Samsung’s real threat to Apple

“If you look at the iPhone, the physical design has pretty much stayed the same. In fact, some could say its design is minimalist compared to the newer smartphones hitting the market today,” Tim Bajarin writes for TechPinions. “Of course, that is not true. Apple has made it sleeker, put faster processors and higher resolution screens and better cameras and audio in every next generation of the iPhone. But as far as I am concerned, its crown jewels are iOS and the total ecosystem behind it that makes the iPhone sing and dance.”

“All of Apple’s competitors understand this but most are saddled with a core mobile OS like Android that, while getting better, is the same OS that all Android licensees have access to as well,” Bajarin writes. “While that is good for most, to really be competitive against Apple, vendors also know that differentiating around hardware, software, and services is what will ultimately make them competitive.”

Bajarin writes, “It is clear to me that while Apple’s software skills, expertise, and ecosystem is still much stronger then Samsung currently, in my opinion, I have no doubt that Samsung is serious about software innovation and is building up the team to give them the skills needed to compete with Apple head-on at the software level. They are still weak and tied to Google when it comes to services, but even here there is a chance Samsung could enhance their service position in the future.”

Much more in the full article – recommended as usual – here.

53 Comments

  1. Samsung is “building up a team” to make great software. It’s not like that, you can’t just grab some people, stick them together and all the sudden you have great software. Look at Microsoft.

    Article is fail.

    1. Nicely put. A tech enthusiast can clearly see this but the paid pundits..?

      And if Samdung can become stronger, are Apple not aware of this and able to become stronger too?

      1. Tim Cook is an Operations Genius. Steve Jobs knew enough to let Tim do his Thing. Tim just delivered the greatest earnings report in Tech History in January.

            1. What nonsense you post.

              I am a **HUGE** fan of Apple so I care about Apple’s future. My first Apple was an Apple IIe, way back in the day. I’ve had more Mac’s than I can count since then. Steve Jobs’ greatest mistake was Tim Cook and the sooner that he is fired the better for Apple’s future.

              Anyone, anyone at all who loves Apple has to hope that soon, Tim Cook is fired.

      2. Hajj the joker and his anti cook stance. It prevails in every single comment you post. Doesn’t it get tiring to be redundant? Home much is Scamscum paying you?

      3. OK. Let’s say that Apple does fire Tim Cook. Is there anyone who could replace him? Jonny Ive? Why? He has exactly as much authority as he needs, complete control over hardware and software design and none of the headaches of negotiating deals or stock buy backs or supply chain management. Phil Schiller? Same questions. And would he be inclined to get in Jonny Ive’s way? And how would he be any different from Cook?
        What about outside? Who? Marissa Mayer? While she may be a talented manager, her experience is entirely web. She knows nothing about running a company like Apple. Who else? Steve Ballmer? Michael Dell? Is there anyone you can name who can do Tim Cook’s job aside from Tim Cook?

  2. Samsung lacks Apple’s brand loyalty. Whereas Samsung have been run by slimy, greedy, shameless thieves and has no loyalty, Apple has had a very strong following and loyalty going back to the 80’s.

    Apple machines are built for you and I compared to Samsung which is built to mimic or saturate. Just like weeds.

    Going to go wash my mouth now. Said Samsung way too many times here.

  3. @article: …All of Apple’s competitors understand [its crown jewels are iOS and the total ecosystem behind it that makes the iPhone sing and dance]…

    Sadly, customers who settle for a smartphone/tablet from Apple’s competitors DON’T

    1. Yup, exactly. Two people that I work with both have Samsung phones and think they are “good enough”. It’s that attitude that blinds them from seeing the true difference between Apple and the rest of the smartphone market. Each competitor has strengths, but in the big picture, Apple still remains ahead of the pack in terms of overall user experience for the life of a phone. The only problem I have with my iPhone 4 is third-party software slowing it down to a crawl because they code for the latest and greatest and performance optimizations take a back seat.

      1. I also have the iphone 4 and feel the slowdown , too. That, combined with waiting for Apple to release a bigger-screen iphone (old eyes) and Ihnatko saying “Android got great!” led me to grab a used galaxy s3 on ebay. It arrived yesterday, and I can tell you that “good enough” is not the same as “Wow, that’s amazing.”

        I’m still figuring it out, and it’s easy to dislike things because they are different than what you are used to, so I’m giving it a chance. But I’m thinking “infinitely configurable” is not necessarily a plus.

        And here’s a thing I think it typical: I asked an enthusiastic android-using friend “How do you search the phone for a certain app?” She had no idea how to perform such a search. I told her I was really liking swype for text input. She had no idea what I was talking about. But she “LOVES” her android phone.

        If you MUST configure every detail, OR if you don’t want to do much at all with the phone, android apparently seems pretty great to people. I’m trying it out, but in no way have jumped ship from ios.

        1. yup if good enough is going to do it for you – enjoy the duo death of androids slow and pitiful OS upgrade and the Samsung incapability to upgrade — double whammy

          indefinitely configurable? not only is customization a load of bs its no better then jailbreaking an iPhone – Android users call it rooting the phone — have fun messing around

          i dont know what more to say other than – you should have waited for the new iPad mini with telephone capabilities and retina screen — would have better suited your needs.

  4. Sumsung is a crass biggoted unrefined classles brute. It inherently lacks the Apple logic and rational necessary for magic iOs design and appeal, nor does it have any design flair and aesthetic (not to mention taste).

    That is the basis and foundation of Apple’s good software design and magical simplicity.

    Samsung:

    Never had it never will.

