Estimates: Samsung smartphone shipments to stall in 2015 as Apple gets ready for 19% growth
The current estimates predict that Samsung will ship about 318 million smartphones by the end of the year, a 0.95% increase compared to its 2014 shipments. That's obviously nowhere near's Samsung's impressive growth of a few years back. In 2012, Samsung's smartphone shipments grew 131% year on year, then slowed slightly to 44.4% in 2013, and finally came to a screeching halt in 2014.
Although it may look like Samsung didn't have a great year based on raw shipment growth, the company had to come out guns blazing to maintain its yearly smartphone shipments. In 2015, Samsung brought fundamental design changes to its iconic Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series. After years of criticism centered on the plastic build of its premium phones, Samsung launched the Galaxy S6, the S6 edge, the S6 edge+, and the Galaxy Note 5 with glass-metal sandwich builds that mark a considerable improvement in terms of build quality compared to its previous flagships. Furthermore, the phones are all based on a blazing-fast chipset developed in-house by Samsung (the Exynos 7420) , and they also come with UFS 2.0 internal storage, which is much faster compared to the eMMC 5.0 storage used by most other phones. Samsung is also the only manufacturer that currently sells smartphones with curved-edge displays.
Faced with increasing competition from Chinese smartphone manufacturers, the insane popularity of modern iPhones, and a migration of customer preference towards budget-conscious unlocked smartphones, Samsung is likely to continue having a hard time maintaining its position as the leading smartphone manufacturer in terms of yearly shipments. Apple, on the other hand, says that pre-orders for the recently unveiled iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are on their way towards breaking the record set by the iPhone 6 series.