Apple vs. Samsung and/or Google: Which of These Brands is 'Past Its Prime'?

Minyanville

When did public perception of Apple (AAPL) start morphing from "Greatest Company on Earth" to "Brand Past Its Prime?" At about the time that Samsung (SSNLF), founded in 1938, started looking like a hot young company.

Whatever the perceptions, the two are now locked in a race to the top of mobile technology sales for the all-important holiday season. A report just out from IDC says that Samsung and Apple are leading the competition for mobile technology so far in the holiday season. Samsung is first in market share, at 21.8%, but Apple is tops in value, at $34.1 billion in the third quarter. Both numbers are based on shipments, not sales.

[More from Minyanville: Tim Cook Won't Stop Dropping Hints About An Apple Television Set]

Reuters dates the beginning of the change in perceptions of both companies to three months ago. Its report says that Samsung has begun to shed its reputation as a mere "fast follower" to become a serious innovator in consumer technology. Meanwhile, Apple "has failed to deliver on a truly seminal product in years — the oft-rumored Apple TV remains a well-honed rumor." In both cases, the report makes clear, it's all about analyst perception, but that's what counts.

This being the technology industry, the reversal of players in defensive and offensive roles took only three months, Reuters figures. In that period, Apple stock dropped about $105 billion, or 18%. Samsung Electronics (005930) doesn't trade on US exchanges, but in South Korea, it's up about 15% in the same period.

[More from Minyanville: Analyst Says Nintendo's Wii U Will Sell Out Through March, But May Falter Afterward]

For US investors, Google (GOOG) is the surrogate for Samsung, as the source of the Android software that runs Samsung's flagship mobile products. Google's Android software now runs 75% of the world's mobile devices, with Samsung devices in the star role.

Nevertheless, Google stock has been treading water at best lately, with its stock price currently at about $684, around where it was three months ago, but down about $90 from its peak in late September. This despite some impressive fundamentals, including a projection for 27% growth in profits for fiscal 2013 from the current year.

Android is not, of course, the only iron Google has in the fire. Its latest effort at social networking, Google+, was widely derided by analysts. But it has now reached 500 million enrollments, making it "the fastest growing network thingy ever," according to the company's blog. Sure, that's still half Facebook's number, but it's only been 18 months since Google+ was introduced. And social networking is more business-critical to Google, which needs people signed on across all of its sites all of the time, for more effective delivery of advertising.

[More from Minyanville: Microsoft's Xbox 720 Exposed...Sort Of]

Of course, Apple could lob one new product on the market and instantaneously turn that perception around, as it did before, with the iPod in 2001. But for now, Apple is even getting some bad press, for the first time in more than a decade.

The latest evidence comes from Australia, where police issued a warning last week that drivers using the Apple Maps app on iOS6 devices to get to the city of Mildura were ending up 45 miles away in a remote scorched-earth corner of the outback. Apple has corrected the error.

And then there's the problem some Apple users have had getting Wi-Fi on an iOS6 device. Some users swear that stashing the device in the freezer for 10 or 20 minutes sometimes fixes the problem. No kidding — this tip is from ZDNet.

Just to make it a better story, Apple and Samsung are mortal enemies in a patent battle that continues to test the patience even of the federal judge overseeing it. "I've said this all along," said Judge Lucy Koh said last week. "I think it is time for global peace." The war is over patent rights related to smartphone and tablet design. Unusual weirdness applies here: Samsung supplies some parts for the Apple iPhone.

In the US, the Samsung brand has been well known only for about a decade, and only as an electronics company. At home in South Korea, it's a monolithic force with 79 subsidiaries spread across industries from construction to insurance and oil.

Rates

View Comments (1)

Recommended for You

  • Tycoon buys 30 Rolls-Royces for Macau hotel

    A Hong Kong tycoon has placed the biggest ever order for Rolls-Royce cars, agreeing to buy 30 Phantoms to chauffeur guests at a luxury resort he's building in the global gambling capital of Macau. Stephen Hung's $20 million purchase surpasses the 14 Phantoms bought by Hong Kong's Peninsula Hotel in…

    Associated Press
  • Our Best-Ever Value Plan for Your Business

    New prices on our Mobile Share Value Plans on the nation's most reliable 4G LTE network.

    AdChoicesAT&T® Small BusinessSponsored
  • Tycoon's arrest sends shock wave through Russia

    Tycoon's arrest sends shock wave through Russia MOSCOW (AP) — The arrest of a Russian telecoms and oil tycoon has sent shock waves through the country's business community, with some fearing a return to the dark days of a decade ago, when the Kremlin asserted its power by imprisoning the country's…

    Associated Press
  • Before You Buy Alibaba, Check Out 4 Top China Stocks

    Before You Buy Alibaba, Check Out 4 Top China Stocks While investors gear up for Alibaba Group 's (BABA) hotly anticipated initial public offering, don't forget about other Chinese stocks that are worth keeping an eye on. Today's Young Guns Screen of

    Investor's Business Daily
  • As Fed takes baby steps, Cramer's trick for profit

    In turn, Cramer says making money in the market, involves looking at the environment through the lens of the Fed. "The trick is to remember that they speak for the common person," Cramer said. "The Fed wants the common person to make money." With that backdrop always in mind, Cramer says it becomes…

    CNBC
  • "The Retiree Next Door": How successful retirees stretch their savings

    "The Retiree Next Door": How successful retirees stretch their savingsBy the time she hit her late 40s, Toni Eugenia wasn’t sure she would ever be able to retire. Eugenia, 56, a pharmacy technician who lived in Houston, was nearly $200,000 in debt and

