The smartphone market has become increasingly saturated over the past few years. While originally controlled by Apple (AAPL), companies such as Samsung, Xiaomi, and Motorola (MSI) have increased their respective market shares. Today, customers are presented with dozens of premier smartphone choices, but are limited to two operating systems: Apple’s iOS and Google’s (GOOG) Android platforms.
Apple pioneered the smartphone market after unveiling the original iPhone in June 2007. Since then, the iPhone has continued to evolve and increase in popularity. This dominance has allowed Apple to foster a large, devoted following. Even though its product offerings have been less impressive in recent years, customers keep begging Apple for more, shelling out huge sums of money in support of its latest gadget releases. The upcoming September 9th announcement will undoubtedly place Apple back in the limelight (as if it ever left) with the release of the iPhone 6. Given Analyst expectations, the iPhone 6 will cement Apple's foothold in the mobile market for years to come. As always, Apple's marketing division will ensure the company's long-term success.
The other massive tech titan, which also maintains a smartphone following, is Samsung. While Apple releases only one "flagship" device roughly each calendar year, Samsung releases several. This, in turn, allows the company to appeal to more customers. In fact, Forbes estimates that, for FY 2013, Samsung shipped 63.7 million units compared to Apple's 47.8 million (but more iPhones were ultimately purchased by consumers). However, if wearable tech proves successful, market share dynamics could easily tip in Apple's favor.
Over the past year Samsung has dabbled in the smart watch market, with several competitors following suit. Whereas Apple has yet to release its iWatch, but will likely unveil it in early September. While the smart watch will unlikely sway Android users, it will undoubtedly bolster Apple's bottom line.
Although LG and Pebble have both produced popular smart watches, thus far, both have failed to produce flagship smartphones. LG released the G3 smart phone in 2014 but, although impressive, the device did not sell as hoped. Ultimately, consumers will avoid wearables from LG and Pebble, and instead purchase products like the iWatch and Moto 360.