Apple vs. Samsung: Companies Business Strategies Comparison | Free Essay Example

Apple vs. Samsung: Companies Business Strategies Comparison

Words: 1652
Topic: Business & Economics

Business strategies

Apple’s business strategies are different and depend on product models. The company strategized to release few products that are highly anticipated in the market. On the other hand, Samsung has a wide range of product models that are not high-end. Apple’s domestic and global environmental policy is evaluated using a Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Sustainability Reporting Guidelines (G3). Both GRI and G3 evaluates the environmental performance of Apple’ products in terms of energy consumption, pollution and waste generation (Cowan, Dopart, Ferracini, Sahmel, Merryman, Gaffney & Paustenbach, 2010).

On the other hand, Samsung has a renowned green management system that ensures the company’s domestic and global facilities conform to local and international environment regulations. Both Apple and Samsung companies are in the electronics industry with specialty in mobile and computer technologies. Apple’s internal capability is complemented by an excellent industrial design. The internal industrial design has a competent team and outsourced production. On the other hand, Samsung banks its internal capabilities to mass manufacturing.

Apple is using its mission and vision statements to become a leading innovation company in technology. This mission statement is consistent with a long-term goal of providing man with innovative and inspiring technological products. This vision is shared by Samsung whose mission is to be a global leader in electronic manufacturing and digital media. This mission statement supports Samsung’s long-term goal of delivering high-tech and reliable products to many people across the globe irrespective of their socio-economic status.

Business-level strategy

Apple’s business-level strategy is to utilize differentiation as an innovation mechanism. In this regard, product models are viewed as efficient, exclusive and expensive. This is considered to be the strength at Apple. The company aligns its business strategy to both marketing and production. From this perspective, the company always has a ready market that prefers uniqueness in terms of product specifications and price (Hills & Jones, 2008). Targeting high-end customers poses as a weakness, as well as an opportunity from clients who want unique products. However, low-priced and unique products from companies like Samsung are a threat to Apple.

Samsung uses differentiation versus a cost leadership business-level strategy (Hills & Jones, 2008). From this perspective, the company customizes products based on a major design preferred in the market. This is considered strength, as well as an opportunity for the company. Moreover, the company uses a large market advantage to realize its pricing objectives. This provides the company with an opportunity to become a global market leader in technological products. In addition, the company derives strength from a large pool of competent engineers who get support from an aggressive research and design personnel. However, using low-cost technology to produce unique products is a weakness compared to Apple. In this regard, Samsung face threats from low-cost competitors and technological giants such as Apple in its major markets.

Apple’s marketing sector is instrumental in finding a target market that refers high-end products. The marketing sector understands customers’ specifications and relays the feedback to research and development sector for improvement. On the other hand, Samsung competitive advantage is supported by a marketing sector that finds a wide market share for the unique products. The marketing sector understands what the customers want in terms of the product price and ensures that low-priced models are available in the market. On the other hand, the production sector is complemented by competent engineers who deliver unique product models. Samsung research and development sector is aggressive and always try to develop new product models as evidenced by manufacturing of the same after a short period.

Cultural strategies

Apple approach to achieving innovation in the company is based on cultural diversity. It is in the company’s leadership domain that being different is advantageous. In this regard, the company promotes diversity of cultures among the employees. With the diversity of cultures, the same is replicated in terms of personalities, competencies and abilities. When diverse features are combined in teamwork, a competent synergy is realized. Steve Jobs who was Apple’s CEO believed that the company was cultural-based (Dippel Jr, 2012). From this perspective, the company understands the need to provoke creativity among staff members to achieve profitable innovations.

Samsung believes that a cultural policy is significant in achieving a global market impact. From this perspective, personnel from diverse cultural backgrounds are employed to provide the company with the required competencies. Cultural competency is a leadership initiative at Samsung, and its role is to understand customers’ requirement from a broader perspective (Dippel Jr, 2012). It is important to reckon that almost half of Samsung employees are foreigners and that the company’s sales are generated from global markets. From this perceptive, the company has to establish a global mindset and relevant world cultures.

To ensure that cultural diversity is appreciated, Samsung management ensures that female workers account for at least 35% (Dippel Jr, 2012). In addition, Samsung promotes cultural diversity through disabled vocational trainee programs that empower the disabled within the company. Samsung leadership believes that the key towards its global market expansion is through culturally competent employees.


Apple takes pride in the entrepreneurship of its founders. To be precise, Apple is credited for revolutionizing technology through its fancy, but expensive gadgets. Steve Jobs innovations of changing the computers to small gadgets like the iPad were extraordinary. In addition, the creation of the iPod was relieving to the music industry that flourished from the innovation. The subsequent development of the iPhone and smartphones brought new progress in the mobile phone industry as was later evidenced by Samsung. Indeed, Apple cemented its name as a technology leader in terms of innovations.

