Is Apple About to Shame Samsung?

Together, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) and Samsung are taking over the smartphone world.

In the first quarter, the two gadget makers combined claimed 53.3% of the global smartphone market, with the South Korean conglomerate leading the way, thanks to its wide array of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) Android devices. Of course, the two companies are world-class frenemies. Samsung is a major supplier for Apple, and they remain embattled in an ever-escalating global patent warfare.

Apple’s not the only one with hostilities toward Sammy. Foxconn, one of Apple’s primary contract manufacturers, also dreams of bringing Samsung to its knees. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou recently said that its partnership with Japan’s Sharp would help it intensify competition with Samsung. Foxconn took a roughly 10% stake in Sharp for about $800 million in March, and Gou personally just acquired a 46.5% stake in one of Sharp’s LCD panel plants.

This particular plant is the only one in the world that can mass produce panels as large as 60-inches to 80-inches, adding further fuel to the speculation that it’s preparing to start working on the mythical Apple TV set.

Gou told China Times that he has a lifetime goal of defeating Samsung, a company he says has “a track record of snitching on its competitors.” Gou was referring to a panel price-fixing scandal involving four Taiwanese companies back in 2010, where Samsung was a whistleblower to the European Commission.

Samsung’s newest Galaxy flagship, the S III, has just launched to much anticipation, following up the successful Galaxy S II. Gou isn’t impressed, though. He says smartphone buyers should hold off and wait for the next-generation iPhone, which is expected in either September or October, adding that “The new model will put Samsung’s Galaxy III to shame.”

This year’s iPhone upgrade is widely expected to be a whopper, featuring 4G LTE data speeds, a redesigned form factor, and a larger display.

The good news is that we only have a couple more months before we find out.

The real question you have to ask yourself right now is: Should I buy or sell Apple? If you’re a believer that Apple will cross a trillion-dollar market cap, then the answer is easy. However, there are still some risks to keep an eye on that could threaten Apple’s ascent, and we’ve laid it all out for you right here. After you’re done there, you might want to check out 3 Dow stocks for dividend investors. This special free report lays out some heavyweights with sustainable business models that give it back to shareholders. It’s absolutely free.

Fool contributor Evan Niuowns shares of Apple, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Fool owns shares of Google. The Fool owns shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Google and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Read/Post Comments (4) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On June 21, 2012, at 8:21 PM, Risky88 wrote:

    He's not impressed with samsung yet.

    Well of course not

    he just said he wishes to bring it to its knees.

    I really dont know the point of this article

    it stated pretty much nothing

    just sayin

  • Report this Comment On June 22, 2012, at 2:41 AM, st0815 wrote:

    So Gou is trash-talking his competitors products, giving no information in which way their own would be better. That's a pretty lame statement.

    And he wants to defeat Samsung because they where a whistleblower when he was engaged in illegal price-fixing? I don't know whether Samsung necessarily behaves in a more ethical manner. However rather than blaming them, perhaps the lesson to learn here would be: stop breaking the law?

  • Report this Comment On June 22, 2012, at 8:18 AM, demodave wrote:

    Gou may be overstepping the bounds of his relationship with Apple slightly by saying "you should wait", but it's not like Apple is going to knock him too hard for that. But ST0815, you've got to be realistic: part of what Gou is being paid for is to not leak details of the product. Apple is very protective of its intellectual property, and that extends to design and features.

    Further, if you follow the patent litigation story at all (not the patent details, just the story), you will see that there is a tremendous amount of bickering between Samsung and Apple, and if you compare the products, I don't think you can realistically claim that Samsung hasn't attempted to copy the iPhone. Whether it actually crosses legal bounds there, I will freely admit that I don't know, but ti's not an easy position to defend.

  • Report this Comment On June 22, 2012, at 9:44 AM, onebadfishy wrote:

    Whatever happened to "as the apple turns?" Clearly there's a need...

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