Apple Unable To Estimate Samsung Customer Inflow

Samsung's flagship Galaxy Note 7 was released earlier in the year but was subject to a recall because of a battery fault, causing a short circuit, "thermal runaway" and ultimately could result in the device blowing up. Unlike earlier Galaxy Note devices, the 2016 model has an embedded, integrated battery, which means Samsung had to recall the complete device rather than simply send out new batteries, as it did with the 2013 Samsung Galaxy S4 flagship device, which suffered from swelling batteries. However, following the first device recall a number of the "safe", improved Galaxy Note 7 devices caught fire or exploded. Samsung recalled all Galaxy Note 7 devices and cancelled the model, condemning the smartphone to "the flagship that never was" status and giving it a 2.5 million item recycling headache.

Although the Galaxy Note is a flagship device, it does not sell in the same high numbers of Samsung's headline flagship model, the Galaxy S series and for 2016, this means that Samsung is reliant on the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge devices to prop up sales as we enter the fourth quarter. Samsung's (current) biggest rival in the smartphone biggest selling device, Apple, release their devices around the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth. Apple traditionally take the lead in market share at the end of the year only for Samsung to retake the lead in the second quarter of the new year, as a number of customers simply replace their device every six months with the latest flagship from each company. For 2016 and early 2017, things might be different if consumer confidence has been significantly knocked in Samsung: other manufacturers are priming their own large screen devices as able to steal some sales from Samsung, such as Huawei, Lenovo, Xiaomi and of course Apple. Apple, however, do not usually admit to following the market but instead persist in pushing the implication that the iPhone has the leading edge smartphone technologies, but Chief Executive Officer, Tim Cook, explained that it is "hard to estimate" the effect of customers switching to Apple from Samsung "but we obviously welcome all switchers."

This sounds very much as though Apple do not know how many Samsung customers may permanently switch to an Apple device, and in any event the Galaxy Note 7 is a relatively small seller in the context of the Apple iPhone 7 Plus model. We are also seeing reports from sources such as American carrier, Sprint, that Samsung customers are sticking with Samsung. In all likelihood, customers will soon forget Samsung's exploding battery, just as customers have largely forgotten Steve Jobs shamefully telling customers they were holding their iPhone 4 wrong in 2010 or more recently how Apple built the iPhone 6 Plus without a properly reinforced chassis and it was bending in pockets.

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About the Author

David Steele

Senior Staff Writer
I grew up with 8-bit computers and moved into PDAs in my professional life, using a number of devices from early Windows CE clamshells and later. Today, my main devices are a Nexus 5X, a Sony Xperia Z Tablet and a coffee cup.
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