Samsung has given up trying to top Apple from its perch as the profit-owning premium brand, and is content with licking up the crumbs at the bottom of the smartphone market.
The Galaxy S5 tells the tale. Though Samsung stuffs in plenty of hardware specifications (more RAM, quad-core CPU, micro-USB 3.0, add-on SD card storage), the new S5 still follows Apple’s lead, and in some cases isn’t even playing catchup.
The GS5 has a fingerprint sensor that unlocks the phone and lets you buy products online. That’s much like Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the iPhone 5s which lets you buy products online. The GS5 has a health app which can take your pulse (heart rate) by putting a fingertip over the camera lens. That works much like the half dozen free apps on the iPhone App Store which do the same thing.
Outside of a few gimmicks here and there (I like the waterproofing, though), the GS5 is still a 32-bit CPU using a 32-bit Android OS, already a year behind Apple’s 64-bit A7 CPU and 64-bit iOS 7 and 64-bit apps.
In other words, Samsung is struggling to keep up with Apple in the marketplace. Yes, Samsung sells more phones than Apple, but the vast majority are cheaper Android-based smartphone knockoffs with little profit margin. The Galaxy S line doesn’t sell as many as Apple does iPhones, and Samsung’s profits are much less, too.
The problem here is that Samsung’s overall strategy isn’t working out too well. The company pitches itself as an innovator, a leader in the premium space (apparently where most of the smartphone profits are), but the public isn’t buying it, and Apple’s iPhone profits are nearly three times that of the Korean copycat.
Samsung is caught between the premium end of the market and the low-to-mid-range segment where competitors sell smartphones with similar features and functions at a lower price point. Samsung is being squeezed, and appears to be content to gobble up Apple’s crumbs before other competitors.