For years Apple has reigned as the top of mind brand when it comes to mobile phones, technology accessories and laptops. Their constant innovation and development has inspired consumers and created brand loyalty, the highest tear of the hierarchy of effects, which examines objectives from consumer perspectives. The company has excellent brand awareness and brand equity, which results in consumers being willing to pay more for Apple products. Samsung has thrown a spanner in the works for Apple; however, with its new Galaxy Flip technology.
What is the Galaxy Z Flip Phone?
Samsung has identified a gap in their competitor’s offerings. Apple iPhones have continued to increase in size since they were first introduced. Whilst this has produced bigger and better screens, it has also created inconvenience for some consumers due to the sheer bulk and size. The Galaxy Z Flip phone has overcome this problem by generating a phone that can be folded in half. This allows for a large screen but can also become more compact so it can fit in the pocket of its user. The foldable display has created new functional benefits for consumers that Apple has not previously offered. Samsung has labelled it ‘the largest breakthrough since the introduction of the mobile phone’. Although this claim is a bit of a reach, there is no doubting that the product has catered to a gap in the current market with Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Flip. Other features include that users can take hands-free selfies by folding the phone to sit upright on a flat surface.
How Popular is Samsung?
Contrary to popular belief, Samsung is actually the leader in the smartphone vendor industry globally. As of 2018, Samsung comprised 20 per cent of the market share in regards to smartphones. Apple was the second biggest company in the smartphone industry. In 2018, Samsung sold over $213 billion worth of phones and accessories, and Apple sold approximately $171 billion worth. Apple overall is a much more profitable company. In the final quarter alone of 2019, the firm made over $60 billion in profit. Samsung has a market capitalisation of around $154 billion, which is roughly a quarter of the size of Apple’s market capitalisation.
Has All of the Feedback Been Positive?
Following previous issues with the Galaxy Fold, many consumers are hesitant about the new upgraded release of the Galaxy Flip. When the Galaxy Fold was released, many review units broke within one or two days of reviewers having them. This happened because many removed a protective layer of the screen that appeared to be a removable protective feature. Samsung failed to warn the reviewers that it was, in fact, part of the display screen. The pattern of foldable phones malfunctioning and breaking has created concern surrounding the quality of foldable phone technology. The launch of the Galaxy Z Flip has been more positive than that of the previous launch with issues surrounding the durability and quality of the phone being corrected of earlier mistakes.
Has Apple Created the Ultimate Brand Loyalty?
Although Samsung is the leading vendor in the smartphone industry, Apple has unbelievable consumer brand loyalty. The marketing model of Apple is to encourage Android users to swap to iPhones. Apple has generated brand equity, meaning consumers are willing to pay more for their products due to the symbolic benefits it poses through conveying a certain level of status. Apple has also used proactive public relations marketing, so if a consumer does encounter an issue, it is perceived as a ‘one-off’ instance. Studies conducted have shown that 90.5% of consumers who already have an iPhone are likely to purchase another when they decide to upgrade. This is higher than Samsung, who had 86% of customers likely to repurchase from them when upgrading. It is safe to say that although Samsung has a substantial consumer segment within the smartphone market, Apple also has a strong customer base. Their purchasers, however, are of a different target segment.
Bad Press for Apple
Apple is not exempt from faulty launches and bad press. Like Samsung, their iPhone 11 Pro launch saw some bad reviews when it was revealed that the smartphones emitted more than twice the level of radiation deemed to be safe by the Federal Communications Commission (FFC). Radiofrequency levels in electronics have caused concern that frequent exposure can cause medical issues related to radiation and even cancer. While it is considered safe at low levels, regulations have been put in place to protect consumers from levels of radiofrequency energy that are deemed unsafe. Testing for radiation levels emitted from smartphones by the FFC was criticised for the level of inaccuracy following independent studies carried out by a lab in California. While no legal action has been taken against Apple, it has caused concern in the minds of some customers.
It can be concluded that both Samsung and Apple hold strong positions within the smartphone market. While Apple targets a more niche consumer segment that values symbolic attributes and luxury, Samsung caters to the masses with higher affordability. Both Apple and Samsung are continuously seeking to improve product offerings for their customers and provide them with the best and most up to date technology.
The brands have worked unceasingly to create products for gaps in the market, which can improve the functionality of mobile phones for users. This includes better screen quality, higher storage levels, better cameras, and more convenient size and weight. While both Apple and Samsung are competing for market share and profits, the main focus is to cater to their existing customer’s needs and wants.
Through focusing on the consumer rather than the competition, firms will ultimately encounter greater success. Both Apple and Samsung should continue to find potential openings within the market in order to create additional offerings that will enhance overall brand equity. It can be said that both companies have formed excellent business models and should continue their innovative research and development programs to succeed further in the future.