Most innovative companies: Samsung beats Google for the number two spot, Apple still first

by: Chris SmithSeptember 27, 2013

Samsung Logo

Samsung and Google are the second and third companies in the Boston Consulting Group’s 2013 “Most Innovative Companies” list, following Apple.

The iPhone maker has held the number one spot for the ninth consecutive year, while Samsung managed to surpass Google for the first time ever – the search giant was number two on the list since 2006.

Samsung has been rising rapidly to the top, after being number 26 on the same list in 2008. Other tech companies present in BCG’s list are Microsoft and IBM, which made the top 10 every year since 2005.

In case you were wondering about how these results are compiled, you should know that there are various factors that determine the outcome including a survey of 1,500 international senior executives that rank these companies but also financial results for the last three years including shareholder returns, revenue growth and margin gains.

At the end of the day fans will not necessarily agree with these rankings, but it looks like the same players will fight for the number one spot on the most innovative companies list for the years to come.

  • Tsakane

    How is Apple more innovative than Samsung and Google?

    • Adam Outler

      because, slogan.

    • Valtheus

      Thats a good question, especially these last years.

    • Android Developer

      I guess it keeps finding innovative ways to make profit of about the same product, yet still minimizing the addition of really new stuff…

      Besides, it’s because Apple said that they are innovative, so people believe it.

      • Gavin

        well said. Apple is making $200 phone selling them for 700. And its the same phone from the year before. All they’re doing is adding Android features From 2 years ago

        • ChrisM

          So true in a lot of ways

        • abazigal

          Yes, because you only need to buy the parts, and they will automatically assemble themselves into the iphone and find their way into the hands of the end users, without need for expenditure anywhere else, right?

  • Carljn

    In my mind no company even comes close to Google in terms of innovation.


    “Innovative” should be stripped from the title of this article AND the award these shills are handing out each year. Since when do financial results have ANYTHING to do with innovation? Oh right, when “a survey of 1,500 international senior executives” decides what’s innovative. Innovation to these d-bags, is nothing more than finding new ways to fleece people while preserving maximum profits. Anyone who thinks a fingerprint scanner, a 64-bit CPU with only 1GB of RAM, and a color poly-carbonate case, is more innovative than oh say… project GLASS, Loon, Calico, or self driving cars, is an utter moron who needs to try “Googling” the word innovation.

  • Rushan

    What rubbish? By using the same internals again and again Apple came first. I think the company conducted this has totally forgot about the software innovations from Google and hardware from Samsung.

    • abazigal

      That just belies all the effort Apple put in towards getting their design right the first time round.

      Why do you think the macbook air remains so popular despite having the same design for the 4th year running, and competitors still being hard-pressed to replicate or even surpass it?

      • Rushan

        I think you should have a look at Asus Zenbook and Samsung Series 9 / Ativ Book 9 Plus.

        • bob

          i did. still windows…

          • Lyle M. Wood

            hey, I had the exact same problem with the macbooks. they come with this really crappy modded BSD…

    • RarestName

      I don’t think that they use the same internals. Look, I’m currently using the iPhone 4S and my mother used to own an iPhone 4. People keep on saying that the two phones are basically the same, and that the 4S only has the additional Siri that no one uses.

      Coming from an iPhone 3GS, I can definitely feel the difference between the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. The iPhone 4S was the first iPhone (IMO) to feel smooth even after two major software updates. On the other hand, the Galaxy Note that my mother purchased struggled to be smooth even after being updated to Jelly Bean. It only became smooth when I overclocked it with a custom kernel that supports overclocking, and a brand-new ROM.

      Although I may not be impressed with the software upgrades that Apple pushes out, I must admit that I was really impressed with the hardware upgrades and the overall performance of the iPhone 5s even though the specifications are about half of current flagship Android phones.

  • Fernando Fernandez

    I sick of hearing the word “innovation”, neither Samsung nor Apple have really been that “innovative” the last couple of years.

    What Apple does is perfect existing features, this, while great, is hardly “innovative”. And Samsung just throws crap against the wall to see what sticks, again not so “innovative”.

    Closest thing we have to innovation would be Google, with google glass, google now, and self driving cars, though they still need to get them work well at a consumer level.

    • Dimitar Gospodinov

      I agree with the part that Google is number 1 but I will disagree that Samsung does not innovate…remember flexible display, octacore and the digitizers that you do not need to touch? Apple should be out of the game no questions asked but still people get fulled…

      • abazigal

        Flexible displays still haven’t found their way into any smartphones yet. The octacore is basically 2 quad-core processors stitched together, and even Samsung pretty much admits it has its share of flaws, and they still have some way to go towards refining it.