  5. I think once a design reaches iconic status, you don’t really want to mess with it too much because you’ll be destroying the visual and aesthetic appeal of the original design. Each company has what is called a design language. That language serves to identify that company’s products to its customers. Once you establish classic lines, change for change’s sake destroys that identity and the association the public has with the product’s iconic design.

    It’s that consistency of design going through evolutionary rather than revolutionary change that cements the public’s affection for the product. While you want to attract new users to increase the installed user base, you don’t want to do it in such a way as to alienate your existing customers.

    Apple has always been about simplicity – removing the extraneous and discarding the non essential until the essence of the product is distilled in the least number of interface elements. Like maturing good 20 year old whiskey.

    Android, on the other hand, is about the garish, the cramming of ever more useless functions to pad out a features list with no thought given to usability or unity of design language.

    You have to understand the Zen of design to understand Apple. A Zen garden is an oasis of calm reduced to its essential elements with not one iota of superfluidity.

    1. Yes! The Galaxy s3 I’m trying out is NOT an “oasis of calm.” Either you use it as is and spend a lot of time avoiding the dozens of crazy apps it comes with, OR spend a lot of time configuring it to not get in your way.

    2. Elegantly stated, my friend, and I like your analogies. Only quibble is the final word—superfluidity (frictionless flow, as in liquid helium below 2.18 Kelvin). I suppose you meant superfluity? 🙂

        1. agreed yet why did apple quickly shift from original iPhone design to the 4

          iphone
          iphone 3g
          iphone 3gs
          — each visually like the other – iconic

          iphone 4
          iphone 4s
          iphone 5
          — each visually like the other – iconic also

          iphone 5s <— would be Apples 7th phone – no?

          iPhone 7 running iOS 7 – called iPhone & iPhone pro
          and a all new design for both. its time. and we seen nothing on this phone because tim has doubled up on secrecy.

    3. Mr. Nut: did you mean “superficiality?” Or are you using superfluidity (the property of flowing without friction or viscosity, as in liquid helium below about 2.18 kelvins) in a way I’m not getting?

  6. “Bajarin writes, “It is clear to me that while Apple’s software skills, expertise, and ecosystem is still much stronger then Samsung currently,”

    Than

    How can anyone take a journalist seriously that doesn’t know the difference between “then” and “than”

    Idiot

  7. All though the assumption that Samsung will compete with Apple head on by just assembling a team is rather presumptuous. Apple built this system and was the company that debut the current tech that are smart phones. Now. saying Samsung will bring out ground breaking products is risky. Saying Samsung will goto toe to toe with Apples products released is a different story. They have shown the chomps to copy, steal, and manipulate their way in the market and courts. But, that is simple street level gang turf war by Samsung and now Apple is no longer disclosing future product designs early- see how we’ll they do.

  8. Anyone who thinks hardware is going to differentiate smartphones is sorely lacking in understanding. A smartphone is anything but smart unless the entire software ecosystem is well designed and works well together (OS to syncing to cloud storage to app/music/movie/etc stores).

    Apple has a HUGE lead in this area, and it is only pushing further ahead. No sitting on its laurels; Apple continues to expand, innovate, and improve the experience.

    Apple understands that great software creates the user’s experience as much as great hardware, and that it is the entire iOS ecosystem that is really Apple’s product.

    1. Well, Apple has something of a lead with its infrastructure. But I wouldn’t characterize it as massive because Siri, iCloud, Maps and even AirPlay are not nearly as robust as they should be. They’re great when they work. But we all know they don’t always work as advertised.

      Apple needs to shore up those services and make them fail proof. Once that’s done they will be much harder for the competition to knock over.

    2. Yes software is important but so is hardware. You can’t just discount it. From Gorilla glass to high performance, low power chips, to industrial design and cheap manufacturing it’s a huge part of this u fucking fool.

      1. Nokia was the king of cell phone hardware but their software was shit.

        Their new software is still shit and Nokia is on it’s deathbed.

        If the software sucks, the phone sucks.

        1. If hardware sucks the phone sucks. Choppy scrolling. Crappy battery life. Shitty screens…

          Apple spends a ton of R&D money making phone hardware. Steve Jobs showed 17 different specially built non-interence rooms just to test iPhone antennaes. There are 1000s of parts in an iPhone. Apple’s doing their own materials science to innovate batteries. They revealed how complex their manufacturing process is making the iPhone, using computers to compare iPhones on the manufacturing line to adjust how the phone is put together based on the state it’s in at the time.

          Apple bought a semi-conductor company and acquired talent to develop its own versions of ARM processors and GPUs. They have managed to use the lowest clocked chips with the absolute best performance.

          It’s estimated that the hardware, not the software, but just the hardware R&D Apple spends on 1 iPhone model may exceed $500 million.

          Software and hardware are equally important. To say hardware doesn’t matter is absurd.

          So to anyone who thinks that hardware doesn’t matter and isn’t important and it’s all about software needs to shut the fuck up.

  9. Yes good enough is enough for many maybe most people and many are always wow’d be tech they will never use or is pretty unusable, it’s simply something to boast about. It was the same with PC users in the past and being cheaper will only exaggerate hat effect. That will always be the case which is why I am always amazed how so called analysts and investors suddenly discover such a reason to write Apple off when it is an inevitable development within the market and the effect will even itself out and Apple will still be making a fortune from its approach. That said Apple has done its best to give Samsung and Android a leg up in recent years sadly. They clearly did not see one company becoming so dominant in that platform thus making such large profits and subsequently such a big threat.

  10. That’s remind me Ballmer saying “not on my watch”…well, it does not matter how many people Samsung poor into software division…they are just chasing after the leader, their weapons target are locked where the puke is, not where is going to be next…They can never win the war fighting this way…anyways, who cares? Samsung will be dead in a few years from now…

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