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In its latest earnings report, Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) disclosed that it shipped 44.5 million phones in comparison to Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) 35.1 million. Samsung's revenue increased over 86%, and it increased its market share in China to 25%. Samsung also has the most advanced television on the market, its Smart TV. While Apple is expected to release a revolutionary television late this year, Samsung may have beaten it to market.

Samsung's television is the thinnest on the market, has voice and gesture controls, and uses face recognition. Its television offers the standard 1080P HD and 3D options as well. For a 55'' one, that will set the consumer back $3,749.99. Apple's television is expected to include all of these features and the now-famous Siri, as well as creating a seamless marriage of computer and television in the living room. With its famous innovator no longer available to it, will Apple be able to deliver on these lofty expectations? It's hard to imagine how.

Samsung is also beginning to challenge competitors like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) in the U.S. While Amazon has just recently overtaken Google in the tablet space, Samsung is beginning to gain some traction. Google has begun to wander down the same road that Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) did back in the 1990s and early 2000s, as it seems to be focused on providing software as opposed to products. While Google does offer a few exclusive products, it has sold the licensing rights to other companies for its Android platform. That is exactly what Microsoft did with its Windows operating systems. Google needs to become an innovator again before it can consider itself a true threat to take over Apple in terms of market share.

Samsung has asserted itself as an innovator in the consumer technology sector. The Smart TV alone is enough to show that innovation. Details are starting to leak out about the new Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone, which will reportedly include a quad-core processor, 1.4GHz speed, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, and a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera.

Samsung's innovation needs to continue to ramp up to overtake Apple, as well as keep up-and-comer Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) at bay. Apple has been a market leader for several years now as far as consumer technology is concerned. Google seems to have become complacent with its product offerings, and Facebook is only just starting to ratchet up it products. As of now, Samsung is the company to look to if you're rooting for someone to challenge Apple's place in the consumer technology sector.

Disclaimer: This article in no way constitutes a recommendation to buy or sell a stock. Always consult a financial advisor before considering purchasing a stock. Stocks are risky assets, and you should never invest a dime that you can not afford to lose.

Source: Is Samsung The Only Real Competitor For Apple?