Samsung’s smartphone sales in the third quarter of 2016 as a whole declined 14.2 percent year over year — their worst performance ever. Samsung’s previous worst performance for smartphone sales was a 12.3 percent drop in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Research director Anshul Gupta said that the launch of the Galaxy S8 would be a crucial test for the company’s fate …
The damage to Samsung’s brand will make it harder for the company to increase its smartphone sales in the short term. For Samsung, it’s crucial that the Galaxy S8 launches successfully, so that partners and customers regain trust in its brand.
There was some good news for the company, however. There had been speculation that Apple might pick up as many as 5-7M sales from Samsung, potentially meaning customers that were lost to Samsung forever as they switched platform, but it appears this wasn’t the case. Apple too lost market share, from 13% to 11.5% in the same period.
The real winners were Chinese brands Oppo and BKK, each of which came close to doubling their share of the global smartphone market.
“China led the growth in the smartphone market in the third quarter of 2016,” said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner. “Sales of smartphones in China grew by 12.4 percent, and the vendors who most successfully exploited the sales opportunities there were Oppo and BBK Communication Equipment. In Oppo’s case, 81 percent of its smartphone sales came from China, while BBK accounted for 89 percent of smartphones sales in China. These two vendors also grew strongly in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Russia,” he added.
Samsung is working hard to retain loyalty in the brand, indicating recently that at least some Note 7 buyers will be able to buy a Note 8 for half-price.