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Few would dispute that Apple changed the way we think of mobile with innovations like the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. Sleek cool design, a fantastic mobile operating system. Even a cult of personality in Steve Jobs.
Image courtesy of Apple.com
Then along came Android…the copycat. The upstart. Where Apple was sleek and proprietary, Android was open source and customizable. Many companies jumped on the Android bus to try and take a bite out of the mobile apple.
Apple’s competitors are shooting to be bigger and better, and maybe they’re getting there quicker than we all think.
The sales numbers don’t lie. Apple’s biggest mobile competitor is Samsung. Samsung’s Galaxy devices are widely considered the best Android devices on the market, and Samsung is getting more and more synonymous with Android, according to a recent CNN article.
Image courtesy of Samsung.com
Samsung’s worked hard to market it’s Galaxy line, offer itself up as the cooler alternative to Apple, and offer features Apple doesn’t make available on its devices. Samsung is also quicker to offer software updates that push automatically to devices running Google’s Android OS.
Recent Apple launches haven’t had the bang that Apple product launches have had in the past, or the new features. Apple users often have to wait years for iOS upgrades, and sometimes new features just don’t work on older devices. In a lot of way’s Apple’s closed nature is alienating.
Apple and Samsung have been embroiled in a legal battle over copycatting and copyright infringement. Apple has not been able to prove that sales have been damaged by imitators, a double edged sword for them.
Now, Apple and Samsung have worked together on the past, and even have a tenuous business relationship right now. Back in 2005, Apple needed a reliable supplier of flash memory. Apple needed flash memory chips for products like the iPod shuffle, iPod nano, and the iPhone. The companies scratched each other’s backs for a while, and certainly gained some insideish info on one another, each contests.
The iPhone and iPad were huge successes, and changed the mobile market. Samsung was…inspired, and in 2011 released the Galaxy Tab, which many at Apple saw as an iPad copycat. Apple files suit, but was stabbed by the aforementioned double edged sword. Apple’s profits were so astronomical, they weren’t able to prove that Samsung had damaged sales by copying Apple products.
Interestingly, looking at Apple and Samsung is like looking at…apples and oranges. Apple has one smart phone, and four high end product lines with little variation. Samsung has more than 30 phone products, with multiple price points and variations, as well as a myriad of other product segments.
According to CNBC, ‘Samsung’s fourth-quarter net profit rose 76 percent to $6.6 billion, as ‘solid sales’ of the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 helped boost results.’ Apple, on the other hand hasn’t fared as well as of late–’Since the iPhone 5 went on sale on Sept. 21, Apple shares have taken a sharp downturn, falling more than 35 percent…’
In the long run, it’s hard to count Apple out, but for now Samsung seems to have the upper hand. Apple has its intense fans, and will continue to have its fans. Samsung, however seems to be the not so little scrapper, patterned with Google Android, continuing to chip away at the Apple mobile market.
So what do you think? Apple or Samsung? Who wins? Who SHOULD win?
Is there room for BOTH, since they offer so many different products and options? I think there is…
Bill Clinton! TVs! Flexible phones! Bright lights! Touch screens! Pretty pictures!
There were a lot of standout booths and announcements at CES 2013, but Samsung truly stood out, not only with the booths that ruled them all, but with an array of interesting products and announcements that ran the tech gamut as well. Samsung promised a “goal of creating new experiences for all, through its deep understanding of consumers’ lives and its relentless pursuit of discovery,” and to basically create new “more human” ways for people and devices to interact.
Samsung’s new products have a focus in the television, smart appliance, connected cameras, and mobile arenas.
Samsung Electronics booth.
Samsung Electronics booth
Samsung previewed a prototype phone with a flexible display. The flexible phone is made with super-thin plastic, and now glass, making it bendable. Samsung also previewed a curved phone. The only possible drawback was that, at least in the prototype, the processor was contained in a separate unit…still working out the details perhaps. The prototypes also ran on Windows 8, and not Android.
In the TV realm, Samsung offers a full line up of larger screen Ultra High Definition TV (UHD TV) TVs. Samsung introduced the F8000 LED TV, featuring a quad-core processor. With an ultra-thin profile, a quarter inch thick bezel and a half moon shaped Arc stand, the F8000 comes in sizes up to 75 inches. Samsung is the first TV brand to offer support for the new high compression video codec, HEVC. HEVC delivers double the video quality over the same bandwidth.
Samsung is making smarter TVs as well. Using their S-Recommendation with Voice Interaction technology, you can get more control over your TV viewing, and discover the content you’re interested in watching, or new content you might like. S-Recommendation can analyze a viewing history and the program schedule and create a personalized menu of content, for each viewer in your home. Coupled with the Voice Interaction features, you’ll be able to speak to your TV and ask for program suggestions or intelligently search for dialed in content.
Of course all this TV interactivity can sync to your Samsung phones and tablets! You’ll be able to organize is all with Samsung’s Smart Hub.
Samsung wants to not only connect your TV, but make your home more convenient and efficient as well. Samsung previewed Android connected and customizable refrigerators, larger capacity washing machines, and ranges and ovens with more features than ever, with other common household appliances integrated.
The Samsung T9000 refrigerator
Samsung has the photo buffs covered as well, improving their Smart Camera offerings. The NX300 offers exceptional image quality, speed, and control, and works with Samsung’s 2D/3D lens, the first such offering for a consumer camera. A Hybrid Auto Focus (AF) system offers improved image focus, even with continued shooting. The NX300 also features a tilt display, allowing images to be easily taken from any angle.
Samsung previewed new PCs at CES as well. The Series 7 Chronos promises a thinner and lighter form factor, accelerated performance, and a Full HD touch-point display, all in a sleek cool design. The Samsung Series 7 Ultra Notebook is ultra slim and light, with a full aluminum body, eight hour battery life, Full HD and touch screen, and runs on Windows 8.
Samsung also wants to help improve your personal and work device integration. Samsung launched its Samsung For Enterprise (SaFE) program, which will establish standards to help IT departments decide which mobile devices are safe to integrate at work. Of course, Samsung devices will weigh heavily on the list, starting with the SAFE branded Galaxy S III.
Samsung showcased its AllShare technology as well, allowing you to share across all of your devices, offering seamless connectivity amongst your Samsung devices.
Samsung’s been working on a lot of this technology for years. In size, scope, and offerings, Samsung truly stood out at CES 2013? The future looks interesting at least for Samsung, even if they are still working the bugs out on some of the upcoming products!
What do you think? Ready for smarter appliances? MORE integration? What’s next?
Images courtesy of Samsung.com.