However, recent development from Samsung Electronics has proved that entrepreneurial skills especially duplication can be critical in determining market leaders. Although, Samsung is constantly accused of duplicating Apple’s technology, the company is now one of the leading technology companies in the world. Samsung has improved and perfected Apple’s technology and made it reliable and cheap among users.

The introduction of Samsung tablets and smartphones rivals Apple’s products in all manners. Today, most business people prefer using Samsung products as business tools due to their reliability and easy-to-navigate features. For example, business people ought to think that Samsung Galaxy SIII has Google Drive, Gmail and Google Calendar as critical features of operations (Djurup, 2013). On the other hand, iPhone does not support such features compared to Samsung android gadgets. From this perspective, Samsung stands out to be superior in terms of entrepreneurship.

Apple organization design was previously in disarray. This is because everything was controlled by the CEO. In fact, the company prefers to keep its organization structure a secret from its competitors. However, the company appoints a brand manager who heads the innovation and development of a product model. On the other hand, Samsung organization is well organized from the CEO, digital media and device solutions. Digital media is responsible for consumer electronics and mobile communications. On the other hand, device solutions division is in charge of memory and device applications development. Each level of organizational structure is led by a manager who reports to a senior authority. This makes the flow of information and decision-making simple. Therefore, Samsung is superior in terms of organizational design.

For a long time, Apple did not have external designers until it acquired an internal team for the same role. The internal design team has been credited with innovations of modern mobile technologies. However, with Steve Jobs at the company’s helm, outsourcing design function became a common feature in order to meet new market demands. On the other hand, Samsung has a large pool of engineers who design products internally. This is critical in reducing the cost of production. Therefore, Samsung surpassed Apple in terms of strategic capabilities.

New strategies

Apple can utilize a product differentiation strategy. From the new strategy, the company can optimize on diverse product models that serve the interest of large market share (Hills, Jones & Schilling, 2014). This strategy will improve the company’s competitiveness, as well as increase sales volume. On the other hand, pricing strategy is critical for Samsung. Manufacturing low-priced products can be necessary for Samsung to survive in a market that is now flooded with similar and cheap products.

Corporate-level strategies

For years, Apple preferred vertical integration which limited its capability to collaborate with other business partners and achieve flexibility. However, recent developments to integrate horizontally offer Apple with a chance of achieving flexibility and gaining new global markets through business collaborations (Hills, Jones & Schilling, 2014). This explains why Apple now considers strategic outsourcing a fundamental principle of achieving efficiency. Through horizontal integration, there are chances that the diversification of products will render the company competitive among other industrial rivals (Hills, Jones & Schilling, 2014). This explains why Samsung has always preferred horizontal integration by diversifying its product lines. In this regard, Samsung has achieved crucial collaborations from other technological firms that act as suppliers and external designers of critical product components.

Unethical behaviors

Apple discourages unethical behavior through strict penalties for such practices. The company upholds high standards of social responsibility. The company encourages safe working environment. Finally, the company does not trade with suppliers who employ children. On the other hand, Samsung uses a transparency policy to discourage unethical behaviors. The company uses anti-collusion and anti-corruption policies (Kim, 2007). In addition, the company has a compliance program where all employees are subjected to as a standard procedure of training.

Organizational change

Introducing changes that improve organizational performance and competitiveness at Apple and Samsung requires the following. First, employee training and effective communication of the required changes is necessary. This provides employees with an opportunity to reflect and own the ideas of change. Second, allowing employee participation in decision-making allows employee to become part of the process. Finally, change implementation requires support from other stakeholders. Sometimes, this can only be achieved through encouragement, manipulation and coercion if the resistance towards change is inevitable.


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Dippel Jr, T. H. (2012). The Wisdom of Generations: Using the Lessons of History to Create a Values-based Future. Texas, TX: Texas Peacemaker Publications Llc. Web.

Djurup, R. (2013). Android Mobile Computing Using Samsung Tablets and Smartphones Running Android 2.3-Kindle version. Copenhagen, CPH: Rebidu. Web.

Hill, C. W., & Jones, G. R. (2008). Strategic Management: An Integrated Approach: An Integrated Approach. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. Web.

Hill, C., Jones, G., & Schilling, M. (2014). Strategic Management: Theory: An Integrated Approach. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. Web.

Kim, Y. J. (2007). The New Paradigm of Anti-corruption Policies in Korea: A Focus on the Lobbying Disclosure Act. GovNet eJournal, 1(1). Web.