    Yahoo Finance
  • CNBC Anchor Calls Out Fed-Hater Bill Fleckenstein In Startling Shouting Match

    CNBC Bill Fleckenstein of Fleckenstein Capital appeared on CNBC's Futures Now program on Tuesday. Futures Now host Jackie DeAngelis came out swinging, asking Fleckenstein right at the top if he was willing to admit that he had misunderstood monetary policy. Sounding taken aback, Fleckenstein…

    Business Insider
  • Costco Stores in Canada to Stop Taking American Express

    “The credit card relationship between American Express and Costco Wholesale Canada will not be renewed when it expires” on Dec. 31, the company said today in an e-mail to Canadian customers. The message was attributed to Lorelle Gilpin, vice president of marketing and membership for Costco…

    Bloomberg
  • Start a Family Tradition of Savings with USAA

    USAA auto insurance rates beat the competition 4 out of 5 times. When you switch to USAA you can save an average of $426 a year. Get a quote today.

    AdChoicesUSAASponsored
  • Play

    Citi, Bank of America Offer Discounted Mortgages

    Citigroup and Bank of America will offer mortgages at discounted interest rates to help borrowers with low incomes or subprime credit. AnnaMaria Andriotis joins MoneyBeat. Photo: Getty.

    WSJ Live
  • Beanie Babies creator's sentence debated in court

    Beanie Babies creator's sentence debated in court CHICAGO (AP) — Federal prosecutors seeking to put the billionaire creator of Beanie Babies in prison for hiding millions in Swiss bank accounts told appellate court judges Wednesday that the toymaker's sentence of probation threatens to erode the…

    Associated Press
  • Apple to unveil new iPads, operating system on Oct. 21 : report

    The company plans to unveil the sixth generation of its iPad and the third edition of the iPad mini, as well as its operating system OS X Yosemite, which has undergone a complete visual overhaul, the Internet news website said. Trudy Muller, a spokeswoman for Apple, declined to comment. The iPad is…

    Reuters
  • Gilead Stock Is Falling On These Drug Setbacks

    Gilead Stock Is Falling On These Drug Setbacks Gilead Sciences (GILD) shares are backsliding Wednesday on news that the patient drop-out rate for hepatitis C drug Sovaldi is quadruple that of clinical trials. In addition, the biotech's Phase 2 study results

    Investor's Business Daily
  • Margaritaville casino owners seek bankruptcy

    The owner of Biloxi's Margaritaville casino has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday, only hours before a hearing where the landlord aimed to seize the property. The filing by MVB Holding LLC in U.S. Don Dornan, a lawyer for landlord Clay Point LLC, said the company had planned to ask…

    Associated Press
  • Embraer to sell 50 E-175 jets to Republic in $2.1 billion deal

    Brazil's Embraer SA, the world's third largest commercial planemaker, said on Wednesday it booked a firm order from U.S. The deal, which will be included in Embraer's order book for the third quarter, is valued at $2.1 billion, the planemaker said in a securities filing. The planes will be operated…

    Reuters
  • Norwich Information Security MS

    Online, accredited, top ranked. NSA Center of Academic Excellence. Recognized by the Department of Homeland Security. Download your free brochure!

    AdChoicesNorwich UniversitySponsored
  • Play

    What the Fed Meeting Means for Bonds

    Janet Yellen & Co. are expected to hint at their timetable for raising interest rates. Here's how investors should prepare ahead of the meeting.

    WSJ Live
  • Here's What Mark Cuban Wishes He Knew About Money In His 20s

    Cuban is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team. Billionaire investor and entrepreneur Mark Cuban is generous with his advice. When we asked him what he wishes he'd known about money in his 20s, he said:

    Business Insider
  • SHOE COMPANY: Our CEO Just Disappeared And Most Of The Money Is Gone

    "and like that: he's gone." This is an actual headline from a company press release: "CEO and COO disappeared, most of the company's cash missing." (Via FastFT) In a statement, German-based shoe company Ultrasonic said its CFO,  Chi Kwong Clifford Chan, has been unable to reach the company's CEO,…

    Business Insider
  • Billionaire Investor Says Chinese People Work Harder And Western Companies Could Face Deep Trouble After Alibaba IPO

    Michael Moritz, the chairman of VC firm Sequoia Capital, is a huge fan of Chinese internet companies and reiterated his enthusiasm for the Chinese market in an interview with The Wall Street Journal Wednesday. The billionaire investor described the Alibaba IPO as a “major landmark event” that is as…

    Business Insider
  • Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AEP, BHP, GE, Incyte, 3M, Tyco, Under Armour and More

    Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AEP, BHP, GE, Incyte, 3M, Tyco, Under Armour and More Stocks were firm on Wednesday morning ahead of the FOMC meeting outcome. Tuesday’s rally may have sparked higher interest again, and investors are looking for bargains

    24/7 Wall St.
  • 6 Things Debt Collectors Wish You Knew

    The work debt collectors do is not popular, and has become increasingly derided by those who don’t like what we do or simply don’t know the facts about debt collection. Too often, debt collection is painted with a broad brush to create a portrait that isn’t accurate, and doesn’t properly educate…

    Credit.com
  • Master's Degree in Nursing

    CCNE accredited MS in nursing in as few as 18 months online. Learn more today!

    AdChoicesNorwich UniversitySponsored
  • Play

    Tues., Sept. 16: Watch Humana Stock

    Humana, Global X Social Media Index ETF and Majesco Entertainment are among stocks to watch. WSJ's Chris Dieterich discusses the details with Michael Casey. Photo: Humana

    WSJ Live