Samsung Slowly Overtakes Apple’s Smartphone Market Share

Why Apple Is Ditching Samsung's Chips in Favor of TSMC
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The battle between Apple and Samsung has been raging for years. But this year, it seems like Samsung is slowly overtaking the iPhone manufacturer.

Apple’s sales for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus have been declining since earlier this year. And a new report from market analysts at Kantar Worldpanel only seem to back up the assumption that Apple’s sales are lagging behind Samsung.

Kantar found that, between February and May, Samsung’s US market share was 37 percent, compared to Apple’s 29 percent. It’s important to note that both the S7 and S7 Edge are newer devices — by half a year. But while Apple has not had trouble keeping up in the past, it seems to be having trouble now.

But the sales battle between both company’s flagship models is a closer one, with Samsung’s S7 generation taking 16 percent of total sales and Apple’s 6s series accounting for 14.6 percent, according to Kantar Worldpanel.

The Verge notes that Apple still has a higher loyalty rating among customers, with 88 percent saying they intend to buy another iPhone. But the difference is pretty negligible, as Samsung’s loyalty rating hovers around 86 percent.

Samsung has been consistently updating its camera quality and user experience, and it shows. The Verge called Samsung’s S7 generation “the best new flagship we’ve seen since Apple’s last update.”

But despite the warfare between them, the two cell phone giants completely dominate the market. The entire top 10 list of mobile devices sold is made up of Apple and Samsung devices.

Interestingly, cell phone sales in both the US and UK markets have flattened in recent months, owing to consumers upgrading at a slower pace than in previous years, according to Kantar.

The Verge also notes that the S7 was released pretty early in the year, allowing it to surge ahead of other Android devices. Other Android manufacturers are lagging behind Samsung, releasing their flagship models later than the S7. These include LG’s G5, HTC’s HTC 10, and Sony’s Xperia X — which hasn’t even been released on the market yet.

But outside of the US and UK markets, the dominance of Samsung and Apple might be at stake.

In China, the largest smartphone market in the world, manufacturers such as Huawei and Xiaomi are quickly stealing away the market share, according to Fortune magazine.

Both companies are also catching up in other developing markets.

“Anyone still focusing on these giant competitors … is missing the bigger picture,” Kantar analyst Lauren Guenveur wrote.

Guenveur continued by saying Huawei is slated to supplant Apple as the second-largest smartphone manufacturer by the year 2020.

These numbers, along with rampant rumors forming about Google releasing its own smartphone, could be cause to question whether Samsung’s and Apple’s days as the dominant handset creators are numbered.

“Apple and Samsung should stop worrying so much about each other and take a look around them,” Guenveur wrote.

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