Few technology giants have as complex a relationship as Apple and Samsung. Both are hardware companies, but only Apple is a customer to the other. Samsung makes hardware that Apple buys. Those beautiful OLED displays in the iPhone X line? Samsung Inside.
Samsung makes far more hardware and components than Apple, and the Samsung Galaxy smartphone line is an example of where Apple is defeated easily by the Korean conglomerate. Samsung controls almost every component is many of the company’s smartphones, and that enables the Galaxy maker to manufacture what Apple cannot.
A mid-range smartphone. What does that mean?
Apple’s mid-range smartphones are old iPhones. iPhone 7 and iPhone 8. That’s what Apple calls mid-range but Samsung has a few dozen smartphone models that cover both ends and the middle of the spectrum; cheap, expensive, and mid-range.
One of the premier guesstimators for product marketshare is Canalys which released numbers for the European smartphone market. Guess who was on top? Samsung. The Chinese government’s preferred maker, Huawei, dropped like a rock but still came in second place.
Apple finished in third place, down 17-percent from the previous year. How did Samsung grow its marketshare? Inexpensive mid-range smartphones; where Apple cannot compete.
Granted, these are guesstimates, and marketshare is the worst of the major metrics that businesses and analysts use to determine how well a company is doing (revenue growth and profits are far more important metrics; where Apple tends to dominate).
Even as a major hardware maker, Samsung does not make as much profit in smartphones as Apple, but the company remains far more diversified than the iPhone maker. Relatively speaking, Apple has a handful of premium products which extract the most profits from each market segment. Samsung is a huge conglomerate which competes in many other markets.
Think of the differences in focus. Apple is highly focused. Samsung is not.