While both Samsung and Apple are losing ground to Chinese competitors in the global smartphone market, this is primarily among mid-tier consumers – not those angling for premium devices.
When it comes to cutting edge devices, the two are still some way ahead of their rivals. The real question these days is how they compare with each other.
Once upon a time there would have been no question that Apple was the better innovator, with Samsung following its American rival and implementing its new features within the relatively more open Android ecosystem.
But declining sales at Apple are encouraging the company to move away from its classical innovation cycle, and considering Samsung’s launch of its folding phone on Wednesday, the tables may have turned.
Here’s a look at the real differences between the two companies and their products in 2019.
Both Apple’s iPhone X range of devices and Samsung’s new Galaxy S10 series of phones feature three models with different sizes, targeted to different consumers.
The similarities are considerable, but the differences are particularly visible in both of the top-range models the pair are offering. At least on paper, Samsung’s S10 range appears to be the better smartphone.
Apple iPhone XS Max
:: Display – 6.5″
:: Storage – 64 GB
:: Cameras – Two, 12MP + 12MP
:: Battery – 3174 mAh
:: RAM – 4 GB
:: Cost – £1,099
Samsung Galaxy S10+
:: Display – 6.4″
:: Storage -128 GB
:: Cameras – Three, 12MP + 12MP + 16MP
:: Battery – 4100 mAh
:: RAM – 8 GB
:: Cost – £899
In terms of display, the S10 range has doubled-down on Samsung’s mockery of the iPhone X’s “notch”.
This peaked with an advertisement last year showing a man growing up with iPhone models before switching to Samsung’s Galaxy range.
Although the attempt at a full-screen design began with Apple, the S10 has dodged the notch for a less intrusive punch-hole front camera, just covering to the top corner of the phone.
What is not so obvious from the differences in specs and displays are the differences in the operating systems.
Some users who have experienced both iOS and Android may regard Android as the better operating system, although developers may approve of its openness compared to Apple.
In terms of security, design quality and user experience, iPhones are regarded as more user-friendly.
Apple is putting much on the line in pushing forward a privacy-friendly agenda in what has been seen as a direct challenge to some of the web giants.
Last year, the Guardian reported that advertising technology firm Criteo said that Apple’s privacy features were likely to cost it millions.
Meanwhile, Android developer Google was fined €4.34bn (£3.8bn) by the European Commission for abusing its control of the operating system to force vendors to pre-install its apps, which collect users’ data.