The Fifth Horseman: Samsung

MG Siegler:

We all know the “four horsemen” of tech: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. These are the companies that pretty much everyone agrees will shape the foreseeable future of the tech sector. In some circles, that list makes waves for who is not included: Microsoft. But any rational thinker (meaning those outside of Redmond or anyone who hasn’t made a career as a .Net developer) knows that Microsoft simply no longer belongs on that list.

But that doesn’t mean the list is perfect. In fact, I do think there’s an omission that’s becoming a glaring one: Samsung.

There are only two companies making any profit in the mobile handset industry: Apple and Samsung. Would anyone a few years ago have expected Samsung to hold such a position? In some sense, what Apple has done is easier, or at least easier to understand: they have their own exclusive platform, iOS. Samsung has eked out a strong second place position selling a platform, Android, that was supposed to be a commodity. Why is Apple number one? Because they have a unique and superior exclusive offering. Why is Samsung so far ahead of HTC, Motorola, LG, et al? That’s a lot harder to understand.

Monday, 7 January 2013