Apple has finally managed to beat Samsung in the global smartphone market for the first time in quite a few years. A report published by Strategy Analytics clearly shows that in the fourth quarter of 2016, Apple captured 17.8% of the market share, while Samsung had to remain content with 17.7%. This difference of 0.1% may not seem like much of a difference, but it does confirm that Apple outsold Samsung, even if it was for just one quarter of 2016.
As one can guess, the defeat was largely a result of the Note 7's failure. Once you consider the fact that Samsung did not have a major flagship in the playing field during the holiday season when every other major competitor had put in one, the 5% dip in sales starts to make more sense. Apple shipped 78.3 million units around the world during the last quarter and broke a barrage of sales records with the latest iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Samsung on the other hand, sold 77.5 million smartphones in Q4 2016, which isn't really that bad, once you consider their unfortunate situation.
In a year to year comparison, Apple lost market share in 2016. Whereas the company enjoyed 16.1% share of the global smartphone market in 2015, it dipped to 14.5% in 2016. In spite of enjoying record breaking sales numbers with the iPhone 7 series, Q4 2016 brought only 17.8% of the market share to Apple, while Q4 2015 had brought them 18.6%. Samsung on the other hand, lost more significant portions of the market share both in a year-to-year comparison, as well as in a quarter-to-quarter comparison. Check out the screenshot to understand what we are talking about.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
The sales of tablets has waned down to such a degree that most manufacturers have actually stopped producing them altogether. Even the likes of Samsung, a company which used to churn out multiple tablets in every price segment just two or three years ago has released only one new tablet recently and that's the Galaxy Tab S3. However, the Apple iPads have almost inherently been more popular than Android tablets and still continue to enjoy similar popularity in most regions. Therefore, you can understand our surprise when IDC presented reports which placed Android tablets (read Samsung tablets) higher than the iPads in Western Europe!
Although the tablet market in general waned down by 1.7% YOY at the end of Q1 2017, Android tablets were in majority in the 7.1 million tablets sold in the region during the period. Samsung secured the first position with 26.5% of the market share in the quarter and a sales number of 1.89 million units. Apple slipped down to the second position with 21.7% market share and a sales number of 1.54 million units. What is even more important is the fact that while Samsung's tablet sales saw a YOY Q1 growth of 17.9%, Apple saw a decline 11.5%, which is quite unexpected and staggering. I guess Samsung is coming back on top everywhere and in every segment!
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
Apple's iPhone had been an unbeatable king of the smartphone industry in China till Huawei came. But after the Trump administration imposes bans on the company and the Biden administration continues the previous restriction on Huawei, its old rivals are getting the ground again.
Almost 92.40 million smartphones were shipped to China only in the first quarter of the year, with Vivo getting the first position with around 23% share and its sister company Oppo following behind with a 22% share of the market. Huawei got a really bad hit and could manage to get third place. Xiaomi took fourth place with 16% sales and Apple's share dive up to 30% more than it was last time and moved to fifth spot.
All major smartphone manufacturers experience a good rise in sales figures in China. Apple's net sales in China almost doubled year after year to $17.70 billion in three months alone. Apple's CEO Tim Cook seems to be quite happy with the sales results and issued a statement "We've been especially pleased by the customer response in China to the iPhone 12 family.". Huawei's share shrank unlike other companies and went from 41% to 16% in a year alone. "Leading vendors are racing to the top of the market, and there was an unusually high number of smartphone launches this quarter compared with Q1 2020 or even Q4 2020," said Canalys analyst Amber Liu.
Huawei has already sold its sister company Honor to a consortium of companies, to save it from US sanctions. Huawei has already lost the major chip and software suppliers and is now struggling to sustain itself. The company has recently launched its own version of the operating system to compensate for the ban but it still has a long way to go to deliver a royal comeback. And we have to wait and see where the events leading to the industry.