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Anecdotes on Samsung and Apple: It’s Lightest Before Dusk

by David Mercer | Dec 24, 2013

If you want the definitive Strategy Analytics predictions on tablet and smartphone futures you should of course examine the forecasts from our respective industry experts. So the health warning comes up front: what follows is based on recent comments from my personal family and friends and may not bear any relation to what eventually happens in the market as a whole.

First, the teenage view on smartphones. This is not good news for Samsung. The word on the street is that there is significant dissatisfaction with Samsung’s recent devices, notably the S3 Mini, which have shown alarming tendencies to crash and require re-setting all too frequently. The good news, as far as Nokia and Microsoft are concerned, is that a teenage girl of my lifelong acquaintance started using a Nokia Lumia 720 for the first time a few weeks ago and simply loves it, finding it superior in nearly every way to the Samsung device she was using previously and, significantly, unconcerned with the supposed paucity of apps on the Windows platform.

Second, a friend a generation removed who has used Apple devices devotedly for a decade or more, was quoted as saying he would love to “get away from Apple”, citing the incompatibility of old and new versions of Numbers as an example of where the company has gone wrong. The one thing stopping him right now is iTunes and the impossibility of accessing his music from other platforms. I couldn’t help notice his interest in the availability of Samsung’s 7” Tab 3 at £89 from a major UK retailer.

All of which is just to say that today’s leaders cannot rest on their laurels, however strong their positions are today. It may seem like the Samsung v. Apple story will dominate all things smart for many years to come but the greater probability is that we are at the peak of this two-way mega-battle. Each company faces its own set of challenges and, however likely it may seem at the end of 2013, competitors are waiting in the wings to take their place as soon as the slightest opening appears.

I’ll be examining our new ConsumerMetrix survey data closely to see if any of these anecdotes are evident across the wider market. Best wishes in the meantime for a restful holiday.

David Mercer

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