Here’s How Apple Is Closing the Gap With Samsung

A man is silhouetted against a video screen with Apple and Samsung logos as he poses with a Samsung Galaxy S4 in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica
Dado Ruvic / Reuters

Samsung is notorious for its lavish spending on marketing and advertising. The company reportedly poured a whopping $14 billion into marketing in 2013 and recently launched a new anti-Apple campaign to promote its Galaxy tablets. But rival Apple is catching up to Samsung’s huge ad spend, at least in the U.S.

Apple’s U.S. ad spending on mobile phones increased five percent to $351 million last year, according to data from Kantar Media reported by The Wall Street Journal. Samsung, meanwhile, decreased its ad spend by 10 percent to $363 million. The Korean tech giant still leads all smartphone makers in its ad budget, though.

Apple’s increased focus on advertising could be a sign that Samsung’s marketing onslaught, which regularly lampoons the iPhone maker, has been effective. An email disclosed last week as part of Apple’s lawsuit against Samsung reveals that Apple felt overmatched by Samsung’s ads in recent years. Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president for global marketing, wrote that Samsung was “an athlete who can’t miss because they are in the zone,” “while we struggle to nail a compelling brief on iPhone.”

Samsung has been the leading mobile phone manufacturer in the world since 2012, but the company’s profitability has declined in its two most recent quarters. The tech giant is hoping to get a boost this week from the launch of its newest smartphone, the Galaxy S5.

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