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Exploding Samsung Note 7 was not a win for Apple’s iPhone sales, but for Chinese brands

by Felix Omondi
Exploding Samsung Note 7 was not a win for Apple’s iPhone sales, but for Chinese brands

When you think of high-end smartphones, two brands gets into many people’s mind, the iPhones and Samsung phones. And the two companies actually see each other as the worthy opponents. So with the exploding Samsung’s flagship smartphone for this year, the Samsung Note 7. One would expect Apple will make a kill this year, with its flagship iPhone 7.

Turns out, much of Samsung loss is gain not for Apple, it’s ‘worthy’ opponents but to the little known about Chinese brands like Oppo, BBK Communication Equipment, and Huawei. These three Chinese brands accounted for 21% of all smartphones sold globally in the Q3 of 2016. That is according to data collected by Gartner.

The three brands were the only smartphone vendors in the world to appear in the top five brands that increased their sales and market share globally during the period of review.

Samsung, even with the exploding phones, proved to be a resilient brand by maintaining its #1 position as a smartphone vendor with a 19.2% market share. Although its sales did take a 14.2% dive year over year, making this year Samsung worst year ever.

The decision to withdraw the Galaxy Note 7 was correct, but 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,” said Anshul Gupta, Research Director at Gartner.

Apple on its part did have anything but a rough quarter, recording a 6.6% decline in sales. Apple’s iPhones accounted for 11.5% of smartphones sold worldwide; the lowest the Cupertino has recorded even since Q1 of 2009.

Why Exploding Samsung Note 7 didn’t help iPhone sales

Gartner Research Director, Roberta Cozza says, “The withdrawal of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 may benefit sales of Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus only slightly, as Note 7 users are likely to stay with Samsung or at least with Android.”

So it basically falls down to the question, were shoppers looking forward to the Note 7, who are traditionally Android users willing to take the leap into iOS platform? The answer, is a resounding, not so many, if at all!

Huawei is a brand to reckon with

In the meantime, China’s Huawei has been busy closing the gap between it and Apple. Gartner says Huawei has been releasing feature-rich devices that are steadily winning over consumers.

In the last quarter, the gap between Apple and Huawei was down to less than 3% of market share. Huawei captured 8.7% of the market compared to 11.5% of Apple. Much of Huawei’s growth is its aggressive growth campaign into the European and North America market. Gartner poises Huawei up for “another year of promising growth.”

Oppo smartphones came in 4th place with 6.7% of global market share, followed by BBK Communication at 5.3%.

Gupta from Gartner, “China led the growth in the smartphone market in the Q3 of 2016. Sales of smartphones in China grew by 12.4%, and the vendors who most successfully exploited the sales opportunities there were Oppo and BBK Communication Equipment.”

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