First of all, let's all agree on something -- Apple is arguably the premier technology company on the planet. With profits and followers both numbering in the billions (that's with a "B"), it's surprising to see such a corporate giant also acting as a global innovation giant as well.
But with the latest volley of shots traded between Steve Jobs' baby and rival Samsung Electronics, it is clear that Samsung has done something that even corporate juggernauts like Microsoft have been unable to do -- to make a measurable dent in Apple's armor.
As recently as late 2010, there were signs that Samsung was gathering its troops for an assault on Apple's ramparts. The onset of sales from Samsungs smartphone and tablet markets were taking analysts by surprise, and raising eyebrows. But like the other competitors before them, Samsung was seen as "just another company trying to compete with Apple." In 2011, we saw sales of the Galaxy line of product begin to surge, as more and more users began to realize that Samsung had hit on something, something big; a design and functionality concept that all-of-the-sudden gave Apple a run for its money. As recently as July of 2012, reports of a 44 percent jump in shipment of Samsung smartphones indicated that the Korean tech company had overtaken Apple as the world's top smartphone maker.
The success of Samsung has even reached into the territory of Apple TV advertisements, with ads showing lines of Apple faithful waiting in line for "the next version" of Apple product, while in the background, Samsung users are enjoying their devices, seemingly without having to wish for "the next version" to get more features.
No doubt, part of the success lies in the well-executed use of the Android OS. But others have tried and failed, all using the same Android ammunition. So why did the others fall flat? My guess is that it all comes down to the execution of the technology. It's the veritable "using a shotgun like a baseball bat" that allows even the biggest competitors to lose the battle due to misplaced design intent.
Now that Apple has introduced the iPad Mini, no doubt to introduce something to rival the array of small 7"-10" tablets that flood the market, we are still seeing huge sales with the Samsung devices -- devices which seem to mirror the other Android tablets out there, yet have that special "something," that attracts people's attention.
The Samsung success is a welcome change of landscape in the technology gadget field. It remains to be seen whether or not Samsung has the stamina to keep up with Apple and its minions of faithful followers.
At the end of the day, if armor can be dented, it means that it can also be breached.