Apple-Samsung Battling for Market Share
Android is leading the smartphone pack in the latest survey from Gartner. Worldwide, there were 419 million phones sold in Q2, which is actually down slightly from the year-ago period. About a third of them were smart phones. Gartner says that mature markets in the US and Western Europe were hurt by the economic slowdown and consumers’ unwillingness to buy ahead of hoped-for launches in the second half of the year.
Samsung continues to distance itself from the competition, according to Gartner.
“Samsung and Apple continued to dominate the open OS market, together taking about half the market share, and widening the gap with other manufacturers. No other smartphone vendors had share close to 10%. In the race to be top open OS manufacturer in 2012, Samsung has consistently increased its lead over Apple, and its open OS market share increased to one-and-a-half times that of Apple in 2Q12.
Apple's market share in open OS slid from 22.5% to 18.8% in 2Q12, with users postponing their upgrade decisions in most markets ahead of the upcoming launch of the iPhone 5. This is likely to be the biggest iPhone upgrade yet.
On the other hand, Samsung's brand strength and wide device portfolio has allowed it to take advantage of the high growth opportunities in emerging markets. Samsung's dominance is so strong in some markets that it is increasingly difficult for other manufacturers to make any move in the open OS market. For example, in India, Samsung's share has risen from 15% in 1Q11 to 49.8% in 2Q12, and with its current strategies, it may end 2012 with over 60% — exactly where Nokia was at the start of 2011. By swapping position with Nokia in just two years, and with a mammoth open OS market share, Samsung can make the market dance to its tune.
It’s worth noting that Samsung widened its share in all markets except North America.
As flagged by CEO Tim Cook in a recent conference call, Apple’s iPhone sales declined 12.6% from Q1—that’s a big blow, since 46% of Apple’s revenue comes from sales of the smartphone. But watch out for iPhone 5 coming in September or October:
The arrival of the iPhone 5 should provide the greatest upgrade opportunity yet as the expected new design with a larger screen and likely other stylistic changes to the form factor will certainly make a strong case for iPhone 4 users to upgrade. The lower sell-in number in 2Q12 might also signal that Apple may discontinue the 3GS model and could have already reduced supply. We could see Apple drive down the price of the iPhone 4 to free, the 4S to $99, and have the new iPhone priced the same as the current 4S model.
Of course no word from Apple about when the iPhone 5 might debut. What about you? Are you holding off on buying a new phone until iPhone 5 comes out? Is your company delaying purchases?