Samsung keeps losing market share to Chinese brands as global smartphone sales decline further

Samsung keeps losing market share to Chinese brands as global smartphone sales decline further
The smartphone market is more competitive than ever, but the number of phones sold each year continues to drop, making the fight for larger piece of the pie even more vicious. This is the picture painted by latest Counterpoint mobile market monitor report, noticed by SamMobile.

The report shows changes in the smartphone market between the third quarter of 2017 compared to the same three-month period this year. While a few countries, such as India, saw an increase in smartphone sales, that wasn’t enough to put even one region in the green. Globally, the year-on-year decrease is now at 5%, Latin America performing the worst with a 7% decline.

While the global outlook might be bleak, when it comes to individual phone manufacturers, there are major shifts in both directions. Samsung is still holding tight to the first spot with a 19% share of the market, but it lost 13% of what it had in Q3 of 2018. Some of the lost share went to Huawei and Xiaomi. The Chinese brands now hold 14% and 9% of the global smartphone market respectively with Apple sitting between them at 12%. In Q3 of 2017 Huawei stood at 10% and Xiaomi at 7%, both marking significant improvement since then, meanwhile Apple sits comfortably at 12% in both reports.

If we’re only looking at growth over the last year, then HMD, the Chinese manufacturer that sells smartphones under the Nokia brand, takes the first place with a 73% YoY growth. Still, that’s not enough to put it next to the big boys in terms of overall share, maybe next year!

Focusing on North America, we see that the top three brands remain the same, but with slightly different shares. Apple continues its rule with 39% market share, up from 34% in Q3 2017. Samsung adds a couple percent as well, reaching 26%, while LG manages to keep its 17% despite lackluster results. The biggest loser in this category is ZTE. The company held the fourth spot in 2017 with 11%, but after facing some serious troubles with the US Government, it’s now missing from the charts, its spot taken by Lenovo (including Motorola branded phones) with 8%.

Is Huawei destined to dethrone Samsung? And will Apple be overtaken by another Chinese phone maker? Those are just some of the questions that will be answered in 2019, which is shaping up to be a very interesting year for the smartphone world.



1. pokharkarsaga

Posts: 553; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

Samsung days are outnumbered.

3. Panzer

Posts: 282; Member since: May 13, 2016

You are right Samsung will be just fine. Our did you mean "Samsung days are numbered"??? Samsung and Apple will always be around there is always a market for premium handsets.

13. umaru-chan

Posts: 371; Member since: Apr 27, 2017

Another proof that Samsung's keyboard warriors attempts are futile. Each year they are selling less. I hope the trend continues just so that their disgusting keyboard warriors feel their hard work are not being rewarded. Xiaomi should be the next Android king. I hope the next Poco phone gets released soon and wreck Samsung dominance even further. Poco F2 should have a metallic body instead of plastic. Increase STB ratio and put 48 megapixel sony sensor and wide availability worldwide. Looking forward to buying my first Android phone (f2) from xiaomi if the above mentioned improvements are made.

21. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

Who cares what place they are in. I was buying Samsung phones even when they were near the bottom. Everyone gets to be ok m top at some point. It's called capitalism and free market. It's not always about having the bwat product. Many times it's about having the widely reachable one. That is how Microsoft locked in the desktop. At the time Windows wasn't all that great. What it had was availability and flexibility. Now it is what it ahould have been years ago. The best you can get.

23. Panzer

Posts: 282; Member since: May 13, 2016

I am a Samsung keyboard warrior? I guess someone must have stolen my CC and pre-ordered a Purism Librem 5. If everything goes well my Note 8 will be my last Android phone. My Arch Linux server is getting setup for webdav services, Nextcloud, and Openhab so I can transition out of the Android Ecosystem. Until I get my Pfsense/Ubuqiti network setup I am on hold with those projects. Hopefully get my network setup this coming weekend.

38. speckledapple

Posts: 902; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

Does it matter though? Anyone spending time to try and go after "keyboard warriors" have more issues than they should. In terms of who should be the next Android king, the beauty of android is that if someone is top they do not stay top for long. I have not personally seen any reason that Xiaomi should have that position but with population in China, they will likely be top anyway in comparison to others.

2. meanestgenius

Posts: 22220; Member since: May 28, 2014

Huawei is coming! They are nipping at the heels of Samsung. I'm certain that Samsung is capable of stepping it up, but they need to start doing it now. Xiamoi is nipping at Apples heels. I think we can expect them to take the #3 spot globally from Apple soon. I'm impressed by the growth of HMD! They are one to watch in the coming years. If BBK were counted as a whole (Oppo, Vigo, etc) we would be looking at a different scenario. All of the companies I named above have impressive growth without much of a presence in the U.S., which is incredible.

