Apple’s iPhone 5 slows Android growth in U.S. and U.K. – October 30, 2012
Panic! Samsung’s iPhone 5 desperation is showing; pre-announces Galaxy S4 due in February – September 17, 2012
Apple rakes in 71% of the world’s smartphone profits – September 8, 2012
Growing anticipation for next-gen Apple iPhone creates ‘mother of all handset pauses’ – July 20, 2012
Apple’s iOS passes Google’s Android to take U.S. smartphone market share crown – January 25, 2012

63 Comments

    1. At least you stayed in Korea, although I’d go with Hyundai. Honda is japanese, as I’m sure we know, and has rarely, if ever (until their hybrid) copied design as slavishly as Hyundai did and does. And KIA has some integrity.

    2. Yeah, thanks for that Kia / Honda comment.

      Honda is one of — if not the best — vehicle for the average consumer…amirite?!

      Terrible comparison. Honda is a great company.

  1. as a honda owner i’ll take a honda/acura over BMW any day. i’ve lived in germany and BMW makes crap as well, just not in the US where people think they only sell luxury cars

    most of the BMW owners i see are from eastern european descent and still think that german stuff is the best

        1. I think he means “every vagina in the UK has a BMW”. which doesn’t quite make sense as vagina’s don’t drive. Then, I was thinking maybe he meant “every Pathologist has one.”, You know, left over after the Autopsy, in a jar on a shelf…
          I dunno, the only other rational option is to assume Adam hates women. Especially beautiful, young wealthy Brits… Hmmm…

    1. While you’re entitled to a personal opinion, it is at odds with the vast majority of driving enthusiasts (as well as with some objective measurements) that have, for decades, confirmed the consistent superiority of German automotive engineering, particularly the luxury brands (BMW and Daimler AG). There are significant parallels between them and Apple, especially in their attention to smallest detail (the inside of a Mac Pro, with chrome-plated ducts, similar to the engine compartment of a Mercedes). Products of Apple, BMW and Daimler seem to have same aspirational qualities, and for similar reasons. The only difference is, a few of Apple’s products don’t have the same aspirational price, and can be had for as low as the run-of-the-mill competition.

      1. Acura’s Super Handling AWD is revolutionary. Most people claim BMW as superior because of RWD and 50/50 weight distribution. However, BMWs own studies show a significant number of their owners don’t even realize they are RWD. That’s why yheir new 1 series will be FWD/AWD. They’re becomong more like Honda/Acura. What does that say about BMW?

      2. FWIW – Apples to Apples, Volkswagens have significantly more problems, quality issues and required repairs than their closest competitor, Honda. (and I really love VW’s, however I drive a Honda).

  2. MDN uses the Apple has 31% profit share very deceptively. Apple plus Samsung collectively have more than 100% profit share because many other companies are losing money including Motorolla-Google, Nokia and RIM.

  3. While Apple is BMW, Samsung models itself after Apple and is therefore WMB, BMW backwards, because they fall far short of Apple’s high standards of construction and ease of use, copying instead the look, but not the feel, of the iPhone.

    WMB = Weapon of Mass Bastardisation.

  4. I like the idea of the analogy, but it doesn’t hold up.
    “So Samsung decided to market to those who were only looking for Honda’s price tag and offering them all the trimmings.”

    The Galaxy S3 starts at the same price as the iPhone 5: $200. The Galaxy Note 2 starts at $300. You can get cheaper Samsung smartphones, but you can also get cheaper iPhones, all the way down to free.

    The analogy kind of works if you’re just talking about driving pleasure. It’s much more fun to drive a BMW then my Honda, but the BMW costs about twice as much. Samsung phones cost the same or more than a comparable iPhone.

    So, people who buy Samsung phones are basically buying a Kia, but paying the BMW price. Not smart people.

  5. If you compare BMW for an Acura, I’ll take the Acura any time. True leather (not letherette), excellent engines, best reliability, etc.

    After years of buying Apple smartphones, I changed to the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, and the iphone doesn’t have anything to match the Note 2. I am technical guy and used my phone a lot for a a variety of real world/business uses. The iphone is a toy for music, photos, and kids stuff. The Samsung Note 2 is a real smartphone.

    I still have my ipads and still will buy an Apple if they release something innovative, but for the last couple of years, Apple just released basic enhancements with a lot of marketing bluff that only naive people will buy. Sorry, but unless Apple comes with something new, the Samsung Note 2 is the king of smartphones. I know this will hurt the feelings of many naive iphone owners but unless you tried and compared the Samsung Note 2 to the iphone, you shouldn’t comment. My kids still love their iphone since it fits in their tight jeans pockets.

