In the fourth quarter of last year Apple smartphones outsold those of Samsung in a turning point that has reversed a three-year trend, reports Sue Chang for MarketWatch. Apple’s win is largely credited to its newest iPhone devices, including the iPhone 6 and the large-screen iPhone 6 Plus.
It’s a bit of an embarrassment for Samsung, as that company was one of the pioneers of the now-trendy large-screen style for smartphones, and Apple has essentially copied that idea with its new, wildly successful devices. Moreover, Apple has also taken an unprecedented share of the South Korean market, which is Samsung’s home turf. While Samsung remains at the top of that pyramid, it’s a worrying development for the company, and may have been a factor in the company’s decision to freeze worker wages.
Nevertheless, Samsung has a few causes for optimism. Its latest flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge, were quite well-received at the launch during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The company has also launched a mobile payment platform to compete against Apple Pay, and in that case it has a certain edge in its LoopPay technology, which will allow retailers to adopt it without having to upgrade their hardware. Of course, Apple is hard at work too with its own machinations, and the impending launch of the Apple Watch could present another serious challenge for Samsung. But Samsung has proven tenacious, and whatever happens, neither company will have an easy fight ahead of it.