Samsung has peaked. Apple’s holding steady.

Bajarin’s piece, posted Wednesday behind the Tech.pinions paywall, is called Peak Samsung. Thompson’s, posted the day before on his Stratechery site, is titled Smartphone Truths and Samsung’s Inevitable Decline.

They both start with the bad news Samsung released Tuesday — slowing smartphone and tablet sales leading to a 24% earnings decline year over year.

And they both, in their own way, say “I told you so.”

Thompson runs through a long list of bulleted items before landing on the broader point:

“Ultimately… Samsung’s fundamental problem is that they have no software-based differentiation, which means in the long run all they can do is compete on price. Perhaps they should ask HP or Dell how that goes.

“In fact, it turns out that smartphones really are just like PCs: it’s the hardware maker with its own operating system that is dominating profits, while everyone else eats themselves alive to the benefit of their software master.”

I consider both pieces must-reads for anyone watching the smartphone market. Bajarin’s work is always worth the price of admission (25 cents per piece, $5 per month, $50 per year).

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Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple (AAPL) coverage at or subscribe via his RSS feed.


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