Samsung Flails in Smartphone Wars as Apple Brags of App Store Billions
Updated by Endah
- By Marcus Wohlsen
Photo: Jim Merithew/WIRED
If Apple versus Samsung is anything like the cola wars of the 1980s, the Korean electronics giant is starting to look like Pepsi — a.k.a. the also-ran.
As Apple boasted of a record year for App Store sales, Samsung’s slide toward second-fiddle status accelerated today as the company reported its first dip in profits in more than two years, according to Bloomberg. Earnings fell to $7.8 billion, off nearly $655 million compared to the same time last year.
Samsung’s flagship phone, the Galaxy S4, is reportedly taking hits from both sides of the market. On the high end, the iPhone appears to be creaming the S4 in sales by tens of millions of units. On the low end, Samsung’s share of the rapidly growing Chinese market is being challenged by the spread of lower-priced phones. Apple’s agreement to start selling the iPhone through China’s largest mobile carrier likely won’t help.
Meanwhile, Apple is showing signs of securing its spot as the Coke-like standard bearer of smartphones. The company reports that users spent more than $10 billion in the App Store in 2013 — more than $1 billion in December alone. The presumably $3 billion cut Apple takes from those app sales is just a small chunk of the company’s overall annual revenue. But the sales figure, and even more the growth in those sales, shows just how good Apple is at locking users into its world.
To compete, Samsung has set its sights on bendability — phones and televisions that curve. It’s hard to imagine in the short-term how that becomes an iPhone killer. In the meantime, the company might want to at least find a better celebrity spokesperson.