Did Samsung Just Raise the Bar Again?

The only company to successfully compete with Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) iPhone and become the product to beat in the smartphone arena has been Samsung. The iPhone may be beautiful, sleek, and functional, but one thing it is definitely not is durable. We've all known someone -- if you've been lucky enough not to have it happen to you -- who's had a shattered screen or a phone damaged by water. Samsung's Galaxy S4 Active  looks to address the durability issue and may have completely altered the way phones are made.

In the following video, Fool.com contributor Doug Ehrman discusses why this is an important development and how it could affect both Apple and Samsung from here.

As it continues to battle Samsung, it's important to remember that Apple has a history of cranking out revolutionary products -- and then creatively destroying them with something better. Read about the future of Apple in the free report, "Apple Will Destroy Its Greatest Product." Can Apple really disrupt its own iPhones and iPads? Find out by clicking here.


Read/Post Comments (25) | Recommend This Article (6)

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  • Report this Comment On July 17, 2013, at 9:08 PM, spakklal wrote:

    Samsung even with all the features you mentioned did not sell as much as it hoped to sell.

    You should know that Apple has grown 72% for the last 5 years compared to their competitors whose growth rate are less than 20%. Apple is estimated to grow 15 to 20% for the next 5 Years. Tim Cook has told us that Apple will be introducing Revolutionary Products starting this fall all the way to 2014.

    First time in 6 Years Apple has introduced more innovative changes in the iOS 7 and the new MAC operating system.

    Apple is the only company that has 3 revolutionary Products in the market. Samsung was the only company able to compete with AAPL because they were selling featured phones for the last 20 years and have relationships with all the mobile vendors in the world. It was easy for samsung to take share in the midrange and low range of the smartphone market because AAPl was not competing in that Price range. AAPL sold 125 million iPhones in the last 12 months at an average price of $620. I believe when AAPL sells iPhone Lite and would be able to sell with more mobile vendors without any restrictions. If the price of iPhone Lite is $350 than more consumers will be able to afford and will sell at least 250 million iPhone Lite with more software services.

    Apple still has around 75% of the market share in the $600+ segment of the market. Apple still enjoys around 70% profit in the Smartphone & 85% Profit in the Tablet Segment.

    Apple will come with newer software subscription services like iTunes Radio, Premium TV Services, larger iPads, iWatch and other products. Apple sales probably may double in the next 5 years.

  • Report this Comment On July 17, 2013, at 9:12 PM, jda24601 wrote:

    The iPhone is durable. Yes, people have broken screens, but not so many with the iPhone 5. It's almost impossible to break the screen if you get a decent case with a small ridge around the edges of the screen. Samsung's phones seem cheap by comparison -- almost like toys.

  • Report this Comment On July 17, 2013, at 9:43 PM, smv7519 wrote:

    I think apple has never been stylish or good looking. The metal is poor grade gets scratched to easily. Glass gets broken on it. Apple is not the thinnest best looking phone. It don't even compare to a droid. This is one of the reasons I have never bought apple product or software. The other reason is why pay more for less. Apple Has never been ground breaking on anything. They have never created or made anything better. Their product is ugly and under achieving.

  • Report this Comment On July 17, 2013, at 9:49 PM, smv7519 wrote:

    Apple has never made a product I would buy. They are not innovative. The products they have on the market have never worked right. They always have a problem. Maps, antenna, build, ios you name it. Apple is a failure. They will continue to fail just like in Russia. Only idiots in us are hung up on this company I don't speak for everyone. Im not and idiot. I have never bought apple product or software. They release same products that people conplain about every year.

  • Report this Comment On July 17, 2013, at 9:50 PM, mdl00 wrote:

    What is it with the Samdung-promoting articles today. Another one full of baloney, likely sponsored by Samdung. As is the comment above mine. Either that, or he's a close-minded fandroid.

  • Report this Comment On July 17, 2013, at 9:59 PM, smv7519 wrote:

    Apple phones and ipods and ipads are dirt. Never will put my money toward something that cant last and is cheaply made. Apple is a company that has brain washed America. At least bill gates contributes to the world. Apple hides money in off shore accounts. They claim they have all this money. They don't pay taxes have their shiit made in china and pay people 2 dollars an hour. You stupid Americans'. They sue people for ideas that apple thinks are their own. Apple didn't create anything but thunderbolt cord. Wow a cord only apple uses. To buy into apple is to buy only their crap and use iTunes another joke apple has played on people. Apple manipulated the price of ebooks. Then they try to sue amazon cause of the name app store. Apple didn't even create that or apps. What an ignorant company.

