As a bona fide Mac-using, iPhone-toting, iPad-staring Apple watcher I’ve learned one thing about Apple. The company prefers to build products, hardware or software, that people actually use.
In the smartphone and tablet industries, there are three players in a two horse race. Apple on one side, Samsung on the other, and that other category commonly referred to as ‘other.’ That one is made up of Chinese plastic knockoff makers, Nokia, Android, Microsoft, BlackBerry, and anyone else still in business.
No, in smartphones and tablets, it’s really a two horse race between Apple and Samsung and their approach to the marketplace varies dramatically.
Both Apple and Samsung are highly profitable gadget makers, though Samsung ships nearly three times the number of smartphones as Apple to achieve roughly the same profits. Apple is content with the premium side of the marketplace, while Samsung owns the middle ground, and everyone else struggles for relevancy.
What’s interesting about all the numbers that are thrown around in smartphones and tablets is how much they vary. Except for those that don’t exist at all. Samsung does not list Galaxy sales. Neither does Google announce sales of their Nexus line, nor Amazon the Kindle’s latest numbers. Have you read how many Surface tablets Microsoft sold? Or how many Nokia Lumia smartphones with Windows Phone were sold?
No, of course not. Actual sales numbers would be embarrassing when compared to Apple’s numbers.
With the exception of Apple, most smartphone and tablet numbers are merely guesses by market researchers and analysts, so accuracy is subject to interpretation. The reality of numbers is this: Apple has a lock on the premium end of the smartphone and tablet market, and reigns completely supreme in usability of both product segments.
Apple can manufacture fewer devices than the collective competition yet walk away with the larger share of profits, and not worry about competitors stealing their highly satisfied customers.