As a company, Samsung is more of a market follower because it does not pioneer any product but only innovates existing products to make it better and cheaper. The classic example is the smartphone industry whereby Samsung was not its pioneer but is able to dominate the market. This demonstrates Samsung’s ability to adapt to market conditions and dominate it.
At present, Samsung dominates the smartphone industry seconded by Apple. The industry may be very competitive with several players vying for market share but the majority of the market share is occupied by Samsung and Apple with other players only having a tiny fraction of the market. The two players, Samsung and Apple also dictate the price of the industry. Such, albeit there are several players in the industry, the smartphone industry can still be considered as an oligopoly because only two companies control and dominate the market. Oligopoly is a market structure dominated by few firms (www.economicshelp, nd). The other players such as Sony, Nokia, NEC and Lenovo has very little influence in the market although these companies are introducing their own innovations, they were however not significant enough to reverse the trend in the smartphone industry as dictated by the two major players.
One aspect of the smartphone industry that makes it an oligopoly is the huge amount of resources needed to enter in the market. There resources are not only limited in monetary terms but also in human and intellectual resource. These serve as a barrier to entry that only very few firms can join the industry making the market structure as oligopoly. Information about the products are also tightly guarded as industrial advantage and are considered as a competitive advantage honed by research and development.
Research and development is one of key characteristics of Samsung that enabled it to dominate the market even if it is just a market follower.