Smartphone Truths and Samsung’s Inevitable Decline

Ben Thompson, Stratechery

Ultimately, though, Samsung’s fundamental problem is that they have no software-based differentiation, which means in the long run all they can do is compete on price. Perhaps they should ask HP or Dell how that goes.

In fact, it turns out that smartphones really are just like PCs: it’s the hardware maker with its own operating system that is dominating profits, while everyone else eats themselves alive to the benefit of their software master.

Time will tell. The Dell reference is interesting, since Michael Dell famously said that Apple should shut down and return the money to its shareholders (or something to that effect), and now Dell is the one struggling. Will Samesung’s superiority complex and mocking of Apple customers in its ads come back to haunt them in the long run like Dell’s comments?

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