    1. If the iPhone is a toy then how do you explain the fact that government agencies & fortune 500 companies are switching to iPhones by the droves?

      Plus if you drop a Galaxy Note II it’ll shatter when it hits the ground cause it’s made of cheap plastic.

    2. Please elaborate, technical guy, why the iPhone 5 falls way short to your Galaxy Note 2? Please educate us instead of making blank statements with no backup argument to justify the veracity of you statement. As far as I understand it, the iPhone is much more secure. iOS offers higher quality and more applications in a gamma areas than Android does NOT. So, please elaborate your argument in a clear and convincing fashion. Because I believe you are misinformed.

      1. Sure. To start with. A finger does not provide any precision. It is just a primitive mode to pick on the screen at a wide guess scale. A digitizer (IPAQ, PALM, etc) has a lot more precision that enables a whole new set of advanced workflows. The digitizer even has levels of pressure and can let you do hand written recognition (which works perfectly compared to the old IPAQ/PALMS)

        The Note 2 has NFC object interchange that makes a breeze to exchange files, photos, etc.

        At our corporate offices we are scaling down on the iphones and we are looking at the Samsung Note 2’s for real work. For presentations, the iphone has several issues since it cannot project every app. The app has to use a special canvas widget in order to have tv out. The Samsung Note 2 has HDMI resolution and has 1280×720 and can display the whole screen and all apps all the time. You can make clear presentations with ease.

        The Samsung Note 2 has wireless display capabilities without any attachment. You has get the HDMI receiver that you connect to a projector or a LDC TV.

        We currently have all secured connectivity at our offices with the Samsung Note 2. No problem at all.

        I had several iphones. In the first iphones most of the components were made by Samsung, which is why the iphone quality was high. Samsung even builds the iphone silicon chips for apple.

        My kids have broken several iphone screens. My daughter is in her 3rd screen because whenever the iphone falls to the floor the screen breaks even with the huge cover protector. The Samsung is a lot better design for shock resistance than the iphone. The iphone has severe issues with any impacts. Anybody with an iphone knows that.

        I don’t use any covers so my Samsung phone looks thin and normal. If you take a look at the Samsung Note 2 and feel it in your hand and compare the screen to the iphone, you will not go back to your iphone.

        The app management on the Samsung/Android is a lot better than the apple app management. Sure the iphone app management is simple enough that my grandmother can use it, but for more advanced people, it fails very short of usable.

        In addition to the large readable screen, the Samsung Note 2 has direct wifi,

        The bluetooth on the Samsung Note 2 is incredibly good compared to the iphone. You have a very strong and clean signal that makes your vehicle stereo systems loud and clear with little noise. While my iphones and my kids iphones have a large noise to signal ratio and does not sound rich and deep. My kids copied their playlists to my Samsung so that they can play it in my car whenever we are in a trip.

        The Samsung Quick Command screen used with the digitizer lets you open a quick window and with the digitizer you can assign any command to a hand written word or letter and you application will pop up. It even lets you enter arguments. so you can just write “google Mercedes” and it will open the browser and search for Mercedes (I have google linked to the browser app).

        I can capture the screen with the stylus in a lazo mode and shared it with any application or clipboard. Screen capture is just a double tap with the digitizer. I can ran any power point application and display or edit them and project them in HDMI resolution.

        The Samsung Note 2 screen is great for GPS usage and map viewing. It has large GPS and antennas that ensure great reception.

        I had and have all the iphones and ipads and now have the Samsung Note 2. I can experience the differences in real life. If you want to really talk facts, you should own or at least test the Samsung Note 2 before you just repeat apples marketing stupidity.

        I own and owned apple products for more than 20 years, but todays apple just use marketing to drive naive people to buy their products. I can see here that people just repeat apple marketing lines without really knowing what the other devices are really about.

        Most of the App software companies offer the apps for Android and for Apple, so I have %90 of all my old iphone apps on my Android and I have some apps that apple does not have. I was even able to copy my old apple playlists and all the songs to my Samsung with isyncr easily, so I have my smaller ipod in sync with my Note 2 and have a lot more music on my Note 2.

        Last, the Samsung Note 2 supports 64 GB micro sd cards. I have 2 64 gb micro sd cards with loads of private information. In case my Samsung dies, I just go to a PC or any machine that reads SD cards and I am set, or I can get a any new phone and install my sd card and I am up and running. WIth the iphone, you lost everything if your phone does not work, and if you want to use the backup, you have to buy another iphone and make a restore. You cannot increase the memory on an iphone because the memory is soldered in and the cloud is not a safe option.

