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Is it Time for Apple and Samsung to Start Worrying?

by Todd Haselton | July 30, 2014July 30, 2014 9:30 am PST

Samsung Galaxy S4 VS Apple iPhone 5-Front

IDC on Wednesday released its latest Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report and it reveals that both Apple and Samsung are starting to lose large chunks of global market share, even while shipments increased 23.1 percent year over year. Chinese vendors such as Huawei and Lenovo, among others, are gaining market share at a rapid pace. Is it time for Apple and Samsung to start worrying? Perhaps, particularly if both want to maintain leadership while other companies start to offer more advanced products at lower price points.

“As the death of the feature phone approaches more rapidly than before, it is the Chinese vendors that are ready to usher emerging market consumers into smartphones. The offer of smartphones at a much better value than the top global players but with a stronger build quality and larger scale than local competitors gives these vendors a precarious competitive advantage,” IDC senior research manager Melissa Chau explained.


Samsung’s global market share slipped from 32.3 percent during the second quarter of last year to 25.2 percent in Q2 2014. Apple’s share also dropped, from 13 percent in Q2 2013 to 11.9 percent in Q2 2014. Meanwhile, Huawei’s market share jumped from 4.3 percent to 6.9 percent in the same time period, while Lenovo’s market share increased from 4.7 percent to 5.4 percent. LG’s share remained relatively flat, and “other brands” increased from a 40.6 percent share to 45.8 percent.

IDC recommended that Samsung “focus on building momentum in markets dominated by local brands.” It said that Apple has done well in emerging markets and that the dip in market share could be attributed to folks waiting for the iPhone 6 to launch. “Given the pent-up demand, the third quarter could be a drought or a flood, depending on the timing of the next launch,” IDC said.

Apple and Samsung can’t lose market share this quickly. How will both respond?


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...