Apple v. Android: Is Samsung no longer in the driver’s seat?

“Samsung is still Android’s leading licensee, but it made its biggest gains in 2010 and 2011,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

“Since then its market share has flattened out at around 40%,” P.E.D. reports. “Taking over as the major engine of worldwide smartphone growth is ‘Others.'”

“These are the so-called white box manufacturers — second tier, no-name phone makers that license Android from Google’s because it’s the cheapest way for them to get into the game,” P.E.D. reports. “‘Most of these companies, located in China, have entered the market with low-end, cheaply produced Android phones that are not much more expensive than feature phones,’ writes Needham analyst Charlie Wolf. ‘Indeed, most buyers of these phones use them as feature phones.'”

Read more in the full article here.

42 Comments

  1. When you are aiming at the future to control your destiny as a company, you had better control both the OS, hardware and the app market.

    If not, you get chewed apart by those who simply underprice your hardware, since you don’t offer anything special in OS & apps.

    Now the Chinese have seen this and are bringing up their own OS instead of Android. So Google will be edged out, too.

    Apple copiers didn’t see the cluster mush Android was creating downstream.

    1. Supposedly, the latter half of 2012 and all of 2013 to this point. Remember, they’re the ones that stole most of iPhone’s market share and relegated the iPhone to a has-been device. IIRC, it was claimed $705 – $385 was Samsung’s doing and Apple’s undoing.

  2. It’s being claimed that “white box” Android smartphones will have the major growth in all of Asia for all of 2014 and beyond. The iPhone will no longer be purchased anywhere except in the U.S. and possibly Europe, but that isn’t even certain. Everyone is trying to economize and iPhones will be considered too costly to purchase except in the richest of nations.

    There’s also this constant rumor about sudden loss of all subsidies where no carriers will finance expensive smartphones which Apple will supposedly take the full brunt. Apple should really start low-cost financing of iPhones in poorer nations and that would get around most of those subsidy problems. Apple could easily afford to do such a thing although I’m not sure such a finance plan is easy to implement overseas. Because Apple has most of its money overseas, the money is there and waiting to be used. It would seem to be the perfect use of stagnant cash.

  3. Lets hope that Samsung end up as the Dell of smartphones doing something successful cheap first mover that ores can always do cheaper in the long run. To be fair they are much better in the high end than Dell ever were but that still makes them no better than HP surviving but no longer a cash cow.

  4. Aaaaaww poor iphonies with their small screens. No wonder Android is kicking your dull os. rear. Always complaining abt. everything Android stole, and now ios is copying windows skeuomorphism, just sad. You Iphonies are something else trying to bash Samsung, the largest smartphone seller in the world.

    1. It is easier for Samsung Kimchee stealing smartphone market shares because Kimchee does not spend time to bake the pies in the oven which Apple has done all the hard labor for Kimchee copied.
      The law must have some actions stopping the thieves.

    2. that’s okay men this GREEN dude is just GREEN in many ways – a little boy stuck up in his room wondering why he ever bought the plastic piece of crap Hemorrhoid of a samDUNG fragmented out of date turd because he thought a big screen would make him cool and he might (ya right) get laid or something , and the only way he thinks he can SAVE FACE is to try and find some reason for all his LAME moves by talking bad about Apple, the very company that if not for apple he’d be scratching out tiny messages like the one above on some Nokia razor and still not making any difference in the world!

    3. Oh, so you’re a big fan of thieves and liars? I guess Walmart employees can’t afford anything better, so they have to defend the crooks who give them free stuff.

    4. Just the truth Iphonys, complaining about plastic is just stupid and BTW I use a nexus 4, such a sweet device, just wanted it out there. Samsung is also suing Apple and they are winning. I don’t worship a company and I dont hate apple I just disagree with the way they have tackled the smartphone market. Currently Android has Ios beaten in every conceivable way. Keep using those cute lil’ tiny screens and enjoy your Boring o.s.

      1. “Keep using those cute lil’ tiny screens and enjoy your Boring o.s.”… This screen size infatuation you have, are you compensating for something or what?

        “Samsung is also suing Apple and they are winning.” Did Samsung ever stroke out that one billion dollar court awarded fine to Apple?

