02:11 - Source: CNN
Samsung takes a bite out of Apple

Story highlights

Mobile-gadget rivals are leapfrogging Apple with useful features not on iPhones, iPads

This success is most apparent with Apple's biggest mobile rival, Samsung

Samsung is more nimble than Apple at improving its devices through software updates

With Galaxy Note, Samsung has a category of phone people didn't know they wanted

There’s no arguing that Apple set the standard for modern mobile devices with the iPhone and the iPad. It didn’t take long after those two products launched for competitors to rush out their own copycat devices.

Even then, it took another few years before Android was good enough to go toe to toe with iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system.

But it’s no longer about being just as good as Apple. You have to be better. Competitors have built upon the foundation Apple laid in mobile and are now leapfrogging it with bunch of useful features you can’t find on iPhones and iPads.

The evidence is everywhere, but it’s most apparent in products made by Apple’s biggest mobile rival, Samsung.

By now, Samsung’s Galaxy devices have become synonymous with Android, to the point that the manufacturer has more brand recognition than any other phone or tablet running Google’s operating system. A lot of that has to do with Samsung’s massive marketing budget, but you can’t ignore the fact that the company has innovated a lot by creating popular new product categories that Apple is wary to try.

The best example of this is the Galaxy Note, a smartphone-tablet hybrid with a giant screen. When that device first hit the United States about a year ago, critics (including me) slammed the device for being too large. It couldn’t fit comfortably in your pocket. It was really thick. And it came with a stylus, that relic of the Palm Pilot era, making the Note feel like a step backward.