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Smartphone market; a pit of snakes

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The smartphone market is vicious; a snake pit where everybody is out for themselves.

Somehow, Apple seems to have conspired with its obedient customer base to stonewall the industry’s strong room where the pearls and diamonds are.

Going by Canalys Q2, 2021 market share metric, Samsung tops the list with 19 percent. The Chinese Xiaomi trails with 17 percent. Apple is on third (14 percent), few scores above Oppo (10 percent) and Vivo (10 percent).

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Both Oppo and Vivo are owned by BBK. That gives BBK 20 percent market share. It depends on your grasp, BBK may as well be the real titleholder here.

Market share is only half the story. There is the revenue yardstick. Samsung raked in $55.4 billion revenue and $11 billion profit in Q2, 2021 (gsmarena). During the same period Apple recorded $89.6 billion revenue and $23.6 billion profit (Apple website).

Apple’s revenue went up by 34.9 percent. Samsung’s shred was four percent. This does not seem to correlate , or does it? Samsung sells more smartphones than Apple and should have correspondingly more turnover than Apple. This gives birth to an enigma.

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Unboxing the paradox; does Samsung sell as good apples as its ferocious competitor, Apple? The answer is unequivocally yes and no.

Samsung has the S-Series and Note premium smartphone trademarks to fight Apple’s flagship iPhone. It also has the Midrange to upper mid-range A-series to trounce the Oppo, Xiaomi, Vivo, Huawei, Realme, TLC, and other brands laying siege out there for the same dollars.

Over the years, Samsung has perfected the art of infusing beauty, art and technological prowess into its to-range smartphones. Admittedly, there have been more times than I care to remember when Samsung was on top of the game and iPhones were found wanting.

Much as that may be, Apples customers remained imperturbable. One astute tech journalist unpacked it much better than I ever could. “The real winner of the race for maximum profit, interoperability, usability, consistency, App Library, security and more is Apple.” (Alex Zaharov- Reutt, iTWire)

Apple makes money only in the premium zone. In business speak, it does not diversify; it intensifies. Because Apple owns both the hardware and software ecosystems, iPhones effortlessly talk to iPads, iMacs, Apple Watches and Apple TVs sharing TV shows, movies music and news. Apple is a cult.

The price of a Samsung premium smartphone is from $200 to 1,000 less that of iPhone (iTWire). Whatever Apple touches, it turns into sparkling diamonds; the Apple store with 2.2 million apps, generated $19 billion in Q3, 2020, trashing Google Play’s $10.3 billion from 3.8 million Android apps.

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