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Essay: Is Apple or Samsung more successful?

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  • Subject area(s): Business essays
  • Reading time: 6 minutes
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  • Published: 15 February 2022*
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  • Words: 1,772 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 8 (approx)
  • Tags: Apple essays

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My aim is to use statistics and empirical evidence to see if Apple is actually the most successful company between the two as a whole. Looking at the technology of the two companies that has led to market share levels e.t.c but also what people’s perception are and evaluate which company is run better.

The course of study relates to my area of future study, as I’m looking to study business at university-possibly business management. By carrying out this research it will show me a template of how two of the world’s biggest companies became successful. It will allow me to see in detail how the businesses are run to ensure they remain successful and how they’ve maintained a brand and customer loyalty. It will act as a physical case study that allows me to put all my knowledge that I’ve learnt studying business into a real business situation. Furthermore, if I was to go on to run my own business, Apple and Samsung will have shown me how to transfer an idea into a successful business.

Founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniask, Apple has transformed not only the world of technology but the world as we know it. Although their early creations of the Macintosh and especially the Apple 11 computer that would go on ‘to take the world by storm,’ it was the 2007 creation of the iphone that elevated Apple onto a new scale of success that would make them known across the world. Since then Apple has gone on to be the most valuable brand in Forbes brand list and become a trillion dollar company and gone from strength to strength.

Samsung was founded by Lee Byung-chull in 1938, but it wasn’t until 1969 that it became Samsung electronics. It was the production of black and white tv’s for the domestic market and washing machine and refrigerator production in 1972 and 74 that made Samsung a household name. By the 1980’s they had produced over 10 million tv’s (over 100 million by 2000), were expanding into the global market and sales had exceeded 1 trillion sales. With an increasing focus on technology Samsung became a ‘leader in digital and network technologies with its steady concentration on electronics and finances.’ Samsung only started competing directly with Apple in 2010 with the launch of the galaxy smartphone series. ’With the success of its electronics business, Samsung has been recognised globally as an industry leader in technology and now ranks as a top 10 global brand ranking as high as number 6.’

The majority of my research will be secondary research to provide me with an insight into why these two companies are so successful. I will do this by looking at articles and information on the internet that detail the company’s journeys to success i.e. how did they begin, what was their breakthrough product that changed the market for ever, their milestones of success, what they’re worth on the stock market e.t.c? The internet will provide me with case studies such as how successful recent products once were and if the companies are continuing to grow. As well as reading business journals from people in business that offer their opinion as to who they think is more successful backed up with statistical evidence. Furthermore, I will use books detailing what allowed them to grow and their journey to success, that will give me an insight into what sets the two companies apart and why they’ve remained so successful. Moreover ‘swot analysis’ will give me a conclusion if the two businesses as a whole, their strengths weaknesses e.t.c. As well as finding out who sells more phones and technology e.t.c and in what countries and areas of the market.

My primary research will be a questionnaire, that offers me a different perspective of success not just one based on market share e.t.c. These opinions will then be backed up with the research to ensure that it’s not based on biased opinions and ensures the essay remains factual and not just based on opinions. When carrying out the questionnaire I’m going to ask the opinion of people from various demographics e.g. teenagers, under 30 as it will allow me to see lots of different perspectives and ensures the essay is not biased. In the questionnaire I would be asking questions like: Who do you think is more successful, who do you think has the most products, who do you think has the biggest market share?

I analysed every source I found using the CRAAP test and recorded this on the last column of my source table; assessing the currency, relevance, accuracy, academic authority and purpose of each source.

In my survey of 100 people Apple is perceived to have a bigger market share in technology by 89% of people. ‘In the fourth quarter of 2019, 20 percent of all smartphones sold worldwide were an Apple iPhone.’ This is a higher percentage than previous quarters by a somewhat significant amount, that was brought on by the new iPhone and the fact that it’s Christmas time-a peak time for sales. This represented 52.1% of Apple’s revenue, which suggests that despite Apple trying to expand their product range and their success, the iPhone remains the most successful. Just from the sale of iPhone’s a revenue of 33.36bn was generated. However, both Apple and Samsung have grown their presence in the market and despite the perception that Apple has the greatest market share, it’s Samsung that has held the highest market share of 20 to 30 percent since 2012.’ Whilst Apple is its closest competitor it hasn’t yet matched Samsung’s 317 million smartphones worldwide in 2017, with 216 million. Apple are continuing to grow though, as sales were up from 170 million in 2014.