        I think the crux of the discussion here is not about who has the wackiest ideas, but also about who is able to better implement them.

        Don’t get me wrong. Samsung has flooded their products with all manner of features, and while I do some some of them intriguing (and wishing Apple would include similar features), they still seem a tad unrefined and rough around the edges to me. Eye-scrolling features that don’t work through spectacles or in low light? Come on…

        • Dimitar Gospodinov

          Yeah don’t get me wron I generally agree with you but Innovation is creating something that wasn’t there and even if it is not yet selling it is there and we all heard that Samsung confirmet a flexible diplay Note 3…the features in the S4 i agree are dust in the eyes but the octacore is not that “simple” and even if the first version is buggy it is still a pretty big deal. Now we have the (i ma not sure of the exact name) low energy cores implemmented in Qualcomm’s SD 800 (not the current ones i think), we have the new flash chips that Samsung created, the watches even the 64bit SoC from Apple pretty big stuff if you ask me…and the Note’s stylus…come one give them some credit…

          • me

            Apple didn’t make the 64bit SoC ARM did and apple uses custom ARM and brands them as thier own

        • Charles Humphries

          Mine works with my glasses on. It is because specific lenses have treatment for glare and light reduction, and this means in variant light condition, it may not be the best option. Common sense says there is no flash on the front phone – so if you use “negative color” under “accessibility” it works much better in low light. I use this feature no problem. What is difficult with android is CHOICE is possible but there is no option to choose all and independent development can make some apps affect each other’s performance. People use every sensor option – and then complain about batteries. People want every app and then complain when they have lag. Or people spend no time customizing their phone and then say it is ugly. All android devices have a certain amount of potential, and the user has to optimize their device for what they choose for it to do and how. You learn how to use an iPhone. You *decide* how to use an android device. And the more informed that choice is, the better a decision you can make, and then you PRACTICE using them until they are second nature – and then they work with a startling regularity.

      • Fernando Fernandez

        Flexible.displays are also being made by Sony, Lg, and Panasonic, and Sony was the first to show one off acouple of years ago. The octocore processor is based of the design from ARMs big.little chip. And microsoft used a mirroring system in the original surface 6 years ago that allowed close proximity to interact with a touchscreen.

        I do agree with Acaa though about Samsungs inovations in other areas such as ssd and fabrications.

    • frankie

      read up on the latest technologies that samsung is working on as well as their budget for R&D.

    • Acaa Aca

      i think you should consider samsung also makes a lot of stuff like radio for LTE-a, flexible displays, and other consumer electronics & parts. so it would make sense. if it’s just for mobile then you might have a point.

  • Mohd Danial

    Lols. After copying androids innovation u called it 1st? Apple.. I SHIT

  • George Av

    Can someone tell me, WHO THE FUCK picked apple to be the most innoyvative company? That guy/people should go die in some hole on mars somewhere

    • Rooney-

      Now thats innovation( to die in some hole on mars) :-)

      • George Av


  • Grman Rodriguez

    May I remind all of you that Apple does stuff other than iPhones? Their Mac line this year looks really impressive. And I guess that gave them some points even if still not enough to beat Google

    • Gavin

      still just another also does a lot more than phone.

      • Grman Rodriguez

        Yeah but thinner, quieter,more powerful, retina-displayed. What I’m trying to say is they shouldn’t have beat Google, but they shouldn’t be in the last spot either

        • bob

          they deserve the top spot for wifi flying baloons -.-

          i mean, its like kids playing… geeks with money

          • Grman Rodriguez

            My order would be Google>HTC>Apple>Samsung (refering only to tech companies at least)

  • Cao Meo

    “financial results for the last three years including shareholder returns, revenue growth and margin gains”

    So there’s no surprise that Apple and Samsung are 1 and 2.

    Google innovates more but their aim not always for quick profits and brings a lot of value to consumers.

    • abazigal

      Because they know they will eventually earn it back from the consumer in the form of advertising revenue.

      • Cao Meo

        That’s the beauty of Google: they always create win-win solution for both consumers and themselves. Google sell ads, but they allow users to turn off the ads as they like.

        Look at Apple: they create walls after walls just to lock users inside their ecosystem.

        • abazigal

          What you view as a locked-down ecosystem, I appreciate as an integrated solution that’s ready to use right out of the box. I see it more as a difference in values.

          • Kash Gummaraju

            Your locked down ecosystem has one purpose and one purpose only, to make money off of you by churning out recycled designs, features ripped off wholesale from other OSes

          • abazigal

            You make it sound like Apple is the only company who is profit-motivated, and all the other phone companies (including Google) are somehow releasing smartphones solely to benefit mankind, and out of the kindness of their hearts.

