Sustainable Leadership at Samsung and Apple Inc.

The Sustainable Development-based Goals, also known as the overall Global Goals, are a set of 17 interconnected global objectives intended to serve as a unique blueprint for achieving a more sustainable and better future for everyone. The UN General Assembly established the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in early 2015 to reach them by 2030. These goals are essential to every business entity in advocating for sustainability and the proper lifestyle of individuals. Therefore, Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics have long worked towards attaining sustainability for their consumers by achieving SDGs that align with whatever is required. Comparing and analyzing Samsung Electronics and Apple Inc’s SDG is of great essentiality today. This paper will focus on industry, innovation, and infrastructure as supported Apple Inc. and Samsung electronics as explained in this comparative analysis below.

The chosen SDG goal is especially important for the consumer electronics industry, as it works in tandem with companies in providing customers with better, more convenient goods and services. All three of the factors are also vital in lessening the environmental impact tech companies have on the plannet. Innovation can help to lessen production costs, emissions and introduce more sustainable technology life sycles. In my research, I will focus on overviewing the business models of both organizations and comparing them to each other. Through seeing the new developments Apple and Samsung have made over the years, their focus during production, and their professional commitments, it will be possible to understand their contribution to the SDG.

Apple Inc. is a successful company that creates goods distinct from those produced by other organizations in consumer electronics. Companies that use the differentiation-based strategy have a greater chance of survival in hypercompetitive markets and dominating their respective industries with fewer restrictions on their operations. For example, Apple first introduced the iPod, then the iPhone gadget, and eventually became the dominant player in the wholesale of cellular telephone marketplaces (Apple, 2021). Apple capitalizes on this differentiating advantage and demands a disproportionately higher price than the competition since it delivers a proprietary operating system compared to the competition. Apple provides lower-cost alternatives to its goods to ensure that its emphasis on cost and sustainability leadership remains high and maximizes the overall differentiation strategy. Originally, iPhone 5S appeared in early 2013, and iPhone SE was released later that year (Apple, 2021). This iPhone SE has virtually the same dimensions as an iPhone 5S, but it has the internal parts of the iPhone 6S.

On the other hand, Samsung Electronics is a multinational conglomerate that designs and manufactures a wide range of electronic products, including smartphones, TVs, household appliances, screens, and semiconductors (Chungyas & Trinidad, 2022). Since its inception, the company has had tremendous success owing to its inventive competencies, considerable market share, and quality control. Compared to Apple products, the company has a more wide emphasis on large variety of consumer electronics, and a focus on various consumer niches. While Apple Inc. aims most prominently for upper-middle class consumers with their quality of life products, Samsung possesses a more varying price range. The business can launch a wide variety of brands, having the Galaxy leading the pack in the luxury market (Samsung, 2022). Samsung’s smartphones continue to represent a significant threat to Apple’s market share, due to their quality and popularity. Researches and developments, brand building, quality control, and most importantly, a good brand identity are all top priorities for the business. Samsung’s competitive-based advantage is based on its solid market stand in the United States, unlike Apple Inc. (Jung, 2014). Because of its long history of reliability, the company has been able to keep afloat inside an increasingly competitive industry while also increasing the brand’s recognition.

For Apple, the adjustments throughout the marketing plan demonstrate a more apparent transition or shift while still retaining a strong emphasis on proper differentiation and general cost leadership strategies. Mackintosh PCs, cellphones, and music-based systems are examples of items with distinct traits and feature exclusively found inside the company’s list of products and cannot be found anywhere else in the industry (Gao, 2021). Further, Apple manufactures various innovative things of high quality and high cost. Due to this strategy, Apple emerged as the sector leader and gained a competitive-based advantage over its competitors within the same industry. Apple is also the leading firm in using its goods following the most recent technology and providing consumers with a direct experience.

Samsung also plays on its strength, which, however, differ from Apple’s. In the same way in most other sectors, a brand’s identity has been the initial marketing technique it may use to maintain its sustainability leadership. Brand identity is an excellent attribute for merchandise, especially in fast-growing smartphones and promising electronics industries. Samsung has established and continues to establish a robust brand reputation in the marketplaces throughout the world. This step is one method shown to sell the brand’s identity and products over time successfully. Samsung has been one of the world’s most important smartphone manufacturers, thanks to excellent brand recognition and relentless innovation and improvement. Samsung is well-known for its superb design and general quality control. Samsung’s long-term success can be attributed to its strong marketing efforts, technology development, and research focus.

In addition to phones, Samsung has held the top rank in the television market for more than a decade (Samsung, 2022). When the corporation does this, it takes advantage of various items that its rivals have yet to put on the industry to increase its profits. As a result, Samsung organizes its goods into four key sectors: communication services, screens and excellent semiconductors, consumer devices, and the known Harman Group (Chungyas & Trinidad, 2022). Therefore, this strategic subdivision renders it simple for the corporation to keep track of sales and manufacturing, focusing on the goods that have the most competitive within the industry. With consumer friendliness and popularity in the marketplace, Samsung creates devices and equipment more straightforwardy than Apple Inc. This technique can deliver products in niche areas that other corporations, like Apple, cannot.

