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With Samsung (SSNLF.PK) preparing to launch its latest version of its flagship Galaxy smartphone on Thursday, much attention has been given in recent days to the strength of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) brand, the strength of its innovative capabilities, and, as always, the strength of the company’s stock. With these questions rattling around in the heads of analysts and investors, shares have been rattling around a good deal as well. But in the end, after hitting as high as $434.50, shares ended the day pretty much where they began it: in the price range of $428. The stock closed down 8 cents, or 0.02 percent, at $428.35. Here’s a cheat sheet to today’s top Apple stories:
Is Samsung Losing the Battle of the Brands to Apple?
In the battle for brand awareness, money is often the most powerful weapon. When big companies sell similar products, enormous marketing budgets and million-dollar brand campaigns crop up, ostensibly differentiating products and driving sales in different demographics.
In the past — and maybe in the future, but not right now — Apple was able to differentiate itself through its products alone, with fairly minimal investment in traditional advertising. Apple pretty much defined product spaces with the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, and therefore owned sales in those categories. But competition is now hot on the company’s heels, and it’s no longer obvious where consumers should spend their money.
In 2011, Samsung spent just $78 million on U.S. mobile phone advertisements for TV, print, billboards, and the Internet. In 2012, that number ballooned to $401 million. In comparison, Apple spent $253 million on mobile phone ads in 2011 in the U.S., and $333 million in 2012, a 31.6 percent increase… (Read More.)
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