4. Donone41

Posts: 246; Member since: Dec 17, 2014

All this means nothing. At the end of the day profit is what manufacturers are after and not global shares. There's a reason why apple and Samsung makes so much more profits than everyone else.

18. meanestgenius

Posts: 22220; Member since: May 28, 2014

It means nothing to you, but there is a good reason why companies fight for market share. You can't keep raising prices and expect consumers to keep buying it, especially when you aren't offering much when compared to price. That's not a sustainable business practice. But more market share will ensure that you have more consumers to buy your products in the long term.

27. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

High marketshare also insures, that when the market changes, you have time to also deal with change before it has a huge affect. In the case of Samsung, they see that the Chinese OEMs are basically beating them on price. Because these OEMs can and are using cheap 3rd party made components in most cases allowing foenlowwr price. And these OEMs right now doesn't care about profit. What they are gonna do is, stay under everyone elsw, gain their place in marketshare and then their prices will also go up and them everyone will be expensive. Right now, because Samsung can compete on some level with price, they will fair far better than Apple will. The whole reason Huawei is being banned in the US is solely to protect Applw market hate and everywhere else. But people with m ok ney are listening to what they can afford and of Samsung and Apple aren't an option, someone will be. Huawei is gonna help kill off the OEMs we simply don't need. Motorola, HTC, Sony, LG and many others who may selm maybe 10M phones in a whole year simply need to be gone. This will open a new market for both Apple and Samsung to grab in markets where outsiders have yet to be welcome. Huawei right now is jumping into all Asian and Middle Eastern/India markets with better prices and now it may be too late for Samsung or Apple to fend them off. Apple for sure can't fend off anyone on pricing. Not even Samsung.

22. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

Consumers give two shakes about profits. I mean that is all what poems and stockholders care about. Buys could care less what place you are in the market. What they care about is you making what they want to buy. This is why Huawei is being banned in the US. It's not about security. It's all for protecting Apple.

39. speckledapple

Posts: 902; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

it helps when the country they are based has over a billion people. Just saying its not that hard to figure out.

43. meanestgenius

Posts: 22220; Member since: May 28, 2014

Those "over a billion people" aren't all buying smartphones, much less Huawei smartphones.

45. speckledapple

Posts: 902; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

obviously but the ceiling for growth in a place like that is MUCH higher than more mature markets which is why its always good to put it in perspective when we talk about their place and relative to their competition.

46. meanestgenius

Posts: 22220; Member since: May 28, 2014

China isn’t the only market that Huawei is doing well in. They are also doing well in Europe and India. Other OEM’s are also free to compete in China without any hinderance. It’s good to mention all of the things relevant to the conversation, that way one gets the full perspective.

47. speckledapple

Posts: 902; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

First, yes they are certainly moving well in other markets but because of the efficiencies that exist in their home market. They can push to a very low price relative to others and as everyone knows price makes for a compelling case. Beyond that though I think its interesting that you mention other OEMs as being able to freely compete in China without hindrance. That statement alone has many holes in it and too many to get into on this thread. But I will say this, while there are some who may say the China market is "easy". There are many clear signs in which it is far from it if you are not Chinese.

48. meanestgenius

Posts: 22220; Member since: May 28, 2014

First: Other OEM’s are free to price their smartphones as competitively as Huawei does. Nothing is stopping them from doing so. How does the statement of other OEM’s being able to complete in China without hinderance have many holes? Is China attempting to ban other OEM’s smartphones like the U.S. is doing to Huawei? Which signs point to non-Chinese OEM’s having a rough time because they are not Chinese?

49. speckledapple

Posts: 902; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

Stop. At the end of the day if you can have a better way to produce your items and offer a lower price then you will do it. Any company would. Many of these Chinese companies simply have a massive means of production to do just that. And in terms of the other thing, as I said too many holes and I have no desire to fully discuss them here as it's not the place. But the idea of China being a place where companies not from there can freely compete without hindrance is a bit hilarious. Also for the record nothing should stop Huawei from selling in the US. If they have the means to do so beyond specific connections that could give others pause, they should do so. I hope it goes well for them

50. meanestgenius

Posts: 22220; Member since: May 28, 2014

YOU stop. There is no way you can tell me that such methods aren’t available to the likes of Samsung, Apple and others. You have no desire to fully discuss sounds more like full on conjecture from you that you know you can’t logically support, and that’s what’s hilarious. The only means of Huawei selling smartphones in the U.S. is through online outlets like Amazon and B&H online and brick and mortar stores. To be really successful in the U.S. you need carrier support, of which Huawei currently doesn’t have due to pressure from the U.S. government. This is common knowledge. Your entire argument sounds more like excuses as to why Huawei is doing well, as opposed to them doing so through their own merits.

