Apple’s iPhone dominates the U.S. smartphone market, but Samsung’s Android platform takes the cake globally. According to an IDC study released Tuesday, Android accounted for 68.1 percent of the global smartphone market during the second quarter of 2012, compared to 16.9 percent for iOS.
According to Apple solution providers, the discrepancy is due to the fact that Apple is not as well established abroad as Samsung, especially in Asia.
“Samsung and other smartphone producers had Asia and other overseas markets before Apple,” which took longer to break onto the scene because of barriers like localization, said Marc A. Wolfe, CEO of Proactive, an Apple specialist in Oakland, N.J.
“Samsung is in a lot more markets than Apple is,” agreed Mark Gregory, president and chief executive of the Nashville, Tenn.-based MacAuthority. ”[Apple] just started selling in China about six months ago.”
Michael Oh, founder and president of Boston-based Apple reseller Tech Superpowers, said that while there are over 100 Apple stores located around the U.S. there are “far fewer outside the country.”
Samsung alone accounted for 44 percent of worldwide Android smartphone shipments in Q2, and the vendor offers a wide variety of different models. According to solution providers, Samsung’s diverse portfolio allows it to compete more aggressively on price than Apple.
“Consumers are concerned with price point and the speed with which the phones come out,” Wolfe said. “Apple has a following, but sometimes to get new people, [you need that] edge.”
“If Apple wanted to be the number one provider [in the world], they would sell more and cheaper models,” said Mark Greenblatt, president of Los Angeles, Calif.-based MacEnthusiasts. “Their primary motive, in my opinion, is to have the highest profit. I don’t think Apple is so concerned about being number one.”
Apple’s worldwide market share could grow as more businesses allow their employees to use iPhones in work settings. ”As Apple is more accepted in the corporate side [by] upgrading their software and getting inroads with enterprises, we may see companies standardize on iPhones the way they did with Blackberries,” Wolfe said.
Apple VARs disagree about whether this trend will continue or not: some say it’s just a matter of time before Apple beats out Samsung completely, while others feel that because of Samsung’s home-court advantage in Asia this trend is inevitable.
“Samsung is in a lot more markets than Apple is, but time will tell,” said Gregory.