Why can’t Samsung beat Apple?

Samsung has thousands of products (real), while Apple has a handful of products. Still, Apple is one of the most valuable companies in the world, while Samsung isn’t.

So why can’t Samsung beat Apple? Because Samsung lacks focus and vision. Apple hardware and software engineering is better than Samsung, and Apple has better product quality control. Moreover, Apple targets the premium market, focuses on customers, which Samsung does not comprehend.

Let’s elaborate.

We often see that people get emotional while comparing Samsung and Apple. Some people love Samsung while vehemently denying all of Apple’s achievements; others who support Apple would say Samsung is a copycat. 

We can argue all day regarding who innovates more. But all it matters who is making a better product and, in the process, making the most money.

We have seen numerous times; people call Apple users by names. According to them, Apple users don’t know better; that’s why they buy Apple products. However, over the years, our experience is; there’s no Apple products alternative. In this article, we will discuss elaborately and show why Samsung can’t beat Apple.

Samsung vs. Apple product lineup:

Comparisons between Apple vs. Samsung is not all about the iPhone vs. Galaxy phones. Both companies have numerous products, especially Samsung. 

Samsung is a conglomerate. It is way bigger than we know. Samsung is a group of 8 subsidiaries. These subsidiaries are:

  • Samsung Electronics
  • Samsung Engineering
  • Samsung C&T Corporation
  • Samsung Heavy Industries
  • Samsung SDS
  • Samsung Life Insurance
  • Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance
  • Cheil Worldwide

These 8 Samsung subsidiaries have over 80 types of business worldwide.

Among all these subsidiaries, Samsung Electronics makes mobile phones, displays, processors, TV, fridge, microwave oven, printers, chips, solid-state drives, DSLR cameras, monitors, laptops, washing machines, dishwashers, grinders, and many other products.

Samsung Construction and Trading (C&T) Corporation does construction all around the world. For example, Samsung C&T constructed the world-famous Burj Khalifa, Taipei 101, and Petronas Towers. They also control many theme parks in South Korea.

Samsung Techwin makes K9 Thunder mobile artillery, K1 88 Main Battle Tank, and other war equipment.

Samsung also makes medical devices, has an insurance business, chemical plant, seaports, fashion brands, shipbuilding business, advertising business, and many other things.

Therefore, Samsung isn’t just an electronics company that makes phones as many of us know it to be. Instead, it’s a conglomerate of various organizations working together. Samsung is like a Swiss Army Knife in the world of business.

Apple focuses on a few products:

Apple is not a conglomerate, nor it has more than 80 types of business. Apple makes a handful of products such as the iPhone, iMac, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, TV, and Apple app store.

iPhone vs. Samsung Galaxy phones:

From the previous discussion, it is evident that there’s no easy way to compare Samsung vs. Apple. However, if we focus on a specific product from both companies, it will explain why Samsung can’t beat Apple.

We will compare the design philosophy, software, marketing, company focus, corporate culture, etc., of iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phones to pinpoint the company differences. This discussion will give us all the answers.

Apple is more focused:

The iPhone has less than 10% market share but makes more than 80% profit in the phone market worldwide. Samsung and other phone manufacturers share the rest 20% profit.

As we can see, while Samsung tries to enter into as many businesses as it can, Apple is only interested in the premium market, where the majority of the money is.

Apple once tried to sell a cheap iPhone. The iPhone SE. However, from Apple’s perspective, iPhone SE was a failure. That’s why later, they discontinued the iPhone SE lineup.

Though both Samsung and Apple are publicly traded companies, Apple is more focused on maximizing shareholders’ profit than Samsung.

The majority of the world’s wealthy people live in the US, Canada, Europe, and China. Therefore Apple only targets these demographic customers. Whereas the African and Indian subcontinent may have many people, very wealthy individuals in those areas are not abundant. Therefore, Apple does not focus on selling its products in these countries.