5. ZerosAndOnes

Posts: 84; Member since: Oct 12, 2018

5 years from Today: - Apple fighting for 3rd spot (3/4 spot with Samsung) - Huawei No1 - Xiaomi No2 - Samsung fighting for 3rd and 4th spot while behind it other Chinese OEM's looming

6. Galaxy_Apple

Posts: 129; Member since: May 24, 2015

One thing no one talks about apart from marketshare is revenues , A.K.A the turnover of all the phones sold by each company. hey not even talking profit here only revenue. These Chinese companies sell mostly 100-150$ phones in Asian markets where volume is high but revenue is low ,they literally need to sell 10 phones for every iPhone n Galaxy note sold. If you look at in terms of revenue Apple is no. 1 with 30-37 billion $ per quarter, trading blows with samsung but especially in december quarter they beat everyone by a mile in holiday season where flagships seel more , especially now since their phones cost 1000+$. The turnover of these companies is quite low it may catchup to samsung but it will take much longer than people think. What Apple n Samsung need to focus on is services n cloud not hardware ,but they r being too slow to do so.

7. ZerosAndOnes

Posts: 84; Member since: Oct 12, 2018

Nokia had amazing profit few years before it collapsed. The only company that will keep steady profits or in worst case lose little bit is Apple. Samsung is doomed to fail. They literally keep throwing out same phones for last 2 years thinking they have the brand value and impact of Apple and that will keep people buying their phones. Well it doesnt work. In Asia Huawei has better brand value than Samsung nowadays and thats huge. They slowly coming to Europe.

15. Galaxy_Apple

Posts: 129; Member since: May 24, 2015

Nokia was different their flagships became outdated n hence they failed , samsung is not in that position , their flagships r selling only midrange n low end is failing. Also Im also taking about revenue , marketshare is not equal to revenue. These Chinese companies will eat each other , it's not as easy as u or they think, if anyone of them raises prices people will buy from some other Chinese company, its a endless cycle, cutthroat business not like selling flagships. Give it time they will eat marketshare but how much will it help. lets see.

40. speckledapple

Posts: 902; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

So Samsung keeps throwing out the same phones and gets railed for it but Apple gets praised? Got it. Beyond that though I am not so sure Huawei has more brand value than Samsung so much as they have done well in the top asian market for growth right now. They love their homegrown which is why Apple and Samsung will continue to have so much trouble while the others grow exponentially.

28. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

No. Most people don't care about services. Most of those Chinese phones offer zero service. They don't need them because everyone can just download all of Google's services ok n any platform. The issue is price. Period. Samsung also has ppl hones in the same range as Huawei. Asians are known to support a their own first. The iPhone is just popular and represent status. Samsung overs the Andeoid superior option equal or. Better thwn Apple, but at a leasee price point. Bit now theaw others have improved their own software and hardware and have a better price. Because they care nothing about profit In fact, unless you are a stockholder, why would any consumer care about profit of a company?

8. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Not a surprise, Korean's brand didn't do really well in China, and vice versa. Huawei and Xiaomi didn't even have 0.6% of Korean's market share.

10. ZerosAndOnes

Posts: 84; Member since: Oct 12, 2018

I doubt anyone cares seriously about marketshare in Korea. Its all about China Europe India and USA.

17. Galaxy_Apple

Posts: 129; Member since: May 24, 2015

and how much marketshare does Xiaomi have in Europe n USA ?

37. ZerosAndOnes

Posts: 84; Member since: Oct 12, 2018

India and China have 2.6billion population combined. Guess who is doing well in those 2 markets? Xiaomi and Huawei. Guess who isn't. Samsung.

44. mootu

Posts: 1527; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

Huawei has 1% market share in India, hardly doing well. Xiaomi is the leader at 25%, Samsung has 22%. Samsung doesn't do well in China for one reason, Politics. Basically the Chinese and Koreans pretty much hate each other and that pretty much translates to goods sold in the two countries.

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