  • Report this Comment On July 17, 2013, at 10:00 PM, mikew125 wrote:

    How could you credit Samsung, SONY has had this for a while.

  • Report this Comment On July 17, 2013, at 10:01 PM, smv7519 wrote:

    Apple phones and ipods and ipads are dirt. Never will put my money toward something that cant last and is cheaply made. Apple is a company that has brain washed America. At least bill gates contributes to the world. Apple hides money in off shore accounts. They claim they have all this money. They don't pay taxes have their junk made in china and pay people 2 dollars an hour. You stupid Americans'. They sue people for ideas that apple thinks are their own. Apple didn't create anything but thunderbolt cord. Wow a cord only apple uses. To buy into apple is to buy only their crap and use iTunes another joke apple has played on people. Apple manipulated the price of ebooks. Then they try to sue amazon cause of the name app store. Apple didn't even create that or apps. What an ignorant company.

  • Report this Comment On July 17, 2013, at 10:02 PM, smv7519 wrote:

    Apple phones and ipods and ipads are dirt. Never will put my money toward something that cant last and is cheaply made. Apple is a company that has brain washed America. At least bill gates contributes to the world. Apple hides money in off shore accounts. They claim they have all this money. They don't pay taxes have their junk made in china and pay people 2 dollars an hour. You stupid Americans'. They sue people for ideas that apple thinks are their own. Apple didn't create anything but thunderbolt cord. Wow a cord only apple uses. To buy into apple is to buy only their crap and use iTunes another joke apple has played on people. Apple manipulated the price of ebooks. Then they try to sue amazon cause of the name app store. Apple didn't even create that or apps. What an ignorant company.

  • Report this Comment On July 17, 2013, at 10:07 PM, stevenjklein wrote:

    Why settle for unfounded opinions when we have the facts at our fingertips?

    The iPhone consistently ranks as far ahead of competition when it comes to reliability.

    Don't take my word for it — see for yourself:

    #1: http://www.ibtimes.com/apple-iphones-300-more-reliable-compa...

    #2: http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/news/mobile-phone/3441592/least-r...

  • Report this Comment On July 17, 2013, at 10:08 PM, applefan1 wrote:

    Android Authority did a drop test between the S3 and iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5 passed when they dropped it onto concrete and the S3 didn't. Now, that's just those tests.

    Obviously, Samsung has the S4 Active, which is a different product than the S4. The Active is designed for certain users and I don't know if it is going to sell as much as the S4, since the S4 is what gets the most advertising. Samsung should have just made the S4 Active and not confused the market with all of these different models. What's funny is the S4 Active only has a 8MP rear facing camera instead of a 13MP. At least that's what Samsung's web site mentions.

    If one gets a decent case, as mentioned by jda24601, you won't have any problems with a screen cracking or scratches. Now, Corning is releasing Gorilla Glass 3, which is supposed to be even stronger than Gorilla Glass 2, which is what the iPhone 5 and many other smartphones have been using, so I'm sure the new iPhones will have Corning's latest glass.

    The dumbest aspect of this article is that they are comparing a brand new Samsung product to an Apple product that's almost 10 months old and Apple has a different product refresh cycle.

    I can't stand the stupidity of some of these so-called journalists trying to seek attention.

  • Report this Comment On July 17, 2013, at 10:13 PM, CarLen309 wrote:

    So apple products are dirt, can't last and are cheaply made.This statement from somebody who does own any. What my family likes about the apple products that we have are they they work, keep working, require minimal upkeep and feel great to use.

    Our 4 year old MacBook pro never gets shutoff and is a regulary used "appliance" in the house. iPad is in constant use and travels all over. iPods the same.

    So with all the negatives floating around, the reason Apple products continue to sell is that they work for novices and techies alike. Sorry, but after you get one.. you will see...

  • Report this Comment On July 17, 2013, at 10:21 PM, H3D wrote:

    " The iPhone may be beautiful, sleek, and functional, but one thing it is definitely not is durable."

    You cannot be serious. Any individual can be unlucky with any one devices

    But every serious durability test between iPhone 5 and Samsung S3 / S4 had put the iPhone well ahead.

  • Report this Comment On July 17, 2013, at 11:12 PM, pwkrp wrote:

    @smv7519, The computer and phones are not metal, you ever hear of aluminum.

