The DashBurst Blog

INFOGRAPHIC: Could Samsung Ever Take Down Apple?

As of 2012, Apple and Samsung are the only two mobile companies in existence that actually turned a profit on smartphones. Apple and Samsung basically split 100% of all the profits in the smartphone market! And the fued didn’t stop there with a highly publicized legal spat over patent claims. Courts eventually decided overwhelmingly in favor of Apple’s patent claims against Samsung, awarding the company $1.05 billion in damages, yet more legal battles have continued on between the tech moguls ever since. So after that milestone victory and the overall popularity of the iPhone, you would think Apple pretty much solidified themselves as the top smartphone company right? Well, lets take a look at the numbers to see how it all really breaks down between Apple vs. Samsung.

Revenue & Employees

Recently we studied how to best measure the efficiency of a social network, which was broken down in terms of users and profit per employee. In 2012, it was actually Samsung that had the larger revenue of $183.5 billion compared to $156.5 billion generated by Apple. And Samsung also has more employees than Apple, which is practically at a 2 to 1 advantage in Samsung’s favor (220,000 vs 115,000 employees for Apple).

Research & Advertising Spending

Samsung also has a significantly larger research and advertising budget than Apple. Samsung spends $10.5 billion on research and development, almost 3 times the $3.4 billion spent by Apple. Samsung also has a 3 to 1 edge in advertising spend ($3 billion vs $950 million).


In 2012, Apple’s profit was 43% greater than Samsung’s though. In Q4 of 2012, for every dollar spent on a smarthhone, Apple received the most profit:

  • Apple got 43 cents
  • Samsung 36 cents
  • Nokia 7 cents
  • All other phones: 14 cents


    In Q3 of 2012, Samsung sold more phones:

  • Samsung shipped 66.1 million phones (21.8%)
  • Apple shipped 45.8 million phones (15.1%)
    Samsung’s number of shipments also grew more in 2012:

  • 2011-2012 Shipment growth Samsung: 97.5%
  • 2011-2012 Shipment growth Apple: 38.3%

    But the most telling story of all?

    In 2012, Apple ranked first for smartphone brand loyalty, but in 2013 Samsung finally took their place. Despite Apple’s current lead in profit margin, Samsung is selling more phones and growing at a faster rate! Also most Samsung devices are powered by the Android OS, which has taken over with a 65% market share of worldwide smartphones sales at the end of 2012 (compared to just a 20% share for Apple’s iOS).

    Some Apple fanboys may look to form a mob over this statement, but the question isn’t really could Samsung ever take Apple down, it’s has Samsung already done so?