High-end US smartphone buyers 5x more likely to pick Apple over Samsung

US smartphone shoppers seeking a high-end device are around five times more likely to buy an Apple iPhone in preference to a comparable Samsung device, Samsung suggested today.


[ABOVE: An iPhone 5C.]

The only widget that really matters is the whole widget

This confirms the value of Apple's "whole widget" approach, which enables it to set the bar for what you can expect from a smartphone -- the iPhone 5S beats all available Android devices in benchmark scores, for example.

Samsung's overall market share is skewed by sales of millions of low power Android devices not one of which can be considered an iPhone competitor.

"In a meeting with concerned investors on Wednesday, the head of Samsung Mobile revealed numbers illustrating that the company sold fewer high end smartphones than Apple this year, and that only about a third of the company's total 'smartphone' shipments are of a class really comparable to the iPhone." (AppleInsider claim referring to local report from Samsung meeting)

If you take the statistic that just one in three Samsung smartphone sales are in a class that truly competes with the iPhone and then consider recent Q3 Comscore data you'll see it suggests Apple sold around five times as many high end smartphones in the US as Samsung sold its own top of the range devices in the quarter preceding launch of new iPhones.

  • In September 2013 40.6 percent of smartphone subscribers were on Apple devices.
  • Samsung took 24.9 percent.

Inconvenient truths

However, Samsung's own admission that only a third of its device sales are of a class "comparable" to iPhone would change would divide its 24.9 percent share thus:

  • 8.3 percent iPhone competitors
  • 16.6 percent low-end devices

If you then compare the 8.3 percent figure suggested by Samsung this morning with Apple's 40.6 percent, then it is easy to conclude Apple sold around five times as many high end smartphones in the US as Samsung.

This is all the more remarkable when you consider the new iPhone 5S and 5C were available only briefly during Q3. Apple remains the world's leading manufacturer of high-end smartphones. While it doesn't dominate the overall market it does remain the premium brand in its class.

This terrifying disparity is confirmed by the collapse of Galaxy S4 sales shortly after launch, which ETNews defined as partially caused by the company's "low-end sales strategy" toward market share dominance.

The latest iPhones also evidence the inherent advantage of Apple's control of components, hardware and software to deliver devices that beat Android in every benchmark test, according to PhoneArena. Not one Android phone is faster than the iPhone.

The conclusion appears to be that US consumers seeking a great smartphone experience are around five times more likely to choose an iPhone in preference to a comparable Samsung device.

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