Jan 26, 2013 5:00 PM GMT
Samsung, the market leader in smartphones, on Friday said its fourth-quarter profit surged 76% to a record high on the strength of smartphone sales, including its Galaxy S line. The latest version is considered comparable by many shoppers in both design and technical features.
Apple, meanwhile, reignited concerns about demand for its iPhone 5 after reporting flat earnings for the holiday quarter, sending its stock down 14% in the past two days. The stock has also dropped 37% since hitting an all-time high on Sept. 19, just two days before the iPhone 5 launched in stores.
At that time, Samsung had just unleashed an aggressive marketing campaign including a television commercial that poked fun at the iPhone 5. "The next big thing is already here," the spot said, referring to its Galaxy S III phone.
The ad was part of a more than $200 million U.S. marketing blitz that Samsung launched in 2011 to lampoon Apple, according to Kantar Media. The creative vision for those ads was a former Nike NKE +3.14% executive, Todd Pendleton, who now runs Samsung's marketing in the U.S.
The campaign swayed consumers including Will Hernandez, an Apple iPhone owner who bought a Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone about three months ago after seeing Samsung's ads.
"If you see this stuff on TV enough, it gets you thinking," said Mr. Hernandez, a 34-year-old resident of Somerville, Mass., who adds that he likes how his Galaxy has a larger screen than the iPhone. "Now, when someone gives me an iPhone to look at a picture, it looks so tiny."
The marketing onslaught is helping Samsung widen the gap as the market leader. Samsung is estimated to have held 28% of the global smartphone market last year, up from 20% a year earlier, according to IHS iSuppli. Apple's share, meanwhile, isn't rising as quickly, moving to 20.5% in 2012 from 19% a year earlier.