Samsung spending ludicrous amounts of money to advertise Galaxy phones against Apple and the iPhone

What does it take to try and push more Samsung Galaxy devices than Apple iPhones and iPads? An incredible amount of advertising and marketing money, apparently. When compared not only to Apple and Microsoft, but even ad-heavy companies like Coca Cola, Samsung's run rate looks even more ludicrously large. Horace Dediu of Asymco put together the following chart:

While Apple isn't spending anything close to what Samsung is in advertising, Apple has an iconic brand and enormous mind-share. What's more interesting is wondering how other Android manufacturers, ones that don't have the ancillary businesses Samsung has, and can't spend as much on advertising as Samsung can, will keep up?

What happens when Samsung becomes synonymous with Android? Is that better or worse, competitively, for Apple?

Check out the rest of Dediu's article for more charts and analysis.

Source: Asymco

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • I don't think it affects Apple that much. Most of the friends I know that use iOS products are already invested in Apple's ecosystem. That marketing budget is likely more targeted at first time smartphone buyers, or those that just want whatever looks "cool." If Samsung's brand becomes synonymous with Android, it would probably pose more of a problem to Google than Apple; especially if Google is trying to do more with the Nexus brand. It sort of becomes a conflict of interest.
  • I don't think Samsung will by synonymous with Android. Samsung also makes windows phones.
  • *those that just want whatever looks "cool"... those buy APPLE products...
    or is plastic the new "cool"...DUDE... *If Someskunk's brand becomes synonymous with Android*... nun that will mean: bad time for Googlorolla ..will mean: bad time for US economy and.lots of people in US loosing their's jobs... will mean good time for Korean economy and lots of dogs in Korea loosing their's lives !!!
  • Because apple and every other company makes everything in the U.S. Come on now apple uses the same factories and foreign workers samsung does.....
  • I was referring to Motorolla ... but also APPLE does employ way more Americans than Someskunk ... multiple times... its not just manufacturing ... DUDE
  • really have never gotten that argument. i mean, so a company cheaply pays workers overseas to make thier product. the majority of the money and profit all comes back to the american company. which in turn then gets put back into an american economy. so toyota has assembly plants in the US. that doesnt make them an american company. note, im not telling you to buy apple because they are american. just saying, when people talk about buying american, they dont mean only things that are 100% made and assembled in the US.
  • Apple won't spend that much because they need to keep those profit margins up super high. Plus they know the isheep will buy regardless so don't need to spend as much advertising
  • Given you posted this in the forums: "Stayed up for iPhone 5. Another great product from Apple. Have fun everyone." and you enter all the Apple device contests here, appears to be a case of "the pot calling the kettle black," hmmmm?!.... ;-)
  • I go through phones all the time I have multiple devices and like trying different brands and operating systems. So no not pot calling kettle black, just being honest
  • Not being honest, being a jerk. How do you know what Apple's marketing strategy is? You go through lots of phones too. Wow. Good for you, you sound like you're sheep for every company then
  • Someone is butt hurt. It's not a sheep if you don't repeatedly buy from one company but I know that's hard for you to understand
  • I love my iPhone and my Galaxy Nexus too. But what me and most users hate is trolls like you insulting people because they use a given product. Whether its isheep, android zombies, droidbots, or samsuckers, its all lame.
  • +1... but...*If Someskunk's brand becomes synonymous with Android*... than droidiots will be called just samsuckers :-)
  • You're right. You're not a sheep. Only an idiot would blow money on every new phone that comes out.
  • See what happens when you throw around labels? Sooner or later it's gonna come back to haunt you. No need for it. Nothing wrong with a company or product developing a fan base.
  • +9000
  • Grammar police. It shoul just be "ludicrous" without the -ly.
  • Re: "...ludicrously amounts of money to advertise Galaxy phones against Apple and the iPhone" Actually, Samsung is spending ludicrous amounts of money to beat all other Android hardware makers into the dirt. It worked. Re: "What happens when Samsung becomes synonymous with Android?" Samsung will fork their own version of Android. Exactly the same way Amazon did. And why would Samsung do that? There are several reasons why, and they're all inevitable: - Samsung will optimize their fork of Android for their hardware. Better performance, more control over the total experience. No need to lobby Google for features, no need to wait for Google to fix bugs and performance issues. Samsung will do it themselves. - Samsung's market share will make their fork of Android the de facto standard. Developers will ignore whatever dessert-named releases Google churns out, because they will never gain enough market share to matter. It's just a matter of time.
