Updated from 9:30 a.m. ET to include CNBC video and additional analysis on Page Two.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Toward the end of my Black Friday hit on CNBC, Simon Hobbs spoke of an "opportunity" for companies who do not premium-price their products the way Apple (AAPL)AAPL does.
Here's the CNBC hit where Hobbs refers to me as "a man of ... great wealth." I'm not sure where he got that from, but, nevertheless, this Apple discussion from Black Friday helps place context around the present article. It's what spurred my thinking and triggered my focus on the "other" category I concentrate on throughout.
So, yes I conceded that Hobbs is correct. Opportunity exists for everybody from Samsung to Amazon.com (AMZN)AMZN to Microsoft (MSFT)MSFT to Hewlett-Packard (HPQ)HPQ to come in somewhere under Apple on price. But what's does going after this so-called opportunity actually accomplish?
If you're Samsung and Google (GOOG)GOOG, it brings market share. That's not Apple's strategy. It's not the type of approach I can get behind; however, it works. Samsung and Google have claimed their turf, gobbling up market share as vendor and platform, respectively.In smartphones, Samsung and Google's Android trounce Apple for global market share. In the U.S., the Android platform beats Apple handily, while Apple holds a comfortable lead over Samsung as a smartphone OEM. It's a similar story in tablets. Worldwide, Apple's the top vendor. Android, led by Samsung hardware and other fragmented players, provides the dominant platform. So far, we have three viable strategies:
- Apple as the premium smartphone and tablet vendor and platform.
- Samsung as a (or the) major market share player in all areas, particularly global smartphone sales.
- Google licensing Android to anybody who wants it as to extend the footprint of its ecosystem, chiefly its prolific advertising network and emerging software and services.
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