Both make mobile devices. Both are sales leaders worldwide. Both companies are profitable. Samsung’s mobile devices often copy Apple device designs, whereas Apple does not make component products for competitors. What about innovation?
Different Strokes, Folks
‘Innovation‘ is a cheap word and should not be allowed to be used advertising. Why not? The word innovation is devoid of meaning; it’s meaningless. It’s the same as ‘new‘ or ‘different‘ and useless for all but the most vain of manufacturers.
Why? Every company that does something different uses the same term. Innovation. As in, ‘We’re innovators.’ Or, ‘We’re the leaders in innovation.’
How about if technology gadget makers innovate by using a different word?
Samsung and Apple have similar and different styles of what is called innovation. As typically used, innovation simply means new features, new looks, new designs, or a new method of using or building a product.
So, almost any technology company that competes with Apple can lay claim to be an innovator. Yet, innovation comes in many flavors. There are incremental innovations; the regular improvements of a product or feature. And, there are disruptive innovations where a new product disrupts the standards in a product segment.
Samsung has curved TV screens, large smartphones and displays, and a string of self aggrandizing TV commercials which insult the intelligence of hundreds of millions of iPhone and iPad customers.
That means Samsung can lay claim to the innovation title for mudslingers.
On the other hand, Apple also engages in incremental innovations, but seems to have had much more success with disruptive innovations; products which change an entire industry. Apple II, Mac, Apple Store, iPod, iTunes Music Store, iPhone, iTunes App Store, iPad.
How does that string of product hits compare to Samsung’s revolutionary disruptive innovations?
Samsung’s idea of innovation is to sling mud against the wall, call it innovation, and hope something sticks. Apparently not much is sticking in the smartphone and tablet industry because the mudslinging continues as Samsung rolls out dozens of products in a bewildering array of sizes, capabilities, and prices.
If there is one area where Samsung is the clear, unchallenged leader– other than hubris– it’s in screen sizes. No one has more devices with larger screens than Samsung. Large screen sizes are to Samsung executives as large shoes are to NBA basketball players.