Apple Narrows Gap in U.S. Advertising Spending With Rival Samsung

Samsung is the leader in mobile advertising, significantly outspending all its rivals on commercials that target the U.S. market. Though still number one, the Korean company's advertising dollar lead is shrinking, reports the Wall Street Journal, with Samsung's rivals increasing their advertising spending by 33 percent year over year in 2013.

According to ad research company Kantar Media, the top seven U.S. smartphone makers spent over $1.3 billion in 2013 on advertisements for print, TV online, radio and outdoor venues. Apple spent $351 million last year, with the bulk of that money ($339 million) going toward TV ads.

While Apple increased its spending 5 percent year over year on mobile phone ads, Samsung scaled back its advertising efforts, reducing its U.S. advertising by 10 percent in 2013 to $363 million. The gap between Samsung and Apple now has narrowed to $12 million, which is less than the $68 million gap in 2012.

Samsung is known for its aggressive Galaxy marketing campaigns, which routinely target rival devices. Samsung's clever tagline "The next big thing" reportedly infuriated Apple executives and lead to a tense email exchange between Apple's head of marketing Phil Schiller and the company's longtime ad agency, TBWA/Media Arts Lab.

Despite outspending Apple in advertising dollars, Samsung trails Apple in U.S. smartphone subscribers, with 26.7 percent market share as compared to Apple's 41.6 percent. Apple's market share continues to grow, but the overall rate of adoption is slowing as the smartphone market approaches saturation.

Top Rated Comments

keterboy Avatar
115 months ago
Joke of the day :rolleyes:
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lilo777 Avatar
115 months ago
How is Apple doing catching up to Smasung in kickbacks to salespeople to push Samsung over others? A LOT of people just get whatever the salesperson says is "best," especially at similar prices.

Missing in this analysis is the fact that Apple has huge own retail operation. It literally pay a lot of salespeople to sell iPhone exclusively. This is also a reason why Samsung promotional budget is much higher than Apple's. Obviously what Apple spends on retail counts as different budget category.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samcraig Avatar
115 months ago
We must be looking at different media outlets. Samsung phones generally get so, so reviews. The tech press loves to harp on plastic body and saturated colors. The public thus far has basically ignored the tech press, otherwise we would be talking about HTC and not Samsung.

Bolded: All smartphones have their flaws. We're at a point now where a smartphone is a smartphone is a smartphone. There's hardly anything you can do with one that you can't do with any other. The differentiation tends to be more style than substance. Then there's size. For me it was easy. I looked at the functionality of handsets (same), app environment (same), and price (same). Screen real estate was a tangible difference. It was the tipping point in my decision. Apple could have been my choice. Unfortunately, it lacked the final piece of the puzzle to get my money. I think more people are like me rather than someone who just wants a bigger phone. I could be wrong. It's just opinion.

I'll just add that it seems (at least with my extended circle) that the iPhone is the "de facto." Many I know have bought the iPhone because that what's everyone says to get. Not because they've actually done any homework on their own.

My father in law is an example. Owns an iPad. Loves it. However when he was finally ready to give up his dumbphone this past year, everyone was pushing him to get an iPhone because it was "easier" and "you already have apps on the iPad" etc. But he also wanted a bigger screen. He was torn because he knew little about Android - only that most of his family had iPhones. I told him ultimately what you stated above. They all would do whatever he needed to and handed him my phone for him to play with to see how much of an "adjustment" it would be. Now this is NO power user and other than his iPad usage - had never used a smart phone. Somehow (I say sarcastically) he was able to figure everything out he needed to do very quickly and when he went into the store ultimately decided on the S4. The screen was the deciding factor. But also, the "relief" that switching to another OS wasn't going to be mind boggling as some had intimated.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samcraig Avatar
115 months ago


But features that don't work well ARE flaws (like Samsung-specific additions to Android that people end up turning off because they are so bad, or that support very few apps). And any Apple flaw gets reported to death in a way Samsung doesn't get--it may get noticed, but not shouted to the rooftops and immortalized.