        It is amazing how uneducated people are on other devices. Apple is having trouble trying to change it’s parts from Samsung to other 3rd party companies, and it is because the other companies don’t have the quality and don’t have the advance technology that samsung has. This will show in how long the new iphones will last.

        Samsung has been selling phones before apple even thought to make phones. Apple copied a lot of existing technologies and package them up. A lot of people that are not technology aware or familiar with the different technologies from the past, think that Apple invented all this technology and that is a big sign on how much they really know.

        1. I’ve never had an iPhone (although I do have an iPad, and iPod touch). I do have an Android phone, though (almost two years now). Practically everything that you enumerated in your message is so obscure as to be of no interest to anyone other than the tiny specialised group of ultra-power users. Even I don’t find any of the features you mention compelling in any meaningful way; having the ability to write a word on screen in order to launch an application (or action) is equally meaningful as having the ability to toast bread on my LG phone. I’m sure you find it an incredibly useful feature to you, and I don’t pretend to represent the majority of world smartphone user habits, but I honestly don’t believe the world is clamoring for a 5.5-inch not-quite-phone, not-quite-tablet (they only sold some 10 million in over a year that it has been out — barely a few percent of all smartphones sold).

          I won’t pretend to be the smartest guy here, and I won’t arrogantly dismiss other’s opinions. I will say this: Samsung Note may be an intriguing device at some point; for the majority of the world, though, it simply won’t be compelling enough to get them to buy it. After all, people’s hands are only so big.

          As for all other features, my Android experience tells me that it will be years (perhaps decades) until Google figures out why is iOS the dominant platform among developers, why so many more people actually use their iOS devices (for things other than texting / making calls), and why is it so strongly coveted by the consumers. You don’t have to use Android for two years (like I did) to see the obvious superiority of iOS. It jumps at you from every single interaction with the device. But this is a known fact and I’m not really saying anything new here.

          1. Fair enough. Though two years ago, nothing that I mentioned existed in Apple or Samsung. There has been a lot of new features added that come very handy.

            Some of the common things my wife and I use often:

            The wireless HDMI display. When we go to visit family and want to show our son’s wedding video or photos, we just connect the cigarrette sized wireless HDM receiver to their hdmi TV and we show all our videos or photos (All-Share feature).

            With my wife, we exchange photos and documents by just bumping our phones (S Beam).

            When my wife wants to show me something from her phone, she just connects to our hdmi receiver, which is connected to our tv, and she shows me any browsing, facebook, or any information she want to show me.

            Multi-Window (running two apps on the screen at the same time) works perfectly for cutting and pasting text or images when doing mail or other documents.

            I like this one, I can have a small video window popup on the screen while I check mail or work on any other application, texting, etc.

            The latter is what I always wanted to have on my iphone’s but apple never continue to add these handy features. Hopefully apple will add many of these obvious features on their new device next year.

            1. “The wireless HDMI display. When we go to visit family and want to show our son’s wedding video or photos, we just connect the cigarrette sized wireless HDM receiver to their hdmi TV and we show all our videos or photos (All-Share feature).

              When my wife wants to show me something from her phone, she just connects to our hdmi receiver, which is connected to our tv, and she shows me any browsing, facebook, or any information she want to show me.”

              I assume you meant “cigarette-PACK size. 🙂 but it sounds like a useful gadget to have connected to your television. Exactly like my Apple TV, in fact.

              “With my wife, we exchange photos and documents by just bumping our phones (S Beam).”

              You mean, you have to physically touch them? You know, there are ways to exchange information across half the planet’s circumference. Email, iMessage, shared Photostreams, Dropbox, take your pick. Sorry, I fail to see how this is a major advantage..

              “Multi-Window (running two apps on the screen at the same time) works perfectly for cutting and pasting text or images when doing mail or other documents.”

              I can actually see your point here. The downside is that you have to carry around this thing the size of an aircraft carrier deck the entire day. You pay your money and you take your choice.

              In fact, Taposé can do this on the iPad right now. I bought it when it came out and the truth is that i have yet to find a real use for it. I don’t expect to do heavy duty work on a phone. On the iPad, swiping between apps is a perfectly adequate substitute for multi- window. YMMV.

    3. For those of you who don’t know what is Samsung Galaxy Note 2, it is that grotesquely clunky phone/tablet that is neither (positively brick-sized for a phone, infinitely puny for a usable tablet), that is the sole occupant of the no-man’s land between a phone and a tablet (an iPad, that is; tablet as a category is practically meaningless). It is there alone not because nobody was bright enough to think about making such a device before, but because nobody in their sane mind would make a device that would sell only few.

