[Photo Credit: The Turkey Tribune]
Last week, Apple’s Q1 2013 financials were put on display. The financials told consumers, that, while Apple managed to rake in $13.1 billion in profit and $54.4 billion in revenue for Q1 2013, the company’s stock continued to take a dive in the wrong direction. While many Apple supporters and tech analysts believe that the numbers do not lie, they also believe that Apple is going through a tough time at the moment. Apple, they say, will rise again. “Just give Apple time,” is all that is said.
If the numbers are discouraging, consumer preference surveys do not help Apple’s case. Retail stores have entered into the spotlight, promoting Samsung’s products far ahead of Apple products. A study conducted by Informa Telecoms and Media shows that UK retailers favor Samsung over Apple, 3 to 1. Mystery shoppers were appointed by the Informa group and sent to the top eight retailers. Informa was most surprised in its consumer survey by the promotion of Samsung over Apple, even though Apple had the most recent product launch:
“…most surprising was the way that, despite an in-store advertising campaign and recent product launch, Apple was recommended in only two stores, 3 and Phones 4U, with both recommending the iPhone 5” (British retailers pushing Samsung phones rather than recommending the iPhone).
Informa Telecoms and Media surveyed the top eight UK retailers for its results. The eight retailers that Informa surveyed are the following:
- PC World
- Phones 4U
- Carphone Warehouse
- Everything Everywhere
- John Lewis
Informa believes that these top UK retailers have been overpromoting Samsung phones (mostly the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2) because they “likely see the Samsung devices as a safe bet to earn greater commissions,” according to iMore. However, it is also very likely that these retailers promoted Samsung heavily because consumers were buying more Samsung devices than they were Apple devices. The UK is one place where the Apple stock situation makes sense when you consider the number of individuals that are more interested in buying Samsung devices (and Android) than Apple and iOS.
Samsung fever is spreading across the Asian continent as well. In Singapore and Hong Kong, Apple’s popularity has declined significantly. StatCounter, an Internet application that measures website traffic for three million websites, recorded the drop in iPhone and iPad usage in both cities. In Singapore, iOS usage declined from 72% to 50% from 2012 to now. In the same period of time (one year), Android usage has increased from 20 to 43% (two-fold increase). The results from Hong Kong are even worse than Singapore’s: within the last year, iOS usage decreased from 45 to 30% (down 15% from 2012). On the streets, both Hong Kong and Singapore have preferences that match their consumer surveys. Whereas iPhones once reigned supreme in both cities, the situation has flipped in favor of Samsung phones today.
These statistics are significant when you consider that both cities are major players in the thriving nature of the Eastern continent. Singapore and Hong Kong determine changing trends, so it is extremely likely that all of Asia will follow in these two cities’ footsteps. What has made Samsung so popular is not only the company’s products that appeal to every age group and financial situation ($80-$300), but also the rising popularity of Android and Samsung. Samsung’s Galaxy line has been a huge hit overseas, and many now find Apple’s iOS to be humdrum and boring. Twenty-five-year-old Hong Kong advertising executive Janet Chan says that while she has an iPhone 5, she is tempted to purchase a Galaxy S3. “After Steve Jobs died, it seems the element of surprise in product launches isn’t that great anymore,” she said (In Asia’s trend-setting cities, iPhone fatigue sets in).
Samsung’s winning strategy against Apple consists of humorous commercials, advertising “how-tos,” and an excellent product that boasts the latest technology on the market. Apple will only unravel Samsung’s success when the company invests more of its billions into research and development. If the company does not take risks soon, it could end up “falling from the tree.”