This article was originally posted on January 14, 2020. It has been updated to reflect our most recent TraQline data
Summer is quickly fading and we’re starting to see ads for all the latest technology a student might need for the start of a new schoolyear. While not a student, I have been eagerly perusing sales information as I plan out my next big purchase. However, in my home we have reached an impasse. We are a house divided. On the one hand, I tend to favor Apple products. On the other, my spouse gravitates towards Samsung tech. In the spirit of friendly competition, I decided to revisit TraQline’s data about how these two top tech companies compare to one another. Read below to see what TraQline has to say about Apple vs Samsung.
The Leaders at the Top
The consumer electronics category seems to be expanding each day…whereas it used to be just TVs and headphones; we saw scores of TVs, health and fitness products, and even appliances at this year’s all digital CES. At the core of CE products there are computers, laptops, smartphones, televisions, and audio/video products—this largely encompasses the products we’ll be focused on. The current leader in this core Consumer Electronics (CE) category overall are Samsung at almost 11 percent and Apple at just above 10 percent market share. Sony takes third with 10 percent of the share as well. While Apple, Samsung, and Sony do battle for the lead, HP and LG round out the top five with 7 percent and 5 percent, respectively.
Having established that Samsung and Apple are currently at the top of the category, we examined specific overlapping categories for each of the two companies—in this case, smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
Apple vs Samsung: Smartphone Market Share
While Apple and Samsung both have variances in their product mix, their most fierce head to head competition is for smartphone market share. Apple takes first place for smartphones: 43 percent of US consumers reported purchasing Apple branded smartphones in the last year vs 29 percent purchasing Samsung (Source: TraQline, 4QE June 2021). Among consumers gravitating towards Apple branded products in general, we see that the majority are purchasing smartphones, making approximately 40 percent of their product mix. On the other hand, smartphones make up only about 20 percent of Samsung’s product mix, with televisions – a product not currently made by Apple – making up an additional 26 percent.
Apple vs Samsung: Tablet Market Share
Additionally, Apple holds a large percentage of the overall tablet market, with 35 percent. Samsung makes a smaller dent, with 16 percent. In terms of how tablets contribute to each brand’s mix of products, tablets make up 17 percent of Apple’s overall product mix, and 6 percent of Samsung’s product mix (Source: TraQline 4QE June 2021).
Apple vs Samsung: Laptop Market Share
Samsung’s laptops make up just under 2 percent of their CE product mix. The brand ahs 3 percent of the overall laptop market. Apple’s laptops win 20 percent of the market share and make up 17 percent of their product mix (Source: TraQline 4QE June 2021).
The Global Market shows there’s more to the story
You may look at all this information and be tempted to proclaim Apple’s superiority over Samsung. However, the global market tells a more nuanced story. On the international stage, Samsung ships more smartphones than any other manufacturer. While Apple held second place last quarter, Xiaomi has risen up the ranks and took second for Q2 2021 shipments. Additionally, Samsung manufactures CE products such as TVs, Blu-ray players, and home theater products that Apple does not. This has a significant impact on their overall CE market share – for instance, Samsung’s share in TV is nearly 27 percent of the entire US market. Beyond CE, Samsung also makes major appliances, adding to their brand’s overall share in the United States.
Both of these top CE brands are clear winners in their own right. As we discussed previously, while Apple is still the go-to for smartphones and tablets, the brand doesn’t manufacture other CE products like TVs, which gives Samsung room to capture overall share. As technology continues to change and evolve at high speeds, consumers seem poised to continue their obsession with these top two brands.