It does not matter how many iPhones, iMac, or Apple watch they sold; what matters most is the profit. Apple does not care about market share; they only care about maximizing revenue and profit.

On the other hand, Samsung makes countless phones ranging from $100 to $2,000 for every market segment. 

Here’s a critical observation, the $100 phone requires almost the same R&D and manufacturing prowess as the $2,000 phone. Therefore, Samsung executives and engineers can’t focus on a single product long enough to make it perfect.

On the contrary, Apple releases only a few phones yearly for a few markets. As a result, Apple is more focused on their product, enabling them to make excellent products.

Apple is a perfectionist:

Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, was a perfectionist. His DNA is running through Apple’s corporate culture. Steve Jobs trained his executives to be like him. Therefore, though Jobs is no longer here still, Apple makes the best products money can buy.

Here are two simple examples.

Note 7 and Original Galaxy Fold. Both of these Samsung products were engineering failures. Note 7 caused countless fires worldwide, and the original Galaxy Fold screen failed after several folding actions. Both times Samsung recalled all of their products.

You will never see such half baked products from Apple. Since day one, Apple made the best phones money can buy. 

While Apple used metal and glass for their phone’s body, Samsung used plastics in its premium Galaxy phones until a few years ago. Samsung never realized performance and beautiful product design go hand in hand. It indirectly shows how much Samsung lags behind Apple in understanding the market.

Apple designs the best processors:

Apple and Samsung both design processors. Samsung makes the Exynos processor, and Apple makes the A and M series processor. 

However, on various reports, we have seen that the Exynos chip is way inferior to Snapdragon processors. It’s more power-hungry and performs poorly. On the contrary, on multiple benchmarks, we have seen that Apple’s A-series chip performs way better than Snapdragon processors, and the M-series chips blow away the best Intel processors on the market. 

It shows Apple has an engineering advantage over Samsung.

Apple is a Software powerhouse:

Apple is a software company. They make the best software in the world and are not interested in manufacturing at all. Apple makes both the iPhones iOS and Mac’s operating systems. 

Samsung is a hardware company. Hardware manufacturing is its power. In short, Samsung manufactures while Apple outsources its manufacturing.

Apple can purchase Samsung’s hardware, such as display and memory card, but Samsung can never purchase Apple software. Apple will never sell its mobile OS — iOS. 

Every Samsung phone has a heating problem. For example, if you play games, watch HD videos, browse, or even talk for a long time, the Samsung phone will overheat. Sometimes, these phones become so hot that holding them becomes impossible.

However, an Apple phone will never overheat. It does not matter how long you play video games; iPhones will never get hot.

Moreover, the iPhone has a smaller battery than Samsung Galaxy phones; still, the iPhone has better battery life.

It proves how optimized iOS is compared to Samsung phones OS.

It’s not something new. Before the smartphone era, when Nokia and Samsung used to make feature phones, Nokia’s OS was far superior to Samsung’s OS in performance.

Previously, Samsung tried to make Bada and Tizen OS. Both failed.

Therefore, Samsung will always lag behind Apple in software engineering.

Apple understands customer need:

Buying an Apple phone or Samsung phone is not an issue at all. However, if we need to service an iPhone, we can take it to an Apple store to fix it. For Samsung, it’s much harder to find a Samsung service center.

It feels like Samsung abandons its customer after any purchase while Apple does not.

Here’s another example.

If you buy an iPhone, Apple will provide countless software updates for more than 60 months. Samsung never gives software updates for more than 36 months. Moreover, Samsung only gives 1 to 2 updates in these 36 months.

It shows, while Apple cares about its customer, Samsung does not.

Apple has the best developer support:

Samsung is terrible at software. Everyone knows how easy and straightforward the process to develop software for Apple’s product is. On the contrary, software development for Samsung products is a nightmare.

We will give you two examples.

When Samsung came out with its Tizen TV and Tizen phone, we wanted to develop apps for those. 

