Handsets

Samsung versus Apple: The Endless Feud

Samsung versus Apple

There are only two real players in the mobile phone market, Samsung and Apple.  The debate of Samsung versus Apple has been going on for almost a decade now.  Samsung had been in a bit of a slump the past two years, Apple was outselling them and no other Android manufacturer was ready to fill the void.  That slump didn’t last though, the release of the Galaxy S7 had them scooping up 16% of all US smartphone sales, while iPhone 6 only took 14.6% of sales.

This small difference may not seem like much but the first quarter of 2016 was the first time ever iPhone shipments had declined.  By May of this year Samsung accounted for 37% of smartphone sales globally while Apple was only 29%.   Both companies can boast incredible brand loyalty with more than 86% of Samsung users sticking with the brand and 88% of Apple users sticking with iPhone.

The Rivalry

Watching the two cell phone behemoths duking it out over the years both in court and in the retail space has been entertaining to say the least.  The two are the biggest rivals in the mobile phone and tablet space.  Samsung is the only real threat from the Android operating system that Apple has ever had to face.  They have dragged each other into court all over the world over design features and technologies.

Both of them have won and lost in court while claiming the other stole some new idea.  As soon as one develops some new service or technology the other follows quickly thereafter.  Case in point, shortly after Apple Pay was launched Samsung launched Samsung Pay pretty soon after.  Ironically they are in partnership as often as they are in court.  Samsung has help Apple with chips for the the iPhone and iPad and Apple is expected to adopt the super Amoled display on future models.

The Specs

When you compare the features of the Galaxy S7 against the iPhone 6S, Samsung wins in almost every category.  Display, battery life and camera are all features where Samsung comes out ahead.  Is it even necessary to discuss anymore the issue of expandable memory and why Apple refuses to fix this problem, at this point it is just ridiculous and expensive to the consumer.  Price points between the two models are comparable but it is cheaper to grab an SD card to expand the memory of the Galaxy, whereas Apple makes you buy a different model.  Here is a video that breaks down the specs of each.

The Victor

In this round of competition it’s Samsung’s prize to take.  The Galaxy S7 slaps down Apple on virtually every feature.  The difference is, is that Apple has built a whole culture around their hardware and software.  Apple Pay, iTunes are all seamlessly integrated not just into the phone but the whole lifestyle.  That is where Samsung struggles to compete.

 

Networks

The Myth of Unlimited Data

Myth of Unlimited Data

Once upon a time most wireless companies in the US offered unlimited data plans, granted that was mostly in the days of WAP browsing and all you could really do was look for ringtones.  Canadians never had the luxury until some small wireless carriers came along and offered them, granted they only worked if you lived in Toronto but it did give you some bragging rights.

The Myth of Unlimited Data

Today “unlimited” data plans just don’t exist anymore.  Verizon and AT&T don’t even try and pretend they sell them anymore, while Sprint and T-Mobile will offer them but try using more than they think you should and see what happens.  The penalty happens when you use more data than they feel you should then the throttling happens.  This means your connection is slowed to a crawl making the internet virtually unusable.

Wireless carriers in the US have gone to battle with the Federal Communications Commission over the throttling of heavy data users on more than one instance.  The FCC was not happy with Verizon’s policy of throttling heavy data users, Verizon responded by essentially saying “everybody else does it so why shouldn’t we”.  You can read the response from Verizon to the FCC complaint here.

Fair Usage Policy

Verizon does claim to do the throttling to handle network congestion and that all carriers have the same policy.  The average consumer would have to bring a magnifying glass and go over the fine print to see the “Fair Usage Policy”.  While Verizon in particular doesn’t offer unlimited data plans any longer they still have a high number of customers grandfathered in under old plans with the option.  These are the customers who get throttled when there is network congestion.

AT&T also does the same thing, it throttles back customers who have used more than 5GB of data during one billing cycle.  Like Verizon these customers are also grandfathered in on older wireless plans.  While Verizon throttles your data for two billing cycles at least AT&T only does it for one.  T-Mobile on the other hand doesn’t call it throttling they explain it differently.  If you use more data than 95% of customers with the same plan then you lose priority.  All just another way of saying throttled.

Unlike AT&T and T-Mobile, Verizon will throttle back your service for two months instead of just the current billing cycle.  Also the only customers who actually get throttled are the ones on old plans with the unlimited data feature.  This smacks of punishment, which is not the job of your wireless carrier.