The Tech Bet

What Samsung could be doing wrong with smartphones

Is Samsung losing steam?

Samsung could be spreading itself too thin and targeting too wide a range of smartphone users, leaving the manufacturer to play second fiddle to more popular competitors.

"Apple, in sticking to its strategy of only targeting the high end, is really paying off. Samsung's approach has always been different. It's been 'fill every niche possible.' It's attacked the low end...the mid-range and the high end, and it seems like a good idea, but ultimately when you try to target everyone, you kind of end up targeting no one," explained Mashable Tech Editor Pete Pachal.

Apple's iPhone users make up more than a 50 percent share of smartphone web traffic, according to July usage data from Chitika, an online advertising network. Meanwhile Samsung smartphone users account for about half of that, according to Chitika.

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"Web traffic is a pretty good measure of usage. The most popular app on most phones is usually the browser," Pachal said.

"Samsung, for all of its power in mobile, doesn't really have a full 'platform.' It's still very Google-flavored, and its attempts at differentiation amount to a spaghetti-against-the-wall approach. Other manufacturers, like HTC, focus on just a few key features, and it makes them awesome," Pachal said.

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In China, local manufacturer Xiaomi has beaten Samsung as the country's top smartphone maker, based on sales in the second quarter.

"Homegrown brands like Xiaomi and Oppo are cranking out great phones with low prices. There's also crazy competition at the low end, with brands like Motorola and Nokia offering some impressive stuff," Pachal said.

Sean Gallup | Getty Images

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Samsung owned about 25 percent of worldwide smartphone market during the second quarter of this year, while Apple owned nearly 12 percent of the smart phone market, according to IDC research.

Last week, after reporting lower-than-expected quarterly earnings, Samsung said it expected a challenging last half of 2014 because of price competition.

—By CNBC's Althea Chang.