Installing development software was easy. However, connecting the TV with the Tizen development platform was a horror show. Sometimes, it worked, sometimes it did not.

The Tizen phone was another circus. We could develop apps for Tizen phones either in HTML or using the c programming language. However, HTML apps on Tizen phones were laggy. On the other hand, designing a useful UI for Tizen apps was more challenging than going to the moon. Similarly, the Samsung Pen SDK is useless.

Samsung not only fails to design better software for users, but it also fails to provide a better SDK for developers. 

On the contrary, Apple is on the opposite side of the spectrum. Developing apps for Apple products is seamless and easy.

Apple’s customer satisfaction is higher:

Apple ships every iPhone with only the required apps. A user can also delete those pre-installed system apps. 

However, Samsung is the king of bloatware. Every Samsung Galaxy phone comes with countless unnecessary third-party apps, such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. On top of this, a user can’t uninstall these system apps. These apps not only use precious system memory; it also slows down a phone.  

Over the decade, Samsung phone users voiced their dissatisfaction over this, but Samsung never listens.

It shows how insensitive Samsung is to existing customers. 

Shopping experience:

Apple’s one of the best innovations is its in-store shopping experience. If you walk into an Apple store, it would instantly give you a luxurious experience. Steve Jobs knew how important it is for brand image, and that’s why he made all Apple stores this way. 

Here’s another example. Tesla, the world’s leading electric car manufacturer, has numerous showrooms in high-end shopping malls. Not only are Tesla cars premium, but these premium showrooms also boost Tesla’s image. 

On the other hand, throughout the world, there are only a handful of genuine Samsung stores. You either have to go to BestBuy or at a carrier store (Verizon, T-mobile) to buy a Samsung phone in the US. 

Apple makes excellent products and knows how to give a better shopping experience, which Samsung does not even understand.

Innovation:

Everyone relates Apple to innovation — retina display, 64-bit mobile processors, LiDAR, FaceID, Apple Pay, fingerprint sensor, fast M processor, etc. Not only this, they do everything better than their competitors. Whenever Apple comes out with hardware and software, it just works.

Samsung had a bad reputation. When they first started to make the Galaxy phone series, they copied Apple. That resulted in numerous lawsuits between Apple and Samsung worldwide. Samsung now wants to show that they are not a copycat company, rather an innovative company.

Yes, Samsung does innovate in various sectors, but it does need to force itself to show the world that they are innovative. Moreover, Samsung has a quality control issue. For example, Note 7, Galaxy Fold, Samsung Watch, Bada, Tizen, etc., are a few examples.

Even a 48 months old iPhone performs smoothly. However, a 36 months old Samsung Galaxy would choke to run apps. It all boils down to the respective mobile operating system, iOS vs. Android. However, Samsung’s poor optimization makes Android terrible for Galaxy phones. 

Therefore, though Samsung does a lot of innovation, they are not great at it.

First does not mean you are the best:

Apple does not race to be first. It lets other companies spend time on R&D and early market development before swooping in and improving everything. 

For example — the iPod — the first breakthrough product came out years after the Sony Walkman during Jobs’ second stint as CEO. Apple did not make an imitator product. Apple worked diligently with record labels and created a small, sleek-looking replacement. 

When the iPhone came out, Blackberry was dominating the phone market. Apple came out with the iPhone and changed the entire cell phone industry. 

After the iPhone, Apple came out with the iPad, a replacement for netbooks.

Samsung hardly came out with any product that changed an entire industry and set new trends.

Conclusion:

From its target marketing, research, and product design, Apple is a much more focused company than Samsung. 

We can summarize that Apple is a better hardware and software integrator, makes easy to use products.

We can summarize that Samsung is a company that lacks proper focus and vision, has quality control issues, make products that have performance issues, and its products fit and finish sometimes miss the mark.

It’s why Samsung can’t and will not beat Apple.

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