  • Report this Comment On July 17, 2013, at 11:26 PM, daverhall wrote:

    Apple used to come out with some thing new quite often, but it always had several problems with each version. They were over priced to begin with. Although it does take a lot of money for good research and development. But at this period of time the leadership is looking in his mirror rather looking at what customers need and like. I used to like Nokia as they seemed to make quality products but I am not sure if they still do. I would like manufacturers to get back to good quality rather than quick junk and high prices.

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2013, at 12:00 AM, pwkrp wrote:

    @daverhall Apple products are not that over priced if you look at other products and add in the same thing that Apple has, I mean the same everything not just basic. Some people just like to chant slogans over and over again.

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2013, at 1:51 AM, stroc wrote:

    @smv7519, You made 3 different posts essentially emoting the same thoughtless personal attack on Apple. And 3 of your posts are identical either because you are obsessed or you were too impatient ("your comment may be delayed up to 15 minutes") and you repeatedly pressed the post button. You wouldn't happen to be another one of those Koreans who equate Samsung with your personal identity? Because that's the only explanation for your obsession with promoting Samsung and killing Apple. But that means nothing to us investors who prefer constructive comments and might even tolerate 1 biased post for our amusement but certainly not 5. This is Motley Fool not yahoo comments.

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2013, at 2:00 AM, mylove4life455 wrote:

    crapple is worthless junk for stupid users and always will be..

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2013, at 2:01 AM, skippywonder wrote:

    smv7519,

    You have five negative comments in this thread, all with serious grammatical errors, the most telling of which is lack of agreement between subject and verb.

    This is a common error among people for whom English is a second language. If only I could think of why someone who spoke English as a second language would be interested in trashing Apple with repeated negative comments...

    Maybe you "have opinion"?

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2013, at 2:01 AM, mylove4life455 wrote:

    O and I have 3 emachines that are 7 years old and still work great... SO WHAT... you stupid uneducated mac users say my computer is still working after 5 years and is still slow and has a worthless OS...

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2013, at 2:40 AM, witf wrote:

    Ummm...what exactly are you doing with your iPhone that you consider it to not be durable? Do you take your phone in the shower with you? Throw it against a brick wall?

    I will give Samsung credit for one thing...people want phones with large screens, and Apple has failed to deliver that up to this point...

    I own both iOS and Android devices, and frankly, if I want a device that works the most efficiently and with the highest quality and selection of apps available, I would go with Apple. With Android devices, the quality of apps, hardware, and implementation is all over the place, just like with Windows. As long as Samsung is running Android on their devices, they will never have the same control over the entire ecosystem that Apple has...

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2013, at 3:07 AM, yippieda wrote:

    Almost everyone I know (including me) has bought the S4 for one reason only...the large form factor.

    None of Samsung's other variations of the smart phone have even dented the USA market share. (not true internationally where Sammy is killing it with cheap phones) This pretty much proves my point.

    So the answer is, nothing Samsung brings out will raise the bar, conversely Samsung better hope we don't see a 5.5" iPhone 6 or they are likely toast on the S4/5 as well..

    Yes I do realize there is an isolated tech community of open source lovers driving a limited number of sales but you are among the very few........

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2013, at 4:13 AM, sumup1 wrote:

    I guess preaching to the choir is par...but get us some real info...for us who really need a good mobile device.

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2013, at 4:38 AM, spoonep wrote:

    durability? who cares...everyone that buys a phone on contract or unlocked, will put a case on it anyways. i remember when samsung came out with a big screen, all the iphone fans all laughed saying its too big blah blah. while iphone was still a 3.5in, now 4in all make it such a big deal, like its the big thing ever. i stopped using iphone last year. now using note 2 and S4. iphone screen is too small and its hard to play games or do anything that has a larger size screen. i gave my 4s to my wife, and use my ipad to play games.

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2013, at 11:23 AM, Computerworgen wrote:

    I'm happy Samsung has decided to make Durable Phones. Getting cases for phones that are just released is nearly impossible. & Considering I know a lot of people with shattered screens & water damage, phones that don't die when they get wet or shatter when dropped are a welcome change! Also, Samsung has a new prototype phone with flexible Screens & displays that go all the way to the edge. While Apple just keeps making the same old boring looking iPhone over & over again, while just changing the number or adding a letter. I guess that's considered innovation & groundbreaking by clueless iPhone users.

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