Is Apple About to Copy Samsung for a Change?

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) and Samsung couldn't be farther apart when it comes to product strategy. One embodies product depth while the other fully embraces product breadth. Combined with copying Apple, Samsung has quite successfully leveraged its diverse product portfolio to become the No. 1 smartphone vendor in the world.

But all that might be changing.

Broadening horizons
Investors are already expecting Apple to release affordable iPhone models this year, along with potentially a larger iPhone next year. Reuters is reporting some possible new details on those plans, saying that Apple is taking "a cue" from its South Korean rival.

One segment that Samsung has seen notable success in has been phablets, while Apple has opted to sit out on that growing niche thus far. Apple is now reportedly testing out larger iPhones with a range of possibilities, from 4.7-inch displays all the way up to 5.7-inch displays. The iPhone maker is known to change product specs "almost to the final moment," so nothing is set in stone.

Apple bucked the trend toward larger devices last year when it modestly increased the iPhone 5 display to 4 inches, positioning the device's one-handed use as a selling point. Still, in recent interviews Tim Cook has acknowledged that there is a growing segment of the market that prefers larger smartphones, hinting that Apple would one day address those users. Cook also wants to address various trade-offs in quality first.

The move down-market into the mid-range segment is expected this year. That model should also come in up to six different colors. The company is reportedly entertaining a $99 price point. While not specified in the report, that price would only be achievable if subsidized, since Apple can't profitably produce an iPhone that retails for $99. The unsubsidized price, which would apply in various emerging markets, would probably be closer to $350 to $400.

Samsung continues to dominate the important Chinese market, thanks to its wide range of price points. Strategy Analytics named Samsung as the top seller in China during the first quarter, moving 12.5 million units. Apple came in sixth place with 6.1 million iPhones sold, lagging local low-cost players like Huawei, ZTE, Coolpad, and Lenovo.

Apple is expected to ramp up mass production of both the flagship and affordable models in August ahead of a September launch. At this point, copying Samsung's broad product strategy wouldn't be such a bad thing.

There's a debate raging as to whether Apple remains a buy. The Motley Fool's senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, Eric Bleeker, is prepared to fill you in on reasons to buy and reasons to sell Apple, and what opportunities are left for the company (and your portfolio) going forward. To get instant access to his latest thinking on Apple, simply click here now.


Read/Post Comments (16) | Recommend This Article (5)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On June 13, 2013, at 8:38 PM, dwilh51183 wrote:

    HEX NO !! AAPL DOES NOT NEED TO COPY THEM KOREANS TECHNOLOGY. WHAT , YOU THINK AAPL WANTS TO HAVE PLASTIC PHONES THAT HAVE VIBRATING VOICES AND DROP CALLS EVERY TIME YOU GO DOWN A HILL. AND ANY NEW TECHNOLOGY SAMSUNG HAS , THEY MOST LIKELY STOLE IT FROM NOKIA, RIMM, OR AAPL. AAPL HAS QUALITY PHONES THAT RESALE FOR TRIPLE WJHAT YOU PAID FOR IT .AAPL ROCKS

  • Report this Comment On June 13, 2013, at 9:03 PM, smv7519 wrote:

    Apple copying samsung again. Apple has never been able to tech just steal others ideas. Samsung came way before apple was breaking down in peoples houses. Apple has never been a major tech company just redesigned others ideas. When I want new tech or innovative I dont buy apple. As a matter of fact I have never purchased or owned apple device or software. So this article is written by some that has no clue to who stole what. Apple didnt create the phone or tablet or even the computer as a lot of these uninformed apple sheep think.

  • Report this Comment On June 13, 2013, at 9:13 PM, VegasSmitty wrote:

    All Apple does is steal technology. They employ more lawyers then techs to keep them out of jail.

  • Report this Comment On June 13, 2013, at 9:17 PM, jsp23 wrote:

    Those first two comments pretty much sum up the intellectual disparity between apple and samsung users.

  • Report this Comment On June 13, 2013, at 9:28 PM, frellmedead wrote:

    Steve Jobs even bragged about stealing IP from other companies - there is video of it, so what the others are saying about Apple has merit.

  • Report this Comment On June 13, 2013, at 9:45 PM, lmjt32 wrote:

    dwilh51183 . do you know that some hardware for iphone comes from samsung? apple may be the first smartphone maker but their hardwares are mostly not their own. are you saying that samsung being maker of the hardware cannot use their own technology? and have you seen ios7? it is such a copycat form android, windows and blackberry. think hard. try watching cnet.co/14Tjg0X. S4 actually last in underwater than the iphone 5.

  • Report this Comment On June 13, 2013, at 10:04 PM, Gaeseki wrote:

    Inept Apple has been copying everything from Samsung Galaxy,

    Steve Jobs was mocking at Samsung-"7-Inch Tablets Are 'Dead on Arrival'"!!

    What happen to mocking after Samsung ?Apple became a Mockery itself by copying a screen size(iPad Mini) to mimicking Samsung technology- an eye track, wireless wallet(NFC) that introduced in old GS3.

    Apple is absolutely helpless dependent on Samsung in order to make a quality products. Every Apple products are made of Samsung's advance DNA from the beginning til now~

    Without the Samsung- lame Apple would not exist today. Show Some Gratitude rotten Apple! instead of deceptive patent accusing Samsung on every bogus patents cases that has lost courts around the world except in Appl's back yard US.

