While Android makes up the overwhelming majority of market share in terms of operating systems, Apple, in the past, has typically been the at the top of the food chain for device sales in comparison to other manufacturers. Part of this can be attributed to the different business models employed by Apple and Google. Because Android can be used by any manufacturer, there are a ton of Android devices to choose from with varying specs, features, and price points. This will naturally give Android a huge advantage as an operating system. On the other hand, the fact that Apple doesn’t have to compete with any other manufacturers making iOS devices give them an advantage in device sales; if you want a phone that uses iOS, you buy an iPhone.
Now, however, the Samsung Galaxy S7 has caught up with the iPhone 6s in the US. According to Kantar Worldpanel, when comparing the two companies’ competing flagship devices, 16 percent of American smartphone buyers are choosing the Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge as opposed to the 14.6 percent who are choosing the iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S Plus. The lead is also not just in flagship sales; in the second quarter of 2016 Samsung also had 37 percent of the US market as far as overall sales, in comparison to Apple’s 29 percent. Samsung, which has had a poor record for customer loyalty in the past, has also achieved an 86 percent loyalty rate, which refers to the percentage of customers that will continue buying Samsung smartphones in the future. This is slightly behind Apple’s 88 percent but is still a notable improvement for Samsung.
The popularity of the Galaxy S7 is no surprise. It’s packed with top-of-the-line hardware, great features, and a stunning physical design. And there has been no shortage of great marketing for the device. While last generation's Galaxy S6 made some compromises, such as removal of the waterproofing and expandable storage slot, Samsung has listened to their customers and brought back the most wanted features of previous generations while maintaining the strengths of the Galaxy S6, such as the aesthetics and the refined version of TouchWiz. Although the iPhone 6S is an older device, which does give the Galaxy S7 an advantage, it’s still amazing to see that Samsung has done what no other Android device manufacturer has managed to do, and it really shows how good they have become at giving their customers what they want.