        “I just disagree with the way they have tackled the smartphone market. Currently Android has Ios beaten in every conceivable way.” Advice coming from an executive of a multi billion dollar business, employing tens of thousands around the world, making money for shareholders who knows how things are done correctly no less! I’m sorry Mr. Green, what was the name of your company?…

    5. Only 10% of all Android phones are the large screen variety. So in fact you are very much a minority and thus have ZERO bragging rights. If this is all yah got I pity you and your Android future. Love too how morally bankrupt people like you are perfectly OK with companies blatantly stealing from other companies if it suits your purposes. Your understanding is that of a 12 year old.

    1. It’s not skeuomorphism but rather anti-skeuomorphism, sorry this site didn’t allow me to edit once I had already published. Ios 7 has borrowed the “flat” look of the windows phone 8 os. Icons have been flattened and there is the general use of thin minimalistic text. I have no problem with apple copying but I take issue with the bashing of

  5. It may well be that Apple has lost its mobile edge and is heading for the dustbin of history, to be replaced by the likes of Samsung, Microsoft, Nokia, and Blackberry with their bold new offerings.

    While those companies were slow to gain traction initially, their increasing market share would seem to be inevitable now that smartphone characteristics once defined by Apple have become commoditized, i.e. available everywhere. That would marginalize Apple, confiscate its exclusivity.

    Numerous commentators, from hobbiest technology bloggers to prestigious journalists, have repeatedly emphasised that Apple’s culture of innovation has clearly been supplanted by a regime of timidity, stubbornly clinging to past glory and inept in execution, as if Bell Labs had been replaced by Gilligan’s Island.

    The stock market has come to parallel conclusions, judging from the drastic reduction in total market capitalization over the past year.

    The only fly in the ointment, as it were, is the suspicion held (if only privately in some quarters) that Apple, rather than being aloof in their geriatric state of denial, actually has another secret weapon, or ten, in their labs that would make fools of all of us.

    1. “Edges” are not lost based on 1 year periods of time. I would argue RIM lost its edge by waiting years to come to grips with the iPhone/iPad (as did Palm, MS, Dell, Nokia).

      If you are not inside of a development company, it is not apparent how many years goes into a new cutting edge product like the first iPhone.

      The typical development time at Apple for a new MacPro or an iPhone is now tending to be efficiency & power oriented improvements and it still takes more than a year or two to go through all the development to get to production.

      Apple knows it can not sit still in hardware development and I know for a fact that all their hardware development has been accelerating. Notes in the press mention the hiring of specialists in new areas.

      There is no way in heck, Apple is going to lay back and fire engineers and just coast. They know that to remain as a leader they MUST innovate on multiple levels. I see them doing that. Just because a competitor rushes a product out with one new feature doesn’t make Apple’s products obsolete. The smartphone game is not a sprint.

      I’m willing to bet that the next generation iPhone and the one after that will have a half dozen new innovations in them. And…(compared to copiers)…these new iPhones will still be servicable performers 4 years downstream running the next generations of OS and apps.

      My 3GS is back 4 generations and still runs the modern OS and runs its core functions just fine. How many Androids from that far back run the current Android OS and perform well, let alone considering issues of malware. Malware alone on Android makes it the Windows of the phone world.

      1. Looking back now in the archives, the attitude and statements of those companies you mention—all of them resting on their laurels, believing their own legends—seem even more incredibly negligent than they did at the time. It’s not even that people don’t easily spot a disruptive market force; as you point out, they continued to drag their feet until it was too late. Even Google saw what was happening and rushed to implement the new paradigm in their Android OS. But the rest of them, instead of changing direction as new competition loomed, unforgivably rested in a cocoon of denial. That’s bad corporate leadership.

        The “story” today, as I summarized above with a straight face, is that it’s Apple who is now the laggard. I believe that view is wrong, for the reasons you detail. Unlike the others, Apple already has the lean mean machine running and is sure to continue outdistancing them, even as it runs the race in its own good time and at its own disciplined pace.

  6. You do not need to be an soothsayer with an MBA or an “analyst” to see things will not end well for Samsung. They completely screwed the pooch by what they did to Apple, the one who was subsidizing them so completely. They rely too much on Google. Screwing people usually ends with the favor being returned.

    So in the next few years we will see Samsung on par with HTC, and Motorola via Google scoot Sammy out of the way of making of profits. This is all too plain to see …unless you work in Wall St of course..

  7. The fact is the world like to use American’s brand names from Apple, Coach, DKNY, Rauph Lauren, Guess, just to name a few. Wish that there are more MADE IN USA .

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