2014 was not the best year for Samsung. It was the year they released a couple of unique products like the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, Samsung Gear VR and also the first standalone smartwatch, the Samsung Galaxy Gear. As such Samsung did continue their intention to be a forward thinking and innovative company. However, those innovations and highly funded R&D department weren’t enough to see Samsung sales maintain their ultimate dominance that they had seen in years before. In fact, the news throughout the year was Samsung sales were continually on the slide. Each quarter we started to see new reports that it was their worst quarter to date and this was followed by speculation that it was their worst year’s figures since back in 2011.
Well, now that 2015 is here and we are starting to see more insight into what actually happened for the South Korean tech giant, thanks to a new report by one of China’s biggest research and consulting companies, CCID Consulting. The big headline from this report is that Samsung lost close to a third of its China market share to the likes of Apple and Xiaomi. To most tech followers, this won’t be exactly ‘breaking news’ as the signs were there. As Apple products have become more available in China their sales have been increasing. Likewise, Xiaomi last year had their best year to date and have made a significant footprint in their home market. With both of these companies making such gains, the losses had to come from somewhere and it seems Samsung was where they did come from.
According to the report, Samsung had previously enjoyed an overall 20% share in the Chinese market back at this time last year. However, by as early as October 2014, that share had significantly dropped down to the 13.7% marker. In spite of this overall drop in market share, Samsung did remain top of the pile in China. In terms of the others, Lenovo managed to obtain 10.7%, Apple brought in 9.4%, Huawei 8.5% and Coolpad 7.7%. To add to this, and help put things into an overall perspective, the Chinese smartphone market as a whole saw a reduction in sales with just over 356 million units shipping in January 2014. By October, this figure had reportedly dropped to roughly 307 million units. So, although Samsung is feeling the heat in China, they might not be the only ones.