            Fact is, I love my iphone (in addition to my four other Apple devices). I love what it lets me do, I love how easily and elegantly it lets me perform those tasks, and I am fully intending to upgrade to the 5s once stock is replenished at my local Telco.

            At the end of the day, I have a product that suits my needs and which I love to use, and I think that’s really what matters more.

          • Kash Gummaraju

            Obviously I intend to do so, repeating the same design for 3 generations, creating an iPad that doesn’t offer the same specs as its older sibling and also looks very much like an oversized itouch. If Google did things like Apple, there would be no free Glass testing, calico, self driving cars, balloon, and cheap nexus pricing. I don’t see Apple doing any of these. Fact is you’re one of those people who have been sucked in as many other Apple Fanboys.

          • abazigal

            Google can afford to do this because they are ultimately in the business of selling ads, so products like Google Glass and self-driving cars are simply another way to gain attention and drive people to their services, even if the end product ultimately never takes off, or proves as useful as advertised. That’s why they can afford to do stuff like sell Nexus devices at near-cost.

            Apple is in the hardware business. You can’t expect them to throw away their money on a product with an unproven ROI. They put in a lot of effort into creating products that look great and work great and which people love to use. I see that as a pretty impressive contribution and feat in itself.

            So what if Apple isn’t creating a car of its own? The fact is that its products are also benefiting many people the world over. I for one am using airplay-mirroring to teach with my ipad in my classroom. It’s just one example of how something so basic simple can have a profound impact on the way I do things.

            Not every invention needs to be a multi-orgasmic thrill-ride to be considered innovative.

          • Cao Meo

            self driving cars and projects like Calico help Google sell ads? Come on, there’s no relation at all between those things.

            There’s no denying Apple makes some useful things too, but the impact of Google is far beyond what Apple has done.

            Android is used by billions of people, its market share is close to 80%. Google search, Google Maps, Youtube… are used all over the world for free.

            It’s true Google use those things to sell adds, but who cares? people don’t have to pay for superb services, and Google have the money to keep supporting those services.

        • Kash Gummaraju

          True, for instance the EU wants a universal charger cable, but guess what, they can’t have it unless they coerce Apple into stop being so money hungry and allow for consumer conveniance(for once).

          • abazigal

            Ask the rest of the industry to come up with a charging cable that doesn’t suck first, then we can talk.

            Adopting a universal standard would actually represent a step back for us Apple users, considering the lightning cable holds quite a few advantages. I certainly hope Apple doesn’t cave in with this regard.

            Stop looking at everything through simple dollars and cents, and start looking at the overall big picture for once.

          • Kash Gummaraju

            What are the advantages? My HTC One charges very fast with a regular micro usb cable. A step back? You guys are already several too many steps back, adopting the universal standard would not in fact be a step back, but a step forward, because it creates zero confusion of cables, saves money,and one less thing to argue about. How does the micro-usb cable suck?

          • abazigal

            What happens if someone comes up with a better alternative some time down the road? It’s going to be an uphill battle for companies already pledged to micro-USB, and it wouldn’t be fair to consumers either, who are losing out on innovation.

            For one, Apple showed incredible stability when they stuck with the 30-pin cable for 10 years before finally migrating over to the lightning cable, while companies like Samsung changed cables 18 times within this time frame.

            I have no doubts Apple will stick with Lightning for the next decade to come. For instance, even something as simple as not having to care which side I insert my cable in. Why does micro-USB even have an asymmetrical head?

            Second, it was recently discovered that the lightning-to-HDMI adaptor came with its own processor and RAM.

            I have no idea why Apple is doing this, but if their recent announcements (like iBeacon) are any indicator, everything they are doing is part of a larger plan, one that has been many years in the seeding, and that which will slowly unfurl over the next few years.

            This is the main reason I love what Apple is doing, and intend to support them with my consumer dollars. I believe they have a long term vision that goes beyond simple spec-whoring of phones (which I feel is very myopic), and I have no desire to see it being derailed over something as innocuous as not being able to use your micro-USB cable with an iPhone.

            Regardless, until the industry is able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that micro-USB is able to sufficiently meet the consumers’ needs for the next decade, I see no reason to rush into an agreement.

  • LiiIiikEaBau5

    Samsung copies everything from Android and then it calls it innovation!

    • frankie


      • LiiIiikEaBau5

        You want explanation or demonstration?

        • frankie

          you know what os powers the samsung phones right???

        • Guilherme

          Both, please

    • Zack

      . . . . .

