The strange relationship between Samsung and Apple

While I had my own reasons to jump from the good old iPhone to Samsung Galaxy S; a week of using the Galaxy S has made me question the eerie similarity between the products of these two companies. A little research and questioning helped me figure out the complicated relationship between Samsung and Apple. I love the iPhone. And its supremacy is unparalleled. But, when I compare the iPhone to a Galaxy S especially in the Indian market scenario – an equally competitive case emerges. While this is not a post that seeks to compare both these devices, I would just like to share here the similarities between the products of these two companies and as a result – the complicated relationship these companies share with each other in the global market place.

Fact 1 – Samsung makes important components for Apple including its memory chips and displays. Till date it is the lone supplier of Apple’s A4 chip and experts in the semiconductor business say that most likely they will make A5 also for Apple. One will ask why does Apple give Samsung its chip business? Can’t Samsung use these on their own products? You can find the answer here.

Fact 2 – Samsung is also one of the world’s largest makers of technology components and according to experts it can rival Intel in size. Samsung accounts for about 40 percent of the type of flash memory that goes into smartphones and tablets – making it the largest supplier. With regard to the A4 chip that Apple proudly showcases, it was Samsung’s engineers who crafted the main brain of the chip

Fact 3 – Samsung has also in many ways become dependent on Apple’s orders. While it competes with Apple on various product categories, it can’t do much to change the situation.

On the basis of these facts, I would like to ask a few questions. How long will this symbiotic and parasitic relationship between Apple and Samsung continue? Can symbiotic and parasitic relationships between two giant corporations last long enough? When does these relationships reach a tipping point?

It also raises interesting questions between the relationship of these two giants with regard to competition. They exist because of competition and maybe they will perish because of competition. What are your thoughts?


~ by rb on March 20, 2011.

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