  • Report this Comment On June 13, 2013, at 10:05 PM, Gaeseki wrote:

    Apple is nothing but a unscrupulous deceptive hypocrite goon, They're struggling to sustain after master thief left a Sand &Hype Castle that built on theft products from Samsung MP3 (8 years before iPod), F700 Smartphone(iPhone), 2006 CES shown Samsung "Digital Photo frame"( iPad)

    STEVE JOBS :“I'd Rather Be a Pirate than Join the Navy.”----

    Suing Someone You Stole the Design from To Begin With."

    See Samsung Prototype Smartphones before iPhone--

    Google Picture►"Samsung Reveals its Pre-iPhone Concepts:10 Touchscreen Devices".

    -----

    Google Picture► "Behold Samsung’s “iPad”– Made in 2006 "... 5 years later, Steve Jobs came out with an iPad. iPad was a stolen design of Samsung's "Digital Photo Frame" that had unveiled in 2006( 5 years earlier) LAS VEGAS Electronic show(CES)-The--"Digital Photo Frame" was given as a gift to a attendant-Steve Job by the Samsung VP.. then 5 years later...a backstabber Steve Job bites hand that fed him.

  • Report this Comment On June 13, 2013, at 10:09 PM, Gaeseki wrote:

    While Billion$$ of Tax dodging Apple is busy bribing of Senators to sending a "Pressure letters to ITC against the Samsung - US Consumer activists, US carriers and others write to ITC supporting Samsung against Apple's pathetic "Rectangular" patent case,

    How Hilarious that the real consumers are with Samsung while fake patent bullying Apple has to run to Politicians for save their aras?

  • Report this Comment On June 13, 2013, at 10:12 PM, Gaeseki wrote:

    NEWS:Facebook CEO-Mark Zuckerberg To Visit Korea At The End Of June--6/11/2013

    Google CEO Larry Page ,MS Bill Gate already went to Korea last month, It's becoming routine visit to Skorea for US companies each years.

  • Report this Comment On June 13, 2013, at 10:33 PM, Gaeseki wrote:

    dwilh51183 is blithering ignorant idiot,

    Keep barking at the air cuz your stupid words are far from reality .

    "Galaxy S4 Beats iPhone5 in Our Brutal Destruction Test VIDEO" CNET--6/11/2013

    Booyah~~ that plastic kicking krappy iPhone's aras in every where LOL !

    GS4 has chosen by US Pentagon for Military use-5//02/2013

    Consumer Reports-"The Galaxy S4 is the World’s Best Smartphone"--5/22/2013

    Overall Consumer Reports found that “the S4 delivered top-notch performance in the most critical areas of our tests, including the camera,” and was particularly impressed with the device’s display that it said “is sensitive enough to use with gloves on — handy during cold weather.” The publication also praised the device’s multitasking capabilities and said that watching videos while checking email on the Galaxy S4 was a snap.

  • Report this Comment On June 13, 2013, at 10:37 PM, Gaeseki wrote:

    dwilh51183 , Plastic?

    It's not a plastic- its calls "Carbon Space material" that are more stronger and durable than iPhone's easily scratch, nick problems also reception better than Aluminum case.

    No wonder~ Samsung Galaxy Phones literally killed the Iphones in every "Torture Tests" (See yearly CNET Torture Test on Youtube)

    All future DEVICES will be made of light carbon space materials esp-Samsung next generation Flexible Smartphone, screens etc,, and Samsung is expert on this technology(Already shown at the 2009 CES ) so any one calls 'Plastic ' they're simply ignorant.

  • Report this Comment On June 13, 2013, at 10:43 PM, tishlover wrote:

    I came here because of this Yahoo title

    "Everyone knows how much Samsung loves to copy Apple. Is the iPhone maker about to copy the South Korean conglomerate for once?"

    um no, Samsung does not love to copy Apple!!!!! and do not copy Apple!!!

  • Report this Comment On June 13, 2013, at 11:07 PM, Gaeseki wrote:

    Evan Niu wrote:

    "Everyone knows how much Samsung loves to copy Apple."

    Only those ignorant dolts got duped what the deceptive Apple said. in fact it's just opposite.

    The Apple sand castle was built on theft from Samsung MP3 (8 years before iPod), F700 Smartphone(iPhone), 2006 CES shown Samsung "Digital Photo frame"( iPad)

    Apple wouldn't be exist today Steve Jobs didn't steal all these from Samsung and LG .

    All techies know it except this uniformed ignorant sheeps.

  • Report this Comment On June 16, 2013, at 5:24 PM, lowmaple wrote:

    We have the AAPL fanboys. And here are the Samsumgoids. Dont expect to hear reasonable opinions from either group.

  • Report this Comment On September 12, 2013, at 11:50 AM, Learnbe4talk wrote:

    Searched this up because I was wanting to have a laugh. So yeah, first of all Samsung first created the Iphones from Apple but they pretty much liked the idea so they used the blackprints of apple's iphone and rebuilt almost exactly the same thing. Some people here really talk donkycrap, Apple was the first with the Ipad (or tablet) idea they already had it for years but the world wasn't ready back then. Now all samsung does is copying litteraly ALMOST Everything from Apple. Also cute example, apple releases A7 64-bit chips, first thing samsung does is announcing they will do it aswell. We all know that those bloody koreans, asians love copying. They are great at it but yeah some more proofs that will break your samsung heart:

    http://samsungcopiesapple.tumblr.com/

    Have fun and now only talk if you know what you're talking about.

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