    • Luqmaan Mathee

      You are such an idiot. Go learn your facts!

    • Wildfire

      Do samsung copies display from an OS ?
      There are many things that you need to know, watch a documentary about samsung in korea you’ll be astonished how far they’ve gone.

    • deepen03

      Samsung is an ANDROID MANUFACTURER.. they rely on it for their phones, are you dumb?

  • Gavin

    What has Apple done? I can see Samsung, But no one beats Google.Google always step it up.look at Google now or the Nexus line of devices. They’re selling a top and phone for half the price. Android as overtaken Apple market share, you can’t tell me that’s not innovative

    • not a spark

      That’s not innovative. What IS innovative is Google glass, Google Baloons , ingress

      • Gavin

        Not to mention Google fiber….

        • bob

          yeah, thats screaming innovation -.-

  • Luqmaan Mathee

    I think they mean the company with the most slaves. All the other companies have no slaves. Apple has the army of iSheep that’s why it wins.

    • bob

      please quote manufacturing salary levels between apple and samsung. if you cant, put a finger in your asshole and lick it.

      army of paying costumers, unlike android

      • Luqmaan Mathee

        Well an army willing to pay for rubbish.

  • Q.

    How do financial results determine innovation? I think Google should take the top spot, some of the stuff they’ve invested in just can’t compare with adding another row of icons.

    • bob

      through paying costumers… if i build a perfect phone in my garage and sell it to 2 people, thats not exactly innovative. not every change in any direction is innovation, only the one making money is, because consumers recognised it, accepted it and are buying it.

  • latestphoneuser

    Innovate my ass….apple came out with 5 new colors in plastic and fingerprint reader.what more u guys want..all Samsung could come with is 3 GB ram and 1080p deserves no.1 spot.period,………./

  • rabidhunter

    Doing the same thing over and over again… Sounds more like insanity. Or is innovation colluding with publishers to fix ebook prices. Or maybe innovation is paying EA Games to keep Plants Vs. Zombies 2 off of Android for as long as possible.

    • bob

      doing things over and over expecting the different result is insanity, at least according to vaas. samsung is the one doing that – gimmicks and plastic, hoping to build brand loyalty…

      • rabidhunter

        I’m not much of a Samsung fan either. I do have to give it to them for the Note series. They are doing cool stuff with the S-Pen. Other than that, it’s just meh. Plus I hate S this and S that.

  • pc72

    Let’s see, Apple copies control center, fingerprint scanner, multitasking, and the list goes on. Innovators, please! Maybe the first iPhone.

  • Balraj

    Apple is number one ok
    But how it’s Samsung number two lol
    Maybe survey guys fell for Samsung marketing gimmick

    • bob

      yeah, they havent tried it… just saw the list of features… exactly as samsung planned

  • Leon

    IMO, neither these companies are innovating anything. There are really not much game changer recently… Most features are gimmicks or improvements.

  • Jose Roman

    The author of this article or the person who made the rankings are high and watching flying pigs.. In which manner is apple in innovative? Finger print Scanner? 64 bit os? Made two different phones? O la one thing I can say about Apple, Baaaah, and the writer is an apple fan boy

    • samsparkin

      I don’t think the writer is a fanboy… but the jury who decided don’t know what innovation is . Apple used to be innovative. Google is now

      • Jose Roman

        My good old friend, this is an example if I work for Sony in a booth selling tv and I start to give customers a hint like: hey Samsung and Vizio tv are the best tv, they’ll fire me.. Lately I’m seeing post talking about Apple products on a android site, that’s why this site is called ANDROIDAUTHORIT.. The site are giving more credit to Apple the android lately, just read the past post

        • Kash Gummaraju

          Android Authority has gotten a lot more mature than iDownloadBlog, Android Authority has been stating facts and no bias(not as much as iDB). They merely state that performance depends on the OS. Not outright saying the iPhone sucks due to the hardware.

          • Jose Roman

            Congrats Kash, that’s a fact, good eye on that!

    • Kash Gummaraju

      Actually the author of this article is only informing us, not stating how Apple deserves the spot.

  • Afnan Muhammad

    Google should be above both Samsung and Apple. I dont see any useful innovation from those two.

  • CoolCustomer

    Honestly, unless you consider Glass and self-driving cars the most innovative company for the past 3 years has been Asus imo. Just look at the Padfone, the transformer line, and the Trio which is just on the horizon and tell me there is another company pushing the boundaries of both form and function as much as they are. The last game changer Apple had was the iPad (arguably the iPhone but thats a different argument) and the last innovative thing Samsung did was the Note (waccom digitizer for a phone is still genius). While no one can touch Google when it comes to general tech advancements, Asus is the clear winner if we limit ourselves to the consumer electronic field.