Galaxy flaws include a lack of easy, free full-system backup and restore so all your "stuff" and customizations are exactly as-was when you get a warranty swap or your next upgraded phone. And tons of malware. And poor battery life (not for everyone, but it's VERY easy for apps to do that compared to iOS--my Samsung friends carry chargers all day). And lack of timely updates to the latest software. And lack/delay of the best quality apps. And preloaded bloatware. And problems connecting to D-Link brand routers. And flimsy construction (especially the thin plastic back-pieces). And slow cameras. And poor viewing angles (and sometimes the awful pentile matrix.) And does use of child labor count as a flaw? Because while Apple roots out such problems in public, working to solve them in an unprecedented way, Samsung sweeps them under the rug.

Imagine the D-Link problem--just that one--if it were on an Apple device. It would be "D-Gate" and remembered for generations, and if Apple fixed it the next week, the media and bloggers (astroturfers?) would conveniently overlook that.

No features you don't like or would never use aren't flaws. If so, iOS has a bunch as well.

I have a Samsung device - tell me what Malware is on my phone. My battery life on my S4 is longer (way) than on my newest iPhone. By at least an hour or two.

Google Play services and core apps are constantly updated. Almost weekly. I don't care about MAJOR os updated because I buy the phone for what it can do - not what it might do in the future.

I have never had an app on iOS that I couldn't get on Android and that didn't function the same or similar. This is a subjective comment based on what Apps one uses.

My viewing angles are no better/no worse than on my iPhone.

And the camera and software on my Samsung blows the iPhone away. I rarely pick up my iPhone to take a picture now.

I guess different people have different experiences. Crazy huh?

----------

Narrow margins for who? The phone company? I don't see them inventing smartphones. And they aren't exactly busting their rears to make the biggest baddest ubiquitous networks. Were it not for having a competitor or two they would do absolutely nothing at all.

No - but the issue being addressed is that Android OEMs offer incentives, right? Part of that is profit margin carriers make by selling their phones. Apple phones have less margin.

So all things equal - assume no kickbacks and no contracts - carriers make more money selling (some) Android phones as I understand it.

Apple "gets away" with low profits AND big sales because they HAVE contracts to sell a set amount.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TWSS37 Avatar
115 months ago
True.

The SIZE of the phone is the main feature that makes the purchasing decision of an Android over an iPhone - not what the phone can do.

Galaxies are full of flaws, but you can't count on the media to report it. Apple needs to step to the plate and ADVERTISE the flaws.

Flaws such as what?

Features that you don't like/see no benefit in are not flaws.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samcraig Avatar
115 months ago
I have always been an iPhone user. I decided to go into the android world unbiassed by switching over to the HTC One first, then the S4. Both are good phones, but their downfalls is Android, and the User Experience that both companies implemented with their customer interfaces. NFC is useless, all the eye stuff for the S4 are just gimmicks. Both phones can get annoying to use. The only thing I miss from both phones are the Bigger screens, and the swipe to text features. Other than that, I don't see why Samsung likes to bash Apple when their Galaxies are full of flaws that far surpass the iPhones. The build quality of the HTC is an illusion as well. It's a beautiful phone, but some of the plastic parts are just pathetic quality, even dye from your jean pockets will get stuck to it, and it will be hard to take off. I had the silver HTC One with white trim, and wore it with some red cargo shorts I had once, and it turned into an silver HTC one with a pink trim.

I have a different experience. I love my iPhone - but use my S4 way more now. The camera software is far superior as are the images/videos I can take with it.

NFC as a payment method hasn't been very useful for me - however since my wife also has an Android phone - the ability to tap our phones to transfer pictures, a webpage we're looking at, etc has been great.

I also have had few glitches with Android as an OS - nothing that I didn't experience with iOS either.

But everyone should use the phone and OS they prefer. And leave it at that. Everyone has a different use case and subjective opinion. Bashing other phones just because it's not the one you use is silly. Let everyone enjoy their purchases. The "judgy" behavior is pretty appalling.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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