With the new Air and Mini, Apple has ignored many of the new features and enhancements that would have satisfied eager shareholders. Instead, Apple has stuck to the formula that has served it well in the past. The iPad Air and iPad Mini now share the same screen technology (although the Mini benefits from a higher resolution), slimline case, and updated charger.
For Apple, the aim is to conserve its existing audience rather than break boundaries looking for new ones. Samsung, on the other hand, has used the opposite tactic: throughout 2013, it has flooded the market with phablets and phones crammed with new features, proving that a company can move quickly to capitalize on market trends.
By releasing its Gear watch early, it has proved that wearable technology has an audience. Samsung has pushed out devices with only slight variances to trial its innovative new features in a real-life arena. The company’s willingness to take risks has pushed it ahead in the smartphone market.
So, apart from speedy innovation, what else can Samsung do? With $50 billion in the bank, its options are quite open but perhaps one of the key areas for expansion is improving Android’s image.
Although Samsung isn’t directly necessarily responsible for Android’s reputation, its devices are wholly dependent on it. The company needs to position its tablets as a true iPad alternative, not a second choice.
Samsung also has a massive user base to support its continued growth as it hones and improves its tablets. For its biggest rival, the challenge will be maintaining the iPad’s dominance on the back of its quintessentially “Apple” brand. Apple’s image and marketing prowess is now its biggest asset, and in the face of accusations of failing innovation, image is the only thing that’s left.
If Samsung can market its tablets as brilliantly as Apple it has a chance of pushing its tablets forward and taking a huge chunk of market share.
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