It's no secret that Samsung outships Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) by a healthy margin in sheer smartphone unit volumes. The South Korean conglomerate has dramatically widened its lead over the Mac maker over the past year. In the first quarter, Samsung outshipped Apple by nearly twofold.


Q1 2012

Q1 2013


44 million

70.7 million


35.1 million

37.4 million

Source: IDC.

Much of those gains are in low-end and mid-range smartphone markets that carry lower margins, areas where Apple has yet to compete meaningfully. Still, Tim Cook knows that Apple has hit a ceiling in the high end, but at the same time the Apple CEO has also been trying to highlight other metrics that Apple tracks to judge its performance.

Things like customer satisfaction, ecosystem commerce, and usage are among Apple's priorities when gauging whether it's making the best overall products. Well, Samsung just overtook Apple in one of the departments that Tim Cook really cares about. He's going to hate this.

Samsung surpassed Apple in mobile Internet usage share for the first time in June, according to the most recent data from StatCounter. Apple's archrival has now taken the lead by less than half a percent.

Screen Shot

Source: StatCounter.

Samsung came close to overtaking Apple in December, but it appears that Apple's busy holiday shopping season gave it a temporary boost to fend off Sammy. Apple hasn't launched any new products since October, and Samsung just released its Galaxy S4 that probably contributed to its usage victory.

In customer satisfaction, Apple just scored a victory on Samsung's home turf. The iPad outscored both Samsung and LG in consumer satisfaction in South Korea's National Customer Satisfaction Index. Speaking of the tablet market, Apple still has an overwhelming lead in usage, with Chitika pegging all iPads at 82.4%. Samsung's gains in the smartphone market are growing its usage figures, and the South Korean company has now turned its attention to the tablet market.

Apple and Samsung are neck-and-neck in usage. Which company's upcoming product launches will turn the tide?

Fool contributor Evan Niu, CFA, owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.