Samsung Electronics topped the list, outclassing Apple in the US smartphone market during the March-May period this year. However, the Galaxy S8 fell short of the Galaxy S7, the previous version of the Galaxy S8 in terms of sales.
"From March through May of this year, Samsung Electronics recorded a 36.2% share of the US market, up 3.3%p from the previous three months," said Kantar Worldpanel, a European market researcher said on August 9 (local time). Apple's share was 34.0%. Compared to a year ago, Samsung Electronics' share dropped 1.1 percentage points and Apple climbed by 4.7 percentage points. Samsung Electronics had lost its top spot to Apple in the US market since the third quarter of last year (July-September) due to fire eruption on batteries in the Galaxy Note 7.
In the top selling product rankings, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus snatched the first and second spots. Third place was taken by the Galaxy S7, and fourth place went to the Galaxy S8. "Although the launch of the S8 helped to recover Samsung’s market share, it did not meet expectations," Kantar Worldpanel said.
Meanwhile, it was forecast that China's smartphone maker Huawei will outperform Apple in the third quarter of this year, taking second place in the global smartphone industry. It is the first time Huawei added Samsung and Apple's Big 2 fights.
Taiwan's IT media firm DigiTimes quoted an official of Taiwan's smartphone component maker as saying that Huawei's smartphone shipments will surpass 40 million units in the third quarter. By contrast, Apple is expected to see a drop in shipments in the third quarter as the launch of the iPhone 8 is expected to be delayed. Apple's iPhone shipments are expected to hit 41 million units in the second quarter and inch down to 40 million units in the third quarter.
This is attributed to Huawei's record growth in China and its steadily overseas expansion.
According to market researcher IDC, Huawei shipped 38.5 million smartphones in the second quarter of this year, accounting for 11.3% of the global smartphone market. The difference between Apple’s and Huawei’s shipments stood at only 2.5 million units. In China alone, Huawei shipped 23.5 million smartphones in the second quarter. This figure was a 22.6% increase from the same period of last year. On the other hand, shipments of the iPhone in the Chinese market during the same period were only 8 million, down 7.6% from the previous year.
Huawei grew 45% in markets other than China such as Southeast Asia, Japan and Korea, and its shipments in Europe rose 18% in the first half of this year. In Germany, Finland, and Poland, its growth more than doubled from the previous year.
Huawei is also planning to enter the US early next year after Europe and South America. Last year, Huawei invested 73 billion yuan in research and development (R&D) which accounts for 14.6% of total sales.
Apple, on the other hand, is enjoying keeping huge operating profits to itself through its premium strategy. Apple’s market share stands at only 10%. Apple takes more than 80% of the smartphone industry's total operating profit.
According to market research firm Strategy Analytics (SA), global smartphone makers posted US$12.25 billion in total operating profit in the first quarter of this year while Apple US$10.183 billion. Apple accounted for 83.4% of total profits.
Samsung Electronics chalked up operating profit of US$1.577 billion over the same period, accounting for 12.9 percent of the total. Huawei's operating profit hit US$226 million, or 3.5 percent of the total.