Samsung became the king of smartphones last year, when it became the company that's selling the most smartphone units in the world, and it never looked back since. Apple may still sell the most smartphone units in US, with over 40 percent market share for themselves, because they had such a big head start in the US market with both the iPhone and the iPad, but Samsung is selling many more units globally, in part because it's selling to a wider range of people, too, while Apple's iPhones usually cost at least $700 unlocked in most countries.
Samsung seems to have been embolden by some recent success in the tablet market, too, and it seems it's now looking to beat Apple in the tablet market, too. Samsung expects to sell 40 million tablet units in 2013, which is double what they sold in 2012. If they can double that up again in 2014, then their goal should be pretty attainable.
This does come as a bit of a surprise, because I actually don't think Samsung's tablets have had standards as high as their smartphones. Their Galaxy Tab 3 series tablets had lower resolutions and pretty unimpressive specs, and the same goes for the Galaxy Note 8.0, which came with a 1280×800 resolution in late spring, while costing $400. The Galaxy Note 10.1 tablets, which are the ones that interest me personally the most, have also had some serious performance issues, which they haven't fixed even in the latest edition. Hopefully, they will fix that by the time the Galaxy Note 12.2 comes out, but so far their track record for the large Note tablets is not very good.
So why has Samsung been so successful then? I think it all comes back to branding and advertising. Samsung not only has a pretty entrenched Galaxy brand (which sometimes they dilute by going too far with naming even the lowest end devices as "Galaxy"), but also heavy and targeted advertising for the products they want to promote all over the world.
This seems to have worked pretty well for Samsung so far, so unless they don't modernize the Nature UX interface for a long time, or do something terribly wrong with the software in the future, by making it perform more poorly even on higher-end hardware (like it seems to have been the case lately), then they will probably achieve their goal of beating Apple in tablets, possibly even next year.