Samsung extends lead over Apple in smartphone market

Women walk past an ad for a Samsung smartphone at the company's headquarters in South Korea.
Women walk past an ad for a Samsung smartphone at the company's headquarters in South Korea.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Samsung extended its lead in the global smartphone market over Apple in the second quarter, gaining from the launch of its updated flagship handsets, surveys showed Thursday (July 28).

The South Korean giant delivered 77 million smartphones in the quarter, up 5.5 per cent from a year ago, for a market share of 22.4 per cent, research firm IDC said.

That compared with a 15 per cent drop in sales for Apple's iPhones, which accounted for 11.8 per cent, IDC said.

Samsung got a lift from the March launch of its Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge flagship models, with an upgraded processor, waterproofing and other features, IDC noted.

Apple, despite the launch of its more affordable iPhone SE, failed to keep pace and reported weaker sales compared to a year ago.

A separate survey by Strategy Analytics had a similar estimate, with Samsung at 22.8 per cent to 11.9 per cent for Apple.

Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, said he sees Samsung making further gains this year.

"With a new Galaxy Note 7 flagship model rumored to be on the way, Samsung will be able to strengthen its smartphone leadership into the second half of the year," Mawston said.

"Apple continues to face iPhone fatigue among consumers and the new iPhone SE model has not been able to stem that trend."

IDC's Ryan Reith said the saturation of many markets has forced makers to rethink their strategy.

"Apple is beginning to put more emphasis on 'device as a service' to try to prevent lengthening replacement cycles," he said.

"This is a growing theme we have heard more about from PCs to smartphones. Additionally, the overall China market slowdown continues to ramp up competition in other high growth markets like India, Indonesia, and Middle East."

Both surveys showed China's Huawei the number three vendor with a 9.4 per cent market share.

Other Chinese vendors were in the top five.

According to IDC, Oppo and Vivo were fourth and fifth with 6.6 and 4.8 per cent respectively.

The Strategy Analytics report showed Oppo with 5.3 per cent and Xiaomi fifth with 4.3 per cent.

IDC said overall smartphone sales rose 0.3 per cent to 343.3 million units, while the second survey showed a 1 per cent rise to 340 million.