In the long running battle between Apple and Samsung for control of the mass mobile market, Apple has lost considerable ground over the past year. Samsung phones and tablets have enjoyed tremendous commercial success over the past year, whereas Apple seems to have hit a plateau with its product—and its fanbase. But just how much ground has really been lost by Apple—and how can they hope to gain an edge over the competition in the future? Read on to find out.
Apple vs. Samsung Market Shares at a Glance
Figures from Q1 2013 have shown that Samsung is making steady gains in the global smartphone market. Forbes cited a report from Juniper Research earlier this spring that stated Samsung shipped an estimated 68 million smartphones in Q1, which accounts for roughly 34% of all shipments made that quarter. Apple, by contrast, shipped only 37.4 million units in Q1 2013.
According to The Wall Street Journal, what this means is that Samsung managed to snag its highest-ever share of the market, up from 29% to 33% in Q1. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Apple’s market share decreased from 23% to 18%, giving Samsung the clear upper hand. The article also noted that Apple saw its first year-on-year quarterly earnings decline for the first time in a decade, plummeting some 18% from Q1 2012.
That global trend is being reflected here in Asia. According to an article in Reuters that figures from StatCounter Apple’s market share has fallen from 72% to 50% in Singapore and from 45% to 30% in Hong Kong, while Samsung has seen an increase in both markets. In addition to revealing similar trends, all three articles seemed to agree that Samsung smartphones and tablets have been quick to gain ground worldwide because of their lower price tags and user-friendly operating systems.
With Q1 2013 showing weakening global market shares for Apple, many are wondering how the company can make a comeback with its next generation of smartphones and tablets. After much anticipation, we got our first glimpse of the new iOS 7, OS X Mavericks operating system last month, when Apple unveiled it at WWDC 2013. The new iOS 7 is a major overhaul from iOS 6—something that could be a very welcome change for Apple users, as it boasts a flatter, more modern design and lots of new features. But analysts are quick to point out that many of these features—quick multi-tasking, Wi-Fi direct transfers, notification centers, just to name a few—are already available to Android users, making the iOS 7 update feel more like a game of catch up and a cutting-edge operating system. The new iOS 7 update also includes anti-theft features and a more intelligent, multi-lingual Siri, but these innovations may not be enough to catapult Apple ahead of the competition. Some have suggested that if Apple is really going to win the war with Samsung with its next generation of smartphones and tablets, it’s going to have to introduce a yet-to-be seen “wow” factor. Only time will tell.