Cell Technology Comparison: U.S. vs. South Korea

Tech Market Brief

Cellphone Technology:U.S vs. South Korea

Pew Research Center surveyed about smartphone ownership that was conducted across 40 nations with 45,435 respondents and learned that South Korea stands out as the country with the highest smartphone ownership. Compared to the 65 percent of adult Americans, 88 percent of adult Koreans owned a smartphone which doubled the global median average of 43 percent. To get more in depth, a cross section of the survey showed that 100 percent of Koreans from the ages of 18 and 34 owns smartphones, while 83 percent of people over 35 owned them. 92 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 owned smartphones and only 65 percent of Americans over the age of 35. Comparing the ownership of smartphone based on education, 80 percent of the “less educated” Koreans owned a smartphone compared to 59 percent of “less educated” Americans. The “more educated” koreans who owns a smartphone is 95 percent while the “more educated” 81 percent of Americans own a smartphone. It is no surprise that Koreans lead the ownership of smartphones due to the popularity of Samsung. Tech-savvy South Korea has nearly as many cell phones as people. It was reported that there were 45.6 million people. Over 93 percent of the Korean population own a smartphone and that number is expected to rise further in the coming years despite the economic downturn. America is a much larger country in terms of population and its reported that only 78 percent of American own smartphones. These numbers show the popularity rise of smartphones in these two countries. Korea’s massive smartphone useage can be credited to electronics giant Samsung for pioneering the world domination start with its home turf.

Competing Technology: Samsung vs. Apple

There are variety of smartphones available to choose from but Samsung and Apple are the leading competitors in the smartphone industry. So how does the Korean manufactured Samsung Galaxy differ from American-based Apple iPhones? Comparing the newest phones, Galaxy S8 vs. iPhone X, there are different factors that separate these two phones. Although Apple adapted to the display screen of Samsung, the Galaxy S8 has the edge over iPhone X with higher resolution and brightness (1000 nits vs. 625 nits). The S8 also has a slightly higher screen-to-body ratio due to Apple’s polarizing top bezel notch. Samsung had a design advantage over Apple since 2015 but the iPhone X mimicked the S8’s glass back. Something S8 does not have is the stereo speakers of iPhone X. Both phones retain 12 megapixels wide angle though Samsung has a slightly faster aperture (f/1.7 vs. f/1.8) and bigger pixels. Each phone has their unique camera features that make them special. The iPhone X beats the Galaxy S8 in performance as the iPhone X has Apple A11 “Bionic” chipset: six core CPU, six core GPU, M11 motion coprocessor, and 3 GB RAM compared to the S8 which has Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core chipset (4x 2.35GHz and 4x 1.9GHz kryo CPUs), Adreno 540 GPU and 4 GB RAM. Although S8 is a fast phone but in the real world, iPhone X is in a different league. Samsung’s Galaxy range usually had better battery like than Apple’s iphone until Apple used 2716mAh battery for the iPhone X. S8 fast wireless charges at up to 18 W, but the iPhone X is limited to 5W. Galaxy S8 has a USB-C port which works with everything while the iPhone X uses Lighting and requires an adapter. Apple worked hard to compete with Samsung’s Galaxy but Apple had no interest in beating the price of the two phones. Galaxy S8 64 GB is offered at $750 and iPhone X 64 GB is $999. The accessories that come with each phone varies as well. Samsung’s accessory kit consists of fast charger, KG wired headphones. Apple’s iPhone X kit consist of Apple earphones and wired charger and charge $75 extra for the fast charger. Bottom line, these two products are very unique and different in their own special way. Deciding which phone to purchase should be a personal preference.

Markets of Samsung vs. Apple.

Apple make Billions on sale in smartphones every year, but Samsung still reigns supreme in sales. Apple is facing tough battle with Samsung because Samsung sells a variety of smartphones that span all budget levels like high end Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8, and Galaxy J. Apple only sells iPhones but the company expanded its lines to appeal to different budgets. iPhone X is the top model but iPhone SE looks more appealing to those who want an iPhone but are on low budget. Samsung ended 2017 with 21.9 percent market shares in the worldwide smartphone market. Samsung was able to top Apple iPhone’s 15.2 percent market share from their shipment of 310 million units during the period. Experts predicted that Apple will steal some market share from the expectation of this year’s improved handsets and expansion into India. The expansion into India will provide Apple with a larger consumer base to target. Experts predict Samsung will face some difficulties in 2018 as their shipments will drop by 5 percent, therefore pushing its market share to 20.3 percent. Samsung will continue to perform well on the budget side of the market and with 300 million unit shipments in 2018, they will remain the smartphone market leader.

Smartphone Market Competitors

Smartphone companies shipped a total of 1.46 bilion devices in 2017 nearl all running Android and IOS platforms. Looking forward, IDC expects shipment volumes to return to low single digit growth in 2018. The overall market will experience a compund annual growth of 2.8 percent over 2017 to 2022 forecast period with volumes forecast to reach 1.68 billion units in 2022. Samsung remained as leaders in the world wide Smartphone market for 2017. Despite losing out to Apple in the fourth quater, the Korean gaint shipped 74.5 mimllion units in the fourth quester. Samsung increased by 2 percent from 2016 by finishing the year with 317.7 million shipments. Samsung has remained on top desite fierce competition from Chinese players along with Apple. The pending arrival of the Galaxy S9 may be their best chance in winning over both new and current customers in the fourth quarter. Apple is still improving by having numerous models at various prices to attract customers that prefer iOS. The iPhone line up appealed to a wide range of consumers in both emerging and developed markets. Apple finished second behind Samsung in 2017 shipping 215.8 million units. Huawei contiued to be theird position despite on-growing competition from OPPO and Vivo. In 2017, Huawei shipped 154.2 million units; a 10.7 percent increase since 2016. Huawei hopes to soon break into the U.S. markets as an official carrier to eventually dethrone apple and double its share to 7.2 percent. They continue to focus growth on regions outside of China like India and Russia. Lastly, OPPO is currently in fifth place in the ranking as the company shipped 27.3 million Smartphones while maintaining 12 percent growth for the full year. OPPO is also moving beyond the Chinese market and hope to gain a foothold in other Asian countries.


Smartphone technology is advancing by the day and believe one day, almost everyone around the world will have some sort of smartphone. Cell technologies and markets in U.S compared to other world markets will continue to compete. Samsung and Apple seem as if they will be the top competitors for years to come but they best believe they will have stiff competition from various upcoming smartphone vendors.

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