samsung galaxy logo 2

The US smartphone market is a big competitive business, to keep yourself ahead of the pack you have to spend big bucks on making sure that consumers know about your products. Samsung is still the biggest spender on advertising in the US, but it’s rival, Apple, is quickly closing the gap.

Research conducted by Kantar Media shows that Samsung spent a $68 million more on advertising than Apple in 2012, but last year the gap closed to just $12 million. This swing came from a combination of Samsung dialing back its ad spending, whilst Apple embarked on an expensive TV-led campaign.

As for the actual figures, Samsung splashed about $363 million on US phone ads, down 10 percent from 2012’s cost of $401 million. Samsung was also the only smartphone company to cut its advertising budget last year. Apple, on the other hand, spent around $351 million on phone advertising in 2013, up 5 percent from $333 million in the previous year. As a side note, Apple spent more on TV ads in 2013 than it spent on all advertising in 2012.

To give you an idea of just how big the smartphone advertising market is, seven of the biggest smartphone manufacturers spent a little over $1.3 billion on advertisements in the US last year. This covers a wide range of advertising mediums, including TV, print, radio, and online ads. Total spending for 2013 was up a staggering 33 percent from 2012, when manufacturers spent roughly $1 billion on advertising.

It probably comes as no surprise in this day and age that spending on telecommunication ads — that’s TV and internet content — is growing the fastest. Spending in this sector grew by 8 percent through 2013, which is nine times faster than the wider US ad industry’s growth figure of just 0.9 percent.

2013 Ad Spending

Samsung’s and Apple’s ad budgets dwarf those of the five other largest spenders.

As for the other big US spenders, Nokia came in third place and was the company which increased its spending by the largest amount year over year. Nokia paid out $221 million in 2013, which is 15 times the amount that the company spent in 2012. Motorola was a similarly high spender, throwing $189 million into the advertising pot. The company tripled its ad spending following the acquisition by Google in mid-2012.

Blackberry, HTC, and LG form up the lower ranks of the seven largest spenders, purchasing $90 million, $76 million, and $46 million worth of advertisements respectively.

With such huge budgets dedicated just to advertising products, it’s easy to see why many smartphone companies are starting to feel a pinch in their profits. But I suppose the most important thing is that all this money spent on advertising appears to be working. Well, at least most of the time.

Robert Triggs
Lead Technical Writer at Android Authority, covering the latest trends in consumer electronics and hardware. In his spare moments, you'll probably find him tinkering with audio electronics and programming.
  • MasterMuffin

    But who still advertises on radio? Anyways they should all use less money in advertising, it’s just ridiculous

    • Mohammed Azoz

      you should come and see how Samsung advertise where i life …. they probably only missed my bathroom door with out any adds …. so annoying …

      • MasterMuffin

        Where do you live? :D

        • Mohammed Azoz

          Egypt :D

          • MasterMuffin

            Well it is one of the biggest countries in terms of population in Africa so I understand why Samsung wants all your money!

          • Mohammed Azoz

            they are dominating Everything in terms of technology here from smartphones , air con , Tvs , all every thing here now is samsung :D

    • MYSAGA M2

      Yes,It is too ridiculous.From now. I prefer to choose EZTV Living Room Computer rather than use it.

  • filaos

    And what about GLOBAL numbers ?
    I guess Europe/Africa/Asia sees Samsung ads much more often than Apple’s.

    • Vuyo Ncube

      Samsung ads are EVERYWHERE for me in South Africa. Radio, TV, shops. You name it. So many old Samsung banners are being used as tents for flea markets and the homeless

  • krym73

    I hope Samsung does more of those Apple mocking commercials, theyre hilarious.

  • Ankur Raghuvanshi

    i don’t know why … but Apple have 158 Billion $ in cash and samsung market capital currently is ~ 178 Billion $ … y don’t they just buy out and kill the competition… why giving so much headache to everyone on daily bases.(fyi i’m an android fan boy)

    • Aaron Jefferson

      Apple isn’t going to sellout to Samsung.

      • Ankur Raghuvanshi

        Well i was talking about apple buying samsung … not samsung buying Apple…. Apple have market cap of 473.28 Billion (+ 157 Billion $ in cash) $ vs Market cap of samsung’s 178 Billion dollar ….

        • Thoriq Rahman

          And Samsung isn’t going to sellout to Apple.

          • Ankur Raghuvanshi

            “its was just a joke” meant to create humor …. lol!!!

  • fredphoesh

    Did you guys see how Apple are shitting themselves and having a bit of a freak out at their AD agency for failing to maintain their snob-appeal? Hilarious reading these emails, check em out:

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