A Visual History of Samsung's Assault on the iPhone


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Despite stiff competition from Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and other Android handset makers, Samsung has emerged as the top dog, controlling more than 30% of the smartphone market in the first quarter. In the following slideshow, Motley Fool Senior Tech Specialist Tim Beyers provides a visual history of the Galaxy smartphone series and answers the question of whether now is the time to buy Samsung shares.

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A Visual History of Samsung's Assault on the iPhone

  1. A Visual History of Samsung’s Assault on the iPhone
  2. Samsung vs. Apple Samsung is the world’s leading smartphone supplier: ● 85 million handsets shipped in the first quarter, more than the next four vendors combined (source: IDC). ● 30.2% share of the global market down from 31.9% in last year’s Q1, but still nearly double Apple’s share (15.5%). ● The market shows no signs of slowing, either. Shipments are on track to grow 23% to 1.2 billion this year. KEY TAKEAWAY: A bitter patent dispute has done nothing to keep the Galaxy at bay.
  3. The Galaxy S Quick facts: ● First released in June 2010. ● Ran on 1 GHz single core processor and Android 2.3.6 (Gingerbread). ● 5 megapixel rear camera with front-facing VGA camera on some models. ● Notable feature: AMOLED touchscreen. KEY TAKEAWAY: With at least 24 million handsets sold as of this writing, Samsung’s first Android smartphone made it the main competitor to Apple’s iPhone. Credit: Samsung.
  4. The Galaxy S2 Credit: Samsung Quick facts: ● First unveiled in May 2011. ● Released in 120 countries. ● Ran on 1.2 GHz dual-core processor and shipped with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). ● Notable feature: LTE support, but only for customers of Rogers Canada. KEY TAKEAWAY: At 40.2 million units sold, the S2 helped establish Samsung’s staying power.
  5. The Galaxy S3 Credit: Samsung Quick facts: ● First unveiled in May 2012. ● HD-video capable front facing camera. ● Ran on 1.4 or 1.5 GHz quad-core processor and shipped with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). ● Notable feature: Up to 64GB of flash memory storage. KEY TAKEAWAY: A huge winner for Samsung with an iPhone- like 9 million in pre-orders. More than 50 million handsets sold overall.
  6. The Galaxy S4 Credit: Samsung Quick facts: ● First unveiled in April 2013. ● Released in 155 countries. ● Ran on 1.6 GHz or 1.9 GHz quad-core processor and shipped with Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean). ● Notable feature: First smartphone to support LTE Advanced network standard. (But only in a variant model.) KEY TAKEAWAY: Set a new record selling 20 million units in two months. More than 40 million sold at the six month mark.
  7. The Galaxy S5 Credit: Samsung Quick facts: ● First unveiled in April 2014. ● Released in 150 countries. ● Runs on 2.1 GHz or 2.5 GHz quad-core processor and ships with Android 4.4.2 (KitKat). ● Notable feature: Expanded health features, including a built-in heart rate monitor. KEY TAKEAWAY: Broader distribution helped Samsung ship 11 million S5 handsets in its first month of release.
  8. The Galaxy Round Credit: Samsung Quick facts: ● First unveiled in October 2013. ● Launched exclusively on SK Telecom in South Korea. ● Ran on 2.3 GHz quad-core processor and shipped with localized Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean). ● Notable features: Curved AMOLED display and 13 megapixel rear camera with 4K video recording. KEY TAKEAWAY: At roughly $1,000 per handset, the Round is Samsung’s attempt at winning premium users in its home country.
  9. 3 Reasons To Buy Samsung Stock 1. Smartphones are a huge contributor to Samsung’s business. Combined, handsets and tablets accounted for nearly 68% of operating profit last year. 2. The market is still growing fast. IDC forecasts total smartphone volume will grow by 12.3% annually from 2013-2018. 3. The stock is cheap! At 7 times earnings, Samsung trades for less than half the premium Apple commands. Investors are pricing the stock for negligible growth despite its superior positioning in a fast-growing market. KEY TAKEAWAY: Certainly Apple deserves some kind of premium for its excellent brand and rich cash balance. But double the price of Samsung? Don’t be surprised if the gap narrows over the next year.
  10. 485 Million Reasons to Put Down Your iPhone