  • What gets me is that, while nice phones, Samsung doesn't even make the best Android phones. I just don't get it. Motorola has some nice looking phones. Oh, and small request. It is the holiday season. Can we have a reprieve from the "iSheep" and "Fandroid" name calling for a couple of weeks? :)
  • What about : Samdroid or Fanskunk ???... DUDE
  • Samsung has so many products besides smartphones and tablets. They sell kitchen appliances, those graphs and article don't even matter. Samsung is killing this market with phones that customers want, very simple. I own the SGS3 , Note 2, Nexus 4, and the I-Phone 5. All great phones but honestly the SGS3 with 32 gb of int memory is a great device and the Note 2 is just a beast. I use those two devices more than all others. I bought the I-Phone 5 because I just had to see what it was all about, I just could not use it after using the SGS3, the multi tasking alone was just the best on the SGS3. The software on these Samsung devices are killer, the innovation is just over the top. Every day I find something new I never knew was there. Samsung will never take over Android, They don't have to it is a free software. Apple needs to get off their butts and start pushing their OS, Apple is very far behind anything in Android and if you compare the innovations in the Samsung products, Apple has a long way to go. There is nothing on the new I-phone that can compete with the new Samsung products, only the die-hard Apple fans just can not get use to it. Apple is selling unlocked phones, they are doing anything they can to try and gain back market sales. What they need to do is get in the labs and innovate, innovate and innovate. They have done none of that for some time and that just sucks. Just my Opinion. As I said I went out and paid cash for a new I-Phone 5 and it just doesn't have it.
  • Why would you spell it I-Phone? Personally, I prefer HTC phones, so I hope other Android ODMs do well enough to survive as well.
  • And apple is so good that even a jackass like u still have to go out and get an iPhone. Samsung have to be spending like crazy trying to push their product, that tell u that no one need thir cheap plastic shit.
  • Galaxy s3 is useless. truly a ugly phone that feels like a cheap knockoff especially with the android interface/ux which looks like was downloaded from a stock photo website. bigger screens and widgets mean nothing to me. Android are for people who don't use it as a phone but to play around with useless apps. You can buy it for 0$ on contract, the 4s is still $100 on contract. Also you have 4 phones, obviously you don't use them as intended but as toys. Why people change phones every 3 months of course and say apple is behind. Apple puts out 1 phone a year, Samsung 4-5 and still copy apple features.
  • The 4 is free on contact as was the 3gs so that it's free argument is no longer valid
  • actually it is, since I said 4S...not 4. not even the latest iphone still is more valuable to phone companies.
  • Your comment just screams of sarcasm or idiocy. If you have never used a Galaxy S3 for an extended period of time, then you're just posting garbage to hear yourself talk. I know plenty of businessmen and women that use Samsung phones, the Galaxy S3 included. Being able to grab the S3 for $0 on contract may end up being the smarter decision for a lot of people that want a phone that works as advertised. Is the iPhone a great phone? Sure, and I have a ton of friends that use it and love it. But, they don't go around bashing Android because they don't use it. Does Android have as many apps as iOS? No, and it may never equal iOS in the apps department. But, that doesn't mean that there aren't useful apps in Google's Play Store. You can like iOS without appearing to be a slave to it. Does Samsung copy Apple's features? Sure, and to be honest, I don't know a company in the world that doesn't evolve based on the strongest competition in that particular industry.
  • yea, theres no problem with copying. the problem is android users say they are constaning innovating, but dont talk about all the features from iphone...they always leave that out.
