Samsung’s mobile sales have been in a downward spiral since late 2017 and things have not gotten better throughout 2018. According to a report by Strategy Analytics, Smartphone sales have fallen approximately 13% in the past quarter. This follows a 10% decline in the 2nd quarter, 2% in the first quarter, and a 4% dip in the last quarter of 2017.
This data indicates that Samsung’s recent flagship devices, like the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9, have failed to curb this downward trend. The company’s entry-level and mid-range handsets do aid its market performance but even Samsung has been forced to acknowledge that they are struggling in this field as well.
Meanwhile, Samsung’s Chinese rival Huawei seems to be on the up and up. The Android manufacturer’s shipments have risen 32.5% in the past quarter and went passed Apple (for the third time) to become the world’s second largest smartphone brand. Much of its recent growth comes courtesy of Huawei’s P20 flagship handsets drawing consumers to them. In China, India, and Europe, their products’ sales have skyrocketed within the last year. While their presence in the US is miniscule, they have the potential to drive further growth in the market provided they can combat FBI, CIA, and NSA efforts to discourage Americans from using their devices. American intelligence agencies often claim Huawei will use their access to US telecommunications networks to infringe on national and private security.
In addition to Huawei’s success, Samsung’s decline has coincided with Xiaomi establishing itself in the market. Xiaomi’s smartphone shipments have gone up 20% within the last quarter, making it the 4th behind Apple in global smartphone shipments.
Director of Strategy Analytics Neil Mawston said:
“Samsung is losing ground to Huawei, Xiaomi and other Chinese rivals in the huge China and India markets. Samsung must solve its China and India problems before it is too late.”
Although Samsung admits they’re struggling in the mid- and low-end smartphone market, its management suggests that its shipment stats will rise up again in the fourth quarter, “particularly for its enhanced mass product lineup including the new Galaxy A7 and A9”.
Samsung plans to launch 3 Galaxy S10 models and a foldable phone in early 2019, so its not unlikely that the world’s largest smartphone producer will make a comeback. Samsung-enthusiasts will be hoping the company improves on the Galaxy S9, whose updated features were rather disappointing. We will finally see Samsung’s first foldable phone models during the company’s developer conference next week.
While high-end devices are vital for Samsung’s brand, increased competition from Huawei and Xiaomi will help shape Samsung’s success in 2019. Huawei and Xiaomi have made massive inroads in bringing premium features to mid- and low-end smartphones, and there are other Chinese tech firms as well that may very well overtake Samsung in the future. The tech company will have to work on affordability and updated hardware if they are to remain at the top of the Android market.