Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) are waging a global war for smartphone market share, and the numbers show that the world prefers Samsung, while Americans prefer Apple. So what’s behind this anomaly?
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) are duking it out in the smartphone popularity contest all over the world. Every day it seems like there’s a new survey indicating that one or the other is on top. Counterpoint Technology Market Research found that Apple has 70 percent of the global smartphone profit, while Samsung has 25 percent.
COMSCORE, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCOR) found in the three months ending in November 2012 that Samsung held most of the world’s mobile market share. But what’s important about all of these surveys is that you read the details behind them. Apple’s raking in the profits, which certainly reflects the fact that the company charges a higher average selling price for its iPhones. Samsung, on the other hand, also produces some low-end Android devices, so its profits could be lower, even though some stories, like this report in ReadWrite Mobile, indicate that Android holds 75 percent of the global market share.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) actually beat out Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) as the largest U.S. mobile phone vendor and smartphone vendor during the fourth quarter of 2012. Strategy Analytics reports that this is the first time Apple became the largest mobile phone vendor in the nation. It’s important to note the difference here: smartphones, versus just mobile phones in general.
Research from Kantar’s Worldpanel ComTech found earlier this month that Apple’s smartphone market share in the U.S. stood at 51.2 percent in the 12 weeks ending Dec. 23, compared with Android phones at 44.2 percent. In short, Apple holds more than half of the U.S. market share for smartphones, but only 15 percent of the global market share. Meanwhile Android has just over 40 percent of the U.S. market share for smartphones, compared to 75 percent of the global market share.
So why are Americans so taken with Apple, while the world prefers Samsung?
ReadWrite Mobile suggests that part of the answer may be because Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is an American company, while Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) is not. Also Apple and Samsung have been waging a patent war against each other all over the world, and here in the U.S., Apple tends to make Samsung look like a technology thief.
And then there’s the topic of the price of the phones. Android does sell some models that are less expensive than the iPhone, so Apple likes to paint Android users as buying their phones because they are “cheap.”
So is it all about marketing? It very well could be. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) does an excellent job of making itself look good and painting a bad picture of the competition. But will marketing and public opinion always be the key to America’s love? Only time will tell.