  • I am an appreciative owner of an iPhone 5. My wife is an appreciative owner of the G Note 2. After being an avid iOS user and having spent some time with the Android OS (her phone & other models prior) I have come to the conclusion that both are equally great in their own respects. I will agree that iOS could use a refresh and needs to advance the OS a bit. Having said that, while Android, namely Samsung, has a lot of nice gimmicky bells and whistles, the one thing they drastically lag behind is the touch responsiveness of the iPhone. I can rapidly tap and hash out messages and emails almost superfluously on an iPhone. When compared to my wife's G Note 2, that is not the case. The touch typing is jumbled and less then stellar. I have to find my self slowing down so the touch responsiveness can keep up with me. You could make the argument of Swype, but I'm referring to touch typing responsiveness only.
  • Instead of spending so much money trying to bash Apple, why not take a good percentage of that money, and invest in the creation, innovation, and marketing of your products and services? Sure, if you have the money, take a few jabs. Poke a little bit of light hearted fun. But to spend that much, just to make yourself look better just speaks volumes that you have no faith or confidence in your products as stand alone devices.
  • Samsung should invest in innovation and creation? Really? Surely you haven't used one of their phones lately ... They have been doing exactly that .... The GS3 and the Note II are great examples.
  • Surely, you didn't read my comment prior to this one. The part where my wife has a G Note 2... I'm not saying they aren't innovating, I'm merely staying that the ratio of money spent bashing Apple & their products and money spent focusing on their products, should lean WAY more to the side of focusing on their products, as opposed to bashing Apple. Makes me think of the "Me Monster" joke from comedian, Brian Regan. Any good company with great products, simply focuses on why their product stands above the rest, by focusing on what you can do with it. It's very adolescent and insecure, the way Samsung has to advertise the way they do.
  • Both operating systems have their pros and cons.
    I love my wife's iphone ring volume, vibrate, notifcations, etc.
    I love my GNex widgets, pull down window, NFC, micro usb :) Just because it is plastic doesn't make it a toy or less of a device.
    I think Iphone has a more accurate keyboard, but using apps like swype and my fav swiftkey I type just as fast. It's all about choice.
  • +9000
  • The article makes the graph seem to be for smart phones. It is not. This is the entire marketing budget for all of samsungs products combined. Apple does not have that many products in comparison. Samsungs products are in the hundreds.
  • "When compared not only to Apple and Microsoft, but even ad-heavy companies like Coca Cola, Samsung's run rate looks even more ludicrously large." @Rene This assertion is quite false. I'm assuming you used the last series of information to come to this conclusion. The last series of bars labelled "Marketing Expenses" are identified as being an aggregate of Advertising, SG&A and "Other expenses." The data provided for the other companies only relates to Advertising with no mention of SG&A or "other expenses". If you look at the Coca-Cola numbers vs. Samsung numbers, it's quite clear that Coca-Cola spent more in both fiscal 2010 and 2011 on advertising.
    Using only the advertising information, it is still true that Samsung out spends Apple roughly 4:1.
  • Spending grotesque amounts of money on ads doesn't necessarily translate into sales. Will be fun to see Microsoft's return on investment for all those embarrassingly goofy, high-profile Surface ads. You can buy air time. You can't buy mindshare.
    Samsung has the former. Apple has the latter.
  • This does read marketing expenses... Not necessarily just phones. Samsung makes tv's, dishwashers, washers & dryers.. Heck laptops, cameras.... Fridge, microwaves, not to mention ranges, stoves... Com'on... Of course they will spend more, more products. They still have tons of more products I did not list.. Lol
  • +1 This article is completely useless. If it said "Mobile Device Marketing Expenses" it'd make some sense. According to the graph, it's for their entire Electronics advertising. Samsung puts their name on more electronics than all of those other companies on the graph combined (with the exception of coca cola since they don't sell electronics). It's pretty much common sense as to why there advertising expenses is more than everyone else, but for those that still don't get it....Samsung sells a lot more than mobile devices!!!
  • Among Apple fans anyway. Sales statistics do not quite support that assessment.
  • The graphs are about how much each corporation spends in advertising for all their products. Samsung sells a wide variety of products so it's normal that their advertising would be large. Can someone really look at that report and make a direct link between ONLY one product in each company's lineup? Did the author of this blurb think that Samsung only advertises the Galaxy S3? It doesn't advertise their TVs or cameras?
  • You can get the iPhone accessories at They have many products of cell phone accessories with cheaper price and good quality. Also they have online customer service.