      I have no doubt that our poster Acura here uses it for all those purposes he claims to be using it for. That still doesn’t make the device less of an odd in-between contraption, neither here, nor there (get this: it uses a STYLUS!!!). Ordinary people struggle with the much smaller Galaxy S bricks (barely 4″ screens), as they are already way too large to comfortably single-handedly manipulate. But 5.5″??

      I never belittle anyone personally for their choices, and I’m sure there are people for whom 5.5 inches (and a stylus) are perfect. However, let us be perfectly realistic: this group represents an outlying fringe minority.

      1. and yet Samsung is selling millions at high prices

        i was actually thinking of buying a refurb original galaxy note for $50. i could have kept my 4S to use as an ipod touch and i didn’t want to buy another ipad for a while. but i wanted something close to a tablet that i could use on a daily basis for cheap

      2. Unless you have small girly hands, the Samsung Note 2 is the perfect size for any average size man and pocket. Of course, if it was an iphone you will need to have a huge box cover around it so that it will not break, but since it is a Samsung, you don’t need covers and is so slim that it fits perfectly in the pocket. People always use the bluetooth in their cars or a small bluetooth headset so size is not a problem.

        The Samsung Note 2 size comes very handy whenever you need to do any browsing or real work. the Samsung Note 2 even comes with a wireless HDMI adapter that one can connect a mouse and keyboard and use your LCD TV or projector to work with information on the screen without the primitive fat finger interaction.

      3. I forgot to mention that I got my Samsung Note 2 because my wife was crazy about it and bought one. She wanted a larger screen for browsing, shopping, and entering information during shopping. She was going crazy on the tiny screens trying to enter information and moving the screen around to try to find the other form fields.. It fit perfectly in her purse and she has blue tooth in her car.

        After using my Samsung Note 2, I am very confident that it will become one of the most popular selling smartphones in the world until apple or other competitor comes with a better technology. Maybe next year Apple will come with a real innovative smartphone. I am all for good usable technology and not for marketing gimmicks.

        1. You seem to jump back and forth between work, your kids and your wife, but your original focus seemed to be on the enterprise and complaining that your manly hands that can handle that monstrosity can still drop an iPhone and break it? So what, you can handle the note, but can’t handle the iPhone? What happens if you accidentally lose your stylus? Dude, your persona non grata…..

          1. I will not be surprised that Apple will add a digitizer to their new generation iphones. Without it, any future smartphone will be limited in what they can do for many real world tasks and more sophisticated apps. i.e. photo editing, word processing, etc.

            And to answer your question about jumping back and forth, I heavily use my smartphone at work, home, or when I am out.

            If I lose the stylus, I can still use my finger the old smartphone way for the basic applications. At my office, a lot of people use a stylus on their iphone because otherwise you cannot see what is under your finger and you can type better with it (no fat fingering). I used a stylus, too, on my former iphone, and I gave it to my kids. When I lost my iphone stylus, I will just buy a new one. Though, in the Samsung Note 2, there is a nice option that will alert you if you don’t install back the stylus on the smartphone.

            1. Marketing gimmicks??
              WHAT gimmicks???
              English obviously isn’t your first language, but besides that can you name one gimmick Apple has used to sell its phones?

              Your sales pitch is unconvincing. I’m using dictation to write this on my iPhone 5.
              No stylus needed.

              Now please go away. This isn’t YouTube, where every freaking video with the word Apple in the title is infested with fandroids.

              We are really happy that you like your plastic phone, we prefer the original, not some copy cat.

            2. Gimmicks like Navigation, Siri, and other claims that are more marketing gimmicks than real actual working features.

              Sure I can use dictation as long as I am in a place were I don’t bother people with my dictation.

              I am an Apple owner and has been using Apple products for 25 years, but I am more educated in other devices too. But I will leave you alone in your own little world for you to enjoy your naive world..

            3. Actually they aren’t gimmicks. I use all three extensively in my car, especially the voice navigation which I have found to work very well.

              Unlike many here, I also think the stylus makes the Note 2 superior to the Galaxy 3. Although I find both of them too large since my local climate makes coats unnecessary. However, the functionality of the S Pen will be limited until it gains wide 3rd party developer support.

              Thankfully, the Note 2 shows far less latency when tracking the stylus than the previous version. I think a similar system would add great value to Apple’s iPad line, especially the iPad mini. However, a stylus should NEVER be a requirement to operate the device.

              At the moment, the Note 2 doesn’t add enough value to make me switch from a smaller phone or a larger iPad, although I can see an argument for consolidating on one device with a single data plan.

  6. So if iOS is the BMW, then why are we stuck in 1st gear with the file system?

    Or maybe the training wheels haven’t come off?

    I have actually owned and driven a BMW when I lived in Europe with no speed limits, so I know what that is like.

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