Last week, Apple became the first $1 trillion company in the US. Despite flat smartphone sales, the brand pumped the average selling price of its devices up to $724, thanks to the $999 iPhone X. Apple also reported over 60% growth in wearables such as the Apple Watch and AirPods.
Meanwhile, Samsung is worth $300 billion, a third of Apple’s market capitalization. The brand had a rough week, reporting flat quarterly net profits and mobile revenue down 20%. To combat the bad news, Samsung moved up the release of its Galaxy Note 9 phone to today and announced plans to launch a foldable-screen smartphone in 2019.
Despite the quarterly update from Wall Street, however, Samsung knocked Apple off the #1 spot in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Consumer Electronics, after two years of playing second fiddle to the iPhone maker. We placed the two smartphone titans head to head to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses on each dimension of digital:
Site & E-Commerce
Apple was a pioneer for consumer electronics brands, building a top-notch site with streamlined navigation and content-rich endless scroll category pages that fit smaller mobile screens. While Apple remains best in class for these site features, it’s being copied by many other brands including Samsung, which was one of few brands in L2’s ranking to offer versatile multicriteria sort and filter tools on product pages and is ubiquitous across e-tailers.
Apple has visibility across various earned media outlets and the largest share of desktop video advertisements in the ranking, while Samsung leads in organic search visibility against unbranded search terms, giving it a fighting chance against the world’s strongest brand.
Samsung does well on Facebook, while Apple doesn’t post on the platform. But Apple is a quick learner. Despite having only joined Instagram in 2017, the brand garners the second-most interactions per post of all consumer electronics brands thanks to a savvy combination of user-generated and professional photos.
Both Apple and Samsung’s best-in-class mobile apps provide product suggestions. However, they lack some features available on their mobile websites such as product comparisons and live chat with customer service reps.