Samsung Electronics has recorded declining sales figures for the smartphone, tablet, and smartwatch markets in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to a year before, according to market research firms Strategy Analytics and IDC. Analysts believe that the declines in sales are largely attributed to growing competition from China as well as a saturated high-end market. Furthermore, reportedly the decline was also caused partly by the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which debuted in Q3 2016 before being discontinued a month later due to faulty hardware.
Market research firm Strategy Analytics recently revealed that Samsung Electronics has lost 6.2% smartwatch market share in Q4 2016 compared to a year before. As a result, the company how holds 9.8% of the smartwatch market down from 16%, which translates to a total of 800,000 smartwatches shipped by the end of Q4 2016, down from 1.3 million units a year before. Although the company released the Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch line-up in 2016, Strategy Analytics researcher Stephen Walter is of the opinion that the company may have been better off launching more affordable models.
As far as the smartphone market is concerned, Samsung Electronics seems to have lost a lot of ground in 2016, particularly in China, which also happens to be the largest smartphone market in the world. There, Samsung's market position declined from the 2nd to 5th place throughout 2016, and analysts attribute part of this decline to the faulty Samsung Galaxy Note 7. However, the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8 after Mobile World Congress (MWC 2017) will likely help the company regain some of the lost spots in China.
Last but not least, market analysts have also touched on the tablet market and determined that Samsung Electronics held 15.2% of the global tablet market in 2016, down from 16.1% market share registered a year before. Shipments declined by 20.5% from 33.4 million units to 26.6 million units throughout 2016. In fact, although the company's tablet market share saw a slight 1.5% increase in Q4 2016, global tablet shipments declined from 9 million to 8 million units in the same period of time. However, the Korean tech giant's presence in the tablet market could grow in the foreseeable future, as the company is expected to unveil the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 at Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona, Spain (February 27 – March 2).