Every time a new Apple product comes onto the market, there’s immediately a massive amount of hype that surrounds it. Before long, anybody who’s anybody has the latest and greatest Apple has to offer. Whether it be the Apple AirPods, the Apple Watch, the MacBook Air, or some other new and exciting piece of technology, Apple is a tech titan that has long been known for the quality and the efficiency of its products. But what about the other guys? Tech companies like Samsung, for example? Apple might have all the eyes, but is it possible that Samsung could actually be the one making better products? Let’s explore the key points of the Apple vs Samsung debate below.
Samsung is a brand name that carries just as much recognition as Apple. From their phones to their televisions, from their appliances to their projectors, Samsung differs from Apple for the sheer number of technological industries it has its hands on. Is this just a classic case of quantity over quality, or does Samsung stand a chance against Apple? By looking at these two companies and examining the pros and cons of their product design, their average prices, their typical performance, and the strength of their products’ security, we can begin to assess who should come out on top in the Apple vs Samsung debate.
|Founded:||April 1st, 1976||March 1st, 1938|
|Founder(s):||Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ronald Wayne||Lee Byung-chul|
|Headquarters:||Cupertino, California||Seoul, South Korea|
|Number of Stores:||500+||5|
|Popular Products:||iPhone, iPad, MacBook, AirPods||Samsung Galaxy, Samsung Fridge, Samsung Sound Bar, Samsung Notebook|
|Revenue:||$365 billion (2021)||$244 trillion (2021)|
|Net Worth:||$63 billion (2021)||$500 billion (2021)|
|Number of Employees:||150,000+||287,000+|
Both Apple and Samsung have their own respective smartphones, and both companies have seen a great amount of success with them. For Apple, it’s the ever-popular iPhone. For Samsung, it’s the trusted Samsung Galaxy. The divide between Apple and Android might as well be as wide and as deep as the Grand Canyon (not unlike the split between Mac and PC fans, really.) This is because of the sheer number of differences between the two companies. Take their price, for instance: Apple iPhones hover around a thousand-dollar price tag, while Samsung Galaxy phones are much more budget-friendly.
Beyond this, Apple tends to be much more careful and much more deliberate with its new products. You can expect to see a new iPhone from Apple just once a year, while Samsung is almost constantly updating its large selection of smartphones. This is an important distinction between the two companies: Apple draws in new customers by capitalizing on anticipation and hype, while Samsung draws in customers by capitalizing on the release of the latest and greatest updates and features.
Beyond the differences that exist between their phones, prices, and features, there’s something else to consider: Apple operates in a much more specific, much more selective way than Samsung does. Samsung products and services run the gamut from clothes to cars to chemicals to construction to financing to hospitality and everything in between. Consumer electronics are only a small part of Samsung’s big picture. Alternatively, consumer electronics are currently the only part of Apple’s business model. They’re a tech company through and through, while Samsung is more appropriately referred to as a multinational manufacturing conglomerate.
- Samsung’s construction division built the tallest building in the world: the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai, measuring nearly 2,750 feet.
- For decades, Samsung only existed as a grocer that offered noodles and produce. Their first electronic product came into existence in 1970, more than 30 years after the company was founded.
- Over 90% of the parts that go into Samsung products are manufactured in-house.
- Apple is so successful that the company presently has more cash on hand than the U.S. government.
- Interestingly enough, Samsung actually manufactures the Retina Display technology for Apple products.
Apple first originated as the Apple Computer Company back on April 1st, 1976. Many assume Steve Jobs was the only mastermind behind the tech giant. In reality, co-founders Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne played just as big — if not an even larger — part as Jobs in the early success of Apple. The three formed the Apple Computer Company as a way to properly manufacture and sell computers and products. Their first? The Apple I, a personal computer from the mind of Wozniak. By 1977, the three had lost Wayne and incorporated under a new name: Apple Computer, Inc. This change coincided with the release of their next big computer: the Apple II. It didn’t take long for this new technology to become a colossal bestseller.
By 1980, Apple had gone public. The financial success they had seen so far only soared higher from there. The company soon became known the world over for innovative product design, great performance, and revolutionary graphics. It’s a reputation that continues to this day. But, in 1985, not long after the release of the iconic Macintosh, things weren’t as sunny as they are now. The enormous budget required for Apple’s product design coupled with the competition between Jobs and his executives led to nothing but trouble for the company. Wozniak left, then Jobs did, too.
Now, without any of its three founders, Apple was seemingly lost at sea. Its market share plummeted in the face of increased competition throughout the 1990s. By 1997, the company saw no other choice. It was time to buy Steve Jobs’s new company, NeXT, and bring him and his one-of-a-kind product design back into the fold. Over the next ten years, Jobs led his first company back to the hallowed grounds it once stood firmly upon. This was primarily thanks to the release of the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad. By the time of Jobs’s death in 2011, new CEO Tim Cook was prepared to continue his predecessor’s legacy of thinking differently.
Today, there are few brands with more loyal followers than Apple. The first publicly traded company in America to reach a three-trillion-dollar valuation, Apple sees nowhere to go but higher up. The company has its pros and cons, to be sure. Still, its products’ dependable performance and trustworthy security measures cement its status as one of the most valuable brands in the world.
How Samsung Competes
While Apple and Samsung have always existed alongside one another in the tech sphere, Samsung predates Apple by nearly 40 years. However, it was Apple who became the company to beat with the release of the iPhone in 2007. Samsung debuted its answer to the tech giant’s bestseller in 2010 with the release of the Galaxy family of smartphones. Reportedly, then-CEO Steve Jobs was not happy with Samsung for trying to compete so closely with them. The fight was officially on, but how could Samsung possibly compete with such a popular and trusted company?
The key is in the cash: Samsung has a much higher net worth (and, in effect, a much higher budget). This means that Samsung can afford to make far more mistakes than Apple can. You can see this in the almost frantic way Samsung releases new products. There’s an almost constant stream of new and exciting technology coming out of Samsung’s smartphone division (among other areas of the company.) This means that even the most loyal Apple users feel a temptation to make the switch to Samsung on occasion. Because Apple is known for taking its time with new products, the sheer number and frequency of new products coming out of Samsung prove to be its greatest weapon.
There are obvious pros and cons to this strategy. The bottom line is that Samsung’s net worth never seems to take too bad of a hit if a product doesn’t perform as well as it’d hoped. Apple simply doesn’t have that kind of money, making this strategy Samsung’s greatest advantage.
When all is said and done, Samsung might make more products with greater innovations and more frequent release dates, but Apple is the company making better products. It’s the age-old debate: Quantity or quality? Samsung always seems to be the first to put a new product out, but Apple — without fail — is the one to make that new technology the best it can be. This isn’t just a theory, either. You can see it in the way smartphone sales have shifted as of late.
For the past five-plus years, Samsung has been the leader of the pack in terms of the total number of smartphones sold. However, in 2021, something remarkable happened: Apple sold more smartphones than Samsung. A lot more, as a matter of fact. Over 15 million more. Sure, Samsung might have more to the company than just electronics. And yes, their smartphones might go for lower price tags. However, Apple has proven again and again that their products and their high prices are worth it to have a better product. It seems consumers would rather rest easy in the security of an Apple product than take a risk with a less-than-optimal Samsung one.