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Analysts: Will Samsung Remain Smartphone King?

If you think of smartphone alternatives to Apple, the South Korean manufacturer Samsung will probably come to mind. And not without reason: Samsung is the undisputed market leader in terms of sales. According to figures from industry observers from Counterpoint Research, it has even been around since 2012, much earlier smartphones weren’t really available across the board.

Counterpoint not only looks at the annual figures, but also broken down into the quarter. According to the analysts has Samsung has recently been facing more competition from several quarters get and specifically leads companies such as Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi.

Xiaomi was already at the top

Xiaomi has moved closer and closer to Samsung, towards the end of the second quarter of 2021 the group even temporarily ousted Samsung as the world’s leading smartphone provider and was in first place for the first time. “This is an important development, but not necessarily an indication of a permanent shift in OEM dynamics,” said Counterpoint.

Bild: Counterpoint Research

Samsung has been the world’s leading provider every year for the past few years, but it is not in every quarter of these years. In five of the 26 quarters between Q1 2015 and Q2 2021, the South Koreans lost the top spot.

Apple regularly dominates in Q4

As a rule, Samsung traditionally surrenders the top spot in Q4 to Apple, which is due to the sales of the newly introduced iPhone models. Samsung’s flagships from the Galaxy S range are always presented in Q1. But another manufacturer was even more relevant in the past than it is today: it was able to do so in Q2 2020 even Huawei and Honor ship more smartphones than Samsung.

Counterpoint links the rise of Xiaomi to the decline of Huawei. Xiaomi, together with Oppo and OnePlus, took over large parts of the low-priced segment from Huawei, especially in Europe.

Corona half Xiaomis Wachstum

There are, however yet another important factorwhich led to this shift:

While Xiaomi’s growth wasn’t accidental, its rise to the top towards the end of the second quarter of 2021 was also due to manufacturing difficulties Samsung faced because its factory in Vietnam was temporarily inoperable during a COVID-19-triggered shutdown. This happened in a quarter in which Samsung had weaker shipments in the past (while Samsung’s share of shipments in all first quarters since 2015 was well over 20 percent, its share of shipments in all second quarters since 2015 was usually a bit over or under 20 percent).

Will Samsung remain the smartphone king? That’s what the experts say

In conclusion, the analysts summarize their observations by stating that Xiaomi could regularly compete with the market leaders in some regions and in certain quarters worldwide – Samsung in Q2, Apple in Q4 – Samsung remains the leading OEM for the year.

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