It’s Time for Apple Inc. (AAPL) to Take the Competition Seriously: Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NOK)

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Apple Inc. (AAPL)With the Samsung’s Galaxy S4 launch last week, it’s hard not think of how the new phone could hurt Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)‘s iPhone sales. Previous versions of the Galaxy have been a strong competitor to the Cupertino company’s flagship product. But recent comments from Apple’s Phil Schiller suggest the company is having a hard time seeing the competition from the right perspective.

What did he say?
Schiller, Apple’s senior VP of worldwide marketing, said the following statements to the Wall Street Journal last week:

“Android is often given as a free replacement for a feature phone and the experience isn’t as good as an iPhone.”

“When you take an Android device out of the box, you have to sign up to nine accounts with different vendors to get the experience iOS comes with .”

The same day he spoke with The Wall Street Journal, Schiller said this to Reuters about the amount of Android smartphones activated compared to Apple:

“At Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) we know that it’s not just enough to have products pumped out in large numbers. You have to love and use them. There is a lot of data showing a big disparity there.”

Schiller’s comments came the day before Samsung launched its new phone, and while no one can fault him for believing in his company (he is Apple’s marketing exec after all), the statements fall somewhat flat against the data on what consumers are actually using. In Q4 2012, Android smartphones made up almost 70% of smartphone market share by sales — while iOS took about 21%, according to Gartner research . Android’s market share increased more than 18% while iOS’ share decreased about 3% year over year.

In the U.S., the Android platform accounts for more than 50% of OS market share as of January.

Source: comScore.

This graph doesn’t account for revenue market share, but it’s a good indicator of which OS consumers are using on their smartphones. Obviously, the U.S. market isn’t the only area Apple is focusing on, so let’s take a look at how the company is doing compared to competitors in emerging markets.

The emerging markets game
China officially became the world’s largest smartphone market this year , and it’s still growing. Although demand for Apple products is strong in China, Samsung still comes out on top when it comes to smartphone market share in the country.

Source: Yanhap News.

China is one of Apple’s main priorities right now, and with China Mobile Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:CHL) in the process of building a new 4G network, Apple could soon release a China Mobile iPhone that could bring market share gains for Apple. But the company can’t forget the other emerging markets around the world, where its competitors are already dominating.

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