It’s possible that Apple is perceived to be more successful, as the people surveyed are only accounting from their experience of the UK market where the iPhone is the superior product, shown by the fact that in my survey 68% of people said they had an iPhone compared to 23% Samsung galaxy and 9% other. Just last year in the UK

7.1 million iPhones were sold, which although was down 300,000 from the previous year still allowed Apple to have a 49.24 market share compared to Samsung’s 29.46% ;globally Samsung still has the edge with smartphones. However globally china and India are the no.1 and 2 leading countries for sales of smartphones with 390.8 and 151.9 million over the full 2019 year. This allows Samsung to have more sales globally.

The reason for Samsung having the edge globally could be down to perhaps the perception of some that they produce superior phones, but is probably more likely down to Samsung having a cheaper range of new phones. Whilst both of the two companies released a range of phones for 2018 Apple’s were all of a similar high end price range. Compared to Samsung who offer a range of price tiers as shown by this article comparing the two company’s smartphone ranges ‘Samsung’s Galaxy range is a (slightly) less painful purchase. The top-tier Samsung S10+ (£899 at launch) came in at £250 cheaper than its Apple equivalent. The cheapest S10 on offer (£669) was close in price to the older-generation Apple iPhone 8 at first launch. You’ll also find a range of Samsung phones outside the top tier. Mid-range models such as the Samsung Galaxy A9 and budget phones such as the Samsung Galaxy J4+ may not have cutting-edge features, but you can still find impressively large displays and high-spec camera setups that are more common on premium models.”

Like Apple have done with their iPad range, Samsung offers a range of phones to appeal to the different price points of consumers.

However it’s not just the smartphone industry that Apple dominates in the UK (and globally for tablets), in fact it has even more of a dominance in the tablet market with 73.36 to Samsung’s 9.98%.. A reason for this is perhaps because of the various models Apple sells, for example the iPad pro, iPad mini and the iPad air. Allowing Apple to access various price points and potential customers. They’re able to offer a cheaper alternative to desktops and laptops, whilst accessing a whole new market that has come from the ever growing technological world. Their iPads are also designed with different customers in mind, allowing them to segment the market. Although Samsung have now also some-what expanded their tablet range and gained some grand in the industry, most see them as a cheap alternative or they’re already an invested Samsung user. The range is also far less well known as opposed to the iPad range that has a very high status in the tech world. Apple’s early dominance in the market has allowed them to continue to grow their brand loyalty and since the range has been so successful many have continued to buy their latest iPads.

Although the tablet industry as a whole is expected to decrease, since 2010 Apple has sold around 415 million units worldwide and in the fourth quarter alone in 2017 sold 13.2 million iPads, compared to Samsung’s 25 million tablets in 2017 as a whole.

Somewhat surprisingly in my survey AirPods were perceived to be Apple’s most successful product in 2019 with 30% and then 5% saying Apple watches. This could be because they’re currently the ‘trendy’ in-product to have amongst the under 30 demographic. Shown by the fact that 86 people aged between the ages 16-20 and a minority aged 30-60 thought that Apple was the most popular in their age demographic. The hype around them has continued to grow and grow (especially for AirPods) and it’s not uncommon to see people with these two products. They’re seen as quality products, because of Apple’s reliable reputation and brand status, and allows Apple to grow their brand loyalty even further, as if you were to use AirPods on a Samsung you would lose certain features, so this could be seen as a factor for customers.

Whereas with Apple watches you can’t easily pair the two without engineering it, further reinforcing Apple’s dominance and the better brand. Apple’s dominance of the headphone market share over Samsung is shown by the fact that they’re ‘the world leading player in global Headphone market with the market share of 15.31%, in terms of revenue (although this does include Beats.)’

When asked in my survey 82% of people saw Apple as the most popular brand, compared to only 18% for Samsung. This perception is backed up in the UK with their much larger market share, but not globally as previously mentioned.


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