The rivalry between Samsung and Apple is expected to intensify over the course of this year, recent reports suggest. The mobile divisions of both companies have traditionally been focused on the high-end market and even though Samsung also manufactures a number of midrange and low-end devices on an annual basis, the South Korean company is still focused on the flagship segment of the market seeing how its related profit margins are significantly higher. Most industry watchers believe Samsung is still Apple's only real competitor in this segment despite the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco which cost the company billions of dollars in late 2016. Apple took advantage of the ordeal surrounding Samsung's discontinued phablet seeing how it increased its yearly share of premium phone sales to more than 70 percent in December of 2016 while Samsung's sell-through share dropped to approximately 17 percent during the same period, according to data obtained by Counterpoint Technology Market Research.
The research firm is convinced that these latest trends can be explained by the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco. While Samsung increased the production volume of the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge following the discontinuation of its phablet, that move still didn't manage to fully compensate for the fact that the Galaxy Note 7 was pulled from the market. In addition to that, Counterpoint Technology Market Research Director Peter Richardson said that the Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Moto Z, and Huawei Mate 8 all played a part in the fact that the gap between Apple and Samsung's share of the flagship market has widened over the course of 2016. Samsung is now under a lot of pressure to bounce back with the upcoming Galaxy S8, but Richardson isn't fully convinced the company will be able to do so as he described the upcoming period as "a testing time for Samsung."
Due to that state of affairs, the rivalry between Samsung and Apple is expected to be more intense than ever this year. Apple will be looking to ship the best possible device to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, while Samsung is planning to do the same to make amends for the Galaxy Note 7 and win back a portion of its flagship market share with both the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy Note 8.