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Apple Vs. Samsung and/or Google: Which of These Brands is 'Past Its Prime'?


Perception can mean more than reality, and right now Samsung is seen as the hot new name in consumer technology.

Sure, that's still half Facebook's number, but it's only been 18 months since Google+ was introduced. And social networking is more business-critical to Google, which needs people signed on across all of its sites all of the time, for more effective delivery of advertising.

Of course, Apple could lob one new product on the market and instantaneously turn that perception around, as it did before, with the iPod in 2001. But for now, Apple is even getting some bad press, for the first time in more than a decade.

The latest evidence comes from Australia, where police issued a warning last week that drivers using the Apple Maps app on iOS6 devices to get to the city of Mildura were ending up 45 miles away in a remote scorched-earth corner of the outback. Apple has corrected the error.

And then there's the problem some Apple users have had getting Wi-Fi on an iOS6 device. Some users swear that stashing the device in the freezer for 10 or 20 minutes sometimes fixes the problem. No kidding - this tip is from ZDNet.

Just to make it a better story, Apple and Samsung are mortal enemies in a patent battle that continues to test the patience even of the federal judge overseeing it. "I've said this all along," said Judge Lucy Koh said last week. "I think it is time for global peace." The war is over patent rights related to smartphone and tablet design. Unusual weirdness applies here: Samsung supplies some parts for the Apple iPhone.

In the US, the Samsung brand has been well known only for about a decade, and only as an electronics company. At home in South Korea, it's a monolithic force with 79 subsidiaries spread across industries from construction to insurance and oil.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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