As much as the technorati elite like to think that Google’s Android dominates Apple’s iOS devices, Google isn’t even a major money player in the smartphone and tablet industry. It’s Apple vs. Samsung; the only two truly profitable mobile device manufacturers. Can you guess what Apple has that Samsung has not copied?
You Can’t Copy Love
The Lord knows that Samsung has tried desperately to paint itself and a slew of mobile devices as the new Apple, the innovator and leader of the next great thing.
Reality bites, though, and Samsung has failed to generate Apple’s famed profit levels, despite spending as much as 10 times more than Apple marketing the Samsung brand.
Hey, plastic just doesn’t cut it as the premium feel-good element of a smartphone or tablet. That cachet belongs to Apple.
So does, apparently, the all important, much sought after customer loyalty and brand retention. Samsung hasn’t figured out how to capture Apple’s customer loyalty or brand.
Apple has sold over 500-million iPhones, and the vast majority of those customers were and are well satisfied with their purchases. Samsung spent millions on TV commercials trying to paint iPhone owners as stupid sheep.
Sure, that’s a good way to get an iPhone owner to jump from quality and durability to cheaper plastic.
A recent survey of thousands of smartphone owners listed Apple’s brand retention leading the pack at 76-percent. All other smartphone brands, other than Samsung, failed to crack 40-percent. Samsung came in at 58-percent.
See? It’s a two horse race, and Google is not one of the horses. Samsung has failed to capture Apple’s loyal customers, but not for lack of trying.
More recent Samsung Galaxy (smartphone and tablet) TV commercials are more subtle and highlight feature differences between Samsung’s products vs. iPhone, Surface tablet, Kindle readers.
This is exactly what Samsung must do to loosen Apple’s grip on customer loyalty; subtle differences compared over time. Samsung must present their smartphones as having more functionality while costing a little bit less. That’s no mean feat, even for a company notorious for stealing intellectual property and creating copies of successful products.
What Samsung saves on research and development by copying Apple’s every move can be spent in advertising and promotions to win over the few customers not quite so satisfied with Apple’s ecosystem.