Nothing is permanent – Samsung loosing top position to Apple – Gartner Report

The Gartner report on global sales of smartphones for last quarter of year 2016 shows some intuitive yet ever-changing trends. During the last quarter, total smartphone sales across the world stood at 432 million, thereby registering a straight 7% increase over sales during previous quarter.

Apple moved from second position to regain its No. 1 position as the most beloved smartphone brand in terms of sales. As reported by Gartner during quarter ending September, 2016, Samsung sales are declining every passing quarter. Apple has been lagging for almost 2 years, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s have barely managed to maintain Apple sales during their lifetime. Apple iPhone 7 launch has been a turning point and resulted in Apple’s market share to increase to 17.9% while Samsung came down from 20.7% during Q4-2015 to 17.8% during Q4-2016.

Main reasons for Samsung’s diminishing marketshare are:

  • Withdrawal of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 due to Battery issue
  • Ever increasing competition by Chinese players mainly in entry-level and mid tier phones segment

When we move little lower to competitors below 1st and 2nd positions, we notice Huawei maintaining its 3rd position and managing to grow slowly yet steadily from 8% during Q4-2015 to 9.5% during Q4-2016.

Amazingly, companies like Oppo and BBK Communication Equipment have nearly doubled their marketshare. These companies have directly been gaining from Samsung’s losses. While Huawei has been focusing the premium category where margins are still high, other competitors have been busy bringing down the prices of entry-level smartphones as well as spinning out iPhone-like phones at various price levels.

Apple has been sticking to One-product strategy while mild permutations, Samsung continues with their multi-spectrum, multi-flank strategies. Top Chinese companies like Huawei, Oppo, BBK, ZTE, Xiaomi and Lenovo are spoiling users for variety, with features being added at every $5 rise in price of handset.

Google Android has been maintaining its Top position with 81.7% marketshare while Apple iOS lags at 17.9%. There literally is nobody else left in OS competition.

Globally there are now 1.5 Billion smartphone users, a number which is 5% more than number of users during previous year 2015. Hence, the future for smartphones is bright and competition is only set to intensify with time.

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