Just to make things interesting, Samsung, Apple's biggest mobile competitor and generally a thorn in its side, released the Galaxy S 4 last week, its latest smartphone with lots of high-end features but low-end quality and construction. Samsung thinks it can beat Apple by turning up the dial on features and turning down the quality. It's already morphing into a classic battle, with clearly defined product philosophies. So Apple has broken free of its chains but finds itself in the unusual position as the underdog. CEO Tim Cook hasn't shown the type of leadership we all hoped he might muster, but alas, he's no Steve Jobs. Design chief Jony Ives, maybe? One thing is for sure, Apple is still the best-run company on the planet, and being the underdog can only be a benefit. -- Written by Ernie Varitimos, author of the Apple Investor blog.Follow @ConservatumThis article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.