Comparing Apple and Samsung Gross Profits & Net Operating Income

Apple and Samsung have been the two dominating forces in the smartphone market for years, and their rivalry continues to be a fixture of the tech landscape. Each company has made a series of strategic decisions that have resulted in significantly different net operating income figures, despite similar gross profit margins. In this article, we will explore the strategies employed by both Apple and Samsung in an effort to get a better understanding of what makes each company so successful. We’ll also discuss the advantages that each one has over the other and why one is more profitable than the other.

Different Strategies for Profitability

The main difference between Apple and Samsung is their strategies for profitability. Apple has focused more on product differentiation and higher pricing points. This has allowed them to maintain high gross profit margins, as customers are willing to pay more for the distinctiveness of the products they offer. In contrast, Samsung has opted for a strategy of market saturation, flooding the market with a wide range of products at lower prices. This has resulted in lower gross margins, but also increased sales levels and higher net profits as customers flock for the cheaper options made available by Samsung.

Advantages for Different Strategies

The different strategies employed by Apple and Samsung have both their own advantages and drawbacks. Apple’s focus on product differentiation has allowed them to forge strong customer loyalty and generate bigger profits from each sale. However, it also makes them susceptible to strong competition as their products are not necessarily the cheapest choice on the market. Samsung’s approach of flooding the market with a wide range of products has made them popular amongst budget shoppers looking for an affordable option. However, it has also put their profits at risk if a competitor manages to break through their market dominance.

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Why One is More Profitable than the Other

At the end of the day, the main reason why one company is more profitable than the other comes down to how well their respective strategies fit the changing needs of the market. Apple has seen great successes in the past with their focus on product differentiation, and could very well continue to do so in the future. Samsung, on the other hand, must continue to find ways to maintain their market saturation and stay ahead of their competitors in order to remain the more profitable company. In the end, it will be the customer who decides which strategy succeeds in the long run.

Apple and Samsung Profits in Q4 2020

At the beginning of 2020, Apple and Samsung were very close in terms of revenues and profits. In Q4 2020, however, Apple had a dramatic jump in profits compared to Samsung. Apple recorded 79.9 million profits while Samsung’s figures were drastically lower at 62.1 million. In terms of total revenue for 2020, Apple surpassed Samsung as it generated a whopping $274 billion, compared to Samsung’s $206 billion.

VTDF Framework for Apple and Samsung Profits

In order to analyze Apple and Samsung’s vastly different performances in the fourth quarter of 2020, one can take advantage of the Venture Capitalists’ Due Diligence Framework (VTDFF). This framework is designed to assess the current performance of a business vis-à-vis its industry peers and overall economic trends. It is used by venture capitalists to decide on investments and thus provides the perfect tool to analyze the difference between Apple and Samsung’s profits.

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Assessing Apple and Samsung’s Financials

Using the VTDFF as a basis, it becomes readily apparent why Apple recorded higher profits. Much of this can be attributed to its significantly higher revenue share of the market compared to Samsung. Even when compared to other players in its industry, Apple has a staggering 25% edge in terms of revenue. Apple’s operating profit was also significantly higher than that of Samsung. In fact, Apple was 62% ahead of Samsung when it came to operating profit. This disparity in financials is primarily because of Apple’s strong customer base, vast product range, and ability to upsell more services and products.


By closely analyzing the data, one can conclude that Apple’s higher profits can be attributed to its higher revenue share, quality customer base, and broad product range. Apple was also able to find ways to increase its profits through upselling of services and products. Most of all, it was able to identify and tap into trends early on and stay ahead of its competitors. These factors all combined for a fourth quarter in 2020 that set Apple significantly apart from Samsung in terms of profits.