    • rabidhunter

      But you can’t forget Balloons and the way that Google used their services for crisis response. Not to mention the health thing that they are endevoring in. Chromcast was an innovation which brought low cost streaming. Just look at the ways that Google is expanding Android, putting key services on Play Store rather than as a system update. The list goes on.

      • CoolCustomer

        I agree with you 100% in the world of general tech Google is leading the charge and should be seen as such. Sadly, America is a backwards country and history will instead deem Apple the company leading us into a more tech rich future despite not having the portfolio to back it up.

  • John Garlits

    What does profit have to do with innovation?

  • Rooney-

    Most innovative companies: Samsung beats Google for the number two spot, Apple still first

    For what?? may be 4 years ago they were. But not anymore! the research is bitten by apple!

  • Kara

    That’s so simple. You made the survey about “American’s Product” in “American’s land” and that’s the way of the result certainly

    Come on. How can you defy the word “Innovative” with just only one country ? It must mean the whole WORLD , man !?? This result is unaccurate at all.

  • steve blow jobs

    this is bullshit !

  • daemon amen

    i don’t normally respond to these things; they’re just funny. but seriously?

    apple has created the ultrabook category with the MBA (bravo), their unreleased Mac Pro is a marvel in design (inside not outside) and they practically (i hate to say it (especially using this word)) invented the modern smartphone. then what?

    fingerprint sensor? Motorola Atrix 4G. Retina display? made my LG, Sharp or Japan Display. iphone camera? Sony. iphone processor? Samsung.

    Google’s apps are among the most used on ios/mac os. Samsung has 5G technology already. they’ve created DDR4 memory. Google Now learns your habits and anticipates what you want very well. Siri was bought by apple and works well, but is limited compared to Now. Samsung designs and builds their hardware and software. apple designs both and uses other people, including many Android handset makers hardware to release something to the public.

    apple does optimize their h/w and s/w very well, but a 2013 MBA with a Haswell chip w/o a Retina display? no wonder it gets 12 hours of battery…it’s display sucks. keep it. i’ll take a 2013 FHD ultrabook anyday. apple has great programs, but seamless, effortless sharing of photos is hardly innovative. dropbox does the same thing across multiple platforms.

    ultrabooks with 4GLTE, touch screens and FHD (minimum) displays are a better value. $100 for 16 gigs of storage? keep it.

    apple does many things well and they have the numbers to prove it. hardly are they innovative any longer. i know it’s a biased article by CEO’s (?), but BARF! the facts are out there people. try Android products of today and compare them to iphone. try ultrabooks and compare them to the MBA. stop feeding the hype.

    thanks for reading.

    • Charles Humphries

      They did not invent the word smartphone., I had three smartphones before there was even a rumour of an iphone. BTW – S Voice was part of Samsung’s product testing before Apple bought Siri. S Voice still can do more On the phone. Need to make a calendar event, just tell your phone. Need to record a memo, just tell your phone. People act like this can only tell you the weather and “nearby” restaurants. It is a very powerful assistant. BTW – ipad Retina display = Samsung. The iPod, iPhone, and Macbook are all made by Samsung and LG.

  • jasxgamer

    speaking of innovative, samsung should be the last, behind Google, Apple and Sony

    • Cao Meo

      Samsung is behind Apple?

      Samsung has a lot of innovative technologies: AMOLED, RAM, camera sensors, bendable screen.. to name a few, there are more for sure.

      And I don’t know what Apples makes that can be called innovation.

  • Cao Meo

    Because profit is how innovation is measured in this ranking, I think the most innovative product should be Apple’s proprietary connector for iphones and ipads.

    The profit margin is huge, nearly 80-90% i guess as it’s sold for 30$.

    And iguys and igals have to use it, otherwise their life is in danger as a Chinese woman learned recently, too late for her but the connector’s profit is better protected than ever.

  • simpleas

    So apple uses samsung components and gets the award HAHAHAHAHAHAH

  • AJ

    Apple is still first?? What a load of crap. I don’t believe in any of these “studies” anyway.


    that is huge crap and propaganda paid by samsumg ! GOOGLE IS CERTAINLY THE NO 1 NO CONTEST HERE ! AND I GIVE MY HAT TO HTC AND LG (FOR LG G2 INNOVATIONS)

  • John

    Samsung just seems too gimmicky to me, I don’t see their innovation, at least with smartphones

  • Nick b

    Its like jufges at a boxing match. Never get shit right. Wut a load of shit