Speaking more on the core competencies of Apple, the company is capable of using its resources effectively, relegating the work in a way that minimizes losses and maximizes efficiency. Apple incorporates strategic-based outsourcing into the development of its goods. As soon as Apple recognizes its core dependency, they quickly outsource manufacturing to a more cost-effective market, like the more efficient Asia-Pacific markets (Gao, 2021). Therefore, this technique enables the organization to utilize vendors’ expertise while devoting more resources to their true core dependency. In addition, Apple Inc. allocates its shows to its supplier market rather than concentrating manufacturing and supplier efforts on a single area, resulting in lower supply and production expenses. Further, the company focuses on research and development production, which allows the corporation to introduce revolutionary technology into the markets alongside its merchandise. Apple continues to be the leading corporation in producing items that are up to date with the well sought-after latest developments (Gao, 2021). Companies believe that releasing new or enhanced technology that their market competitors lack allows them to differentiate themselves from their competition.

However, to this day, Apple is the fastest-growing firm in manufacturing, despite outsourcing its manufacturing. The components used to construct the products are sourced from various markets across the globe. For example, Foxconn’s largest global electronic manufacturing company in China supplies upwards of 85% of Apple’s components and parts (Gao, 2021). Therefore, for the company, this method is cost-effective and time-efficient. Apple can arrange its products more quickly in response to market-based demand and deliver them precisely in time. It is another way for the corporation to go into new areas faster than its rivals, as long as the products remain easily accessible.

iTunes, Apple’s flagship product, likewise employs a cooperative model. The organization collaborates with other entertainment companies to offer a wide variety of television series, movies, and songs. Customers can buy or rent their PCS (Gao, 2021). All of Apple’s customers should be able to purchase international entertainment through iTunes; the company is constantly working on expanding its cross-border relationships to serve its customers across the globe better. When it comes to laser printer development, Apple Inc. works with firms like Canon, which has technical expertise. The partnership involving Apple Inc. and Canon has significantly reduced manufacturing time for high-resolution and excellent laser printers.

Consequently, Apple Inc. maximized revenues quickly while keeping customers happy, becoming their primary target. Canon likewise retained its merchandise quality and clients’ happiness. Alliances with other companies are also an essential part of Apple’s strategy for reducing financial risks, gaining access to international markets, and reducing political risks, particularly in cross-border economies (Gao, 2021). Strategic relationships between the two firms include franchising, sharing resources, and excellent distribution and supply networks to achieve newer financial goals. With both the strategic coalition’s strategies, these two firms have a purpose: to increase profitability while outperforming their competitors in the same market as the excellent SDG.

Coming back to Samsung’s performance, the company is notable for being able to capitalize on its strong sides and contrinuously output new products. By outperforming its competition, the company will be able to give a higher quality product to customers. Samsung recognizes that people buy from various brands they enjoy and are familiar with; as a result, the company works hard to preserve its brand recognition as a plan to enhance sales worldwide. It frequently uses marketing as the primary tool. Therefore, to retain a high public status, the corporation also focuses on the CSR and leadership sustainability to ensure economic stability (Chungyas & Trinidad, 2022).Together with merchandise innovation and improvement, Samsung offers a fantastic customer experience. Primary retailers provide this excellent customer service to ensure that customers are familiarized with their merchandise.

Research and development have become the distinguishing tactics that Samsung employs to maintain a competitive advantage over other competitors throughout the mobile and electrical industries, among other things. Combining research and action enables the organization to generate the most current and quickest breakthroughs inside the sector (Chungyas & Trinidad, 2022). Because of Samsung’s commitment to high-quality manufacturing, the company has concentrated its efforts on research and innovation. According to the CEO, technological advancement is an element of Samsung’s overall ethos. In contrast to other rivals like Apple, Samsung has maintained its sustainability leadership as the most inventive firm in the smartphone business by leveraging its development and research capabilities. The corporation also places a strong emphasis on rapid innovation to compete with the rapidly developing Chinese-based brands.

Table 1 – Samsung Electronics and Apple Inc. Comparison

Perspectives Apple Inc. Samsung Electronics
  • Apple maintains its production system, product quality and management structures without noticeable problems. Company made commitments to limit their environmental impact.
  • Samsung continues to create high-quality customer-oriented electronics and dominate the market. Company outlines its environmental commitments and sustainable organization goals openly.
Lifecycle Accessment
  • Production and transportation of Apple product parts made with outsourcing, in addition to programmed obsolescence of apple products outline a serious issue for environmental concerns.
  • Domestic-focused production, and longer durability of each Samsung product decreases the strain on the environment.
Supply chain transparency
  • Apple Inc. outsources most of its merchandise and develops fantastic gadgets. Transparency of production suffers due to relegation of manufacturing to other entities
  • Samsung manufactures its products. The company is able to r

To summarize, every brand dealing with the smartphones business employs a variety of sustainable strategies aligned with the aims and goals of the firm while also maintaining a tremendous competitive advantage over its rivals. Apple Inc. falls as one of the most rapidly rising and most successful brands worldwide. It employs a diversification strategy, cooperation, and outsourcing strategic plan to increase profitability and competitive edge over other companies in the same industry. Samsung, on either hand, incorporates a brand identity and recognition plan, a development and research approach, and an excellent market dominance strategy into its overall marketing strategy to remain competitive within the market. Both organizations follow the basic principles of sustainability, focusing on their unique production and management systems. As outlined by Table 1, Apple’s strategy of outsourcing reduces costs at the expence of transparency and a reduced environmental footprint. When it comes to competitiveness, innovation continues to be a point of emphasis for all of the major businesses in the sector to follow. Samsung’s commitment to environmental responsibility extends to the production stage. Throughout its premises, the corporation is increasing its utilization of sustainable energy like geothermal heat and solar, including reclaimed water and garbage.


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Chungyas, J. I., & Trinidad, F. L. (2022). Strategic management practices and business performance of cooperatives in Ifugao, Philippines: Basis for strategic planning model. International Journal of Management & Entrepreneurship Research, 4(2), 84-104.

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