New metrics from the International Data Corporation (IDC) suggests Samsung’s dominance in the Chinese market might be usurped by the one-two punch of Xiaomi and Apple. The Korean-based company is still among the top brass in terms of shipments by vendor for 2014 vs. 2013 (12.1-percent), just on the heels of Xiaomi (12.5-percent) over the entirety of 2014. But look more closely at IDC’s data, and it signals a worrying trend for Samsung executives: people are gravitating toward the company’s competitors.
Exhibit A: In just twelve months, Xiaomi went from 5.3-percent of the Chinese market share to leading the pack. That’s almost a 200-percent growth for the startup, spurned by low prices, flash sales and solid (and recognizable) phones. There’s a lot of hype around the company, and people are obviously taking notice. Xiaomi’s phenomenal growth is also reflected in 2014 Q4 market share, which was at 13.7-percent—better than any other company in the world.
Exhibit B: Apple’s presence in China went up significantly during 2014 Q4, with 12.3-percent of the pie. The duo of Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus helped the company achieve a record-setting year for iPhone sales, with almost 100-percent growth in China for year-on-year growth during Q4.
Samsung, meanwhile, saw a drop of nearly 50-percent year-over-year, which is huge. The company was fifth overall during 2014 Q4, with just under 8-percent—that’s behind Lenovo and Huawei, putting the company in fifth place during the Q4 period. Sure, ok, Samsung is still in the number two spot overall, and Apple isn’t even in the top 5. But Samsung’s year-on-year unit growth in 2014 dropped by over 20-percent; in 2013 it commanded a handy lead, but misfires have put the company into second place.
China, of course, isn’t the only market Samsung needs to be successful in, but because it’s the biggest market in the world, the company has to use the next few months to bounce back and retake the lead. Judging by the data, however, it looks like China-based Xiaomi might be unstoppable, while Apple is also making major progress.
The Galaxy S6 and new Edge device could put at end to that. If it doesn’t, though, Samsung could very well be in a spot of bother.