Samsung Electronics, the number one smartphone maker in terms of shipments, has been in a bind based on recent sales figures. In the high-end phone market, it is pressured by Apple, and in the mid to low-end market, China is rising against Samsung Electronics.
According to market research firm Strategy Analytics (SA) on the 17th, Samsung Electronics smartphone wholesale sales fell 5.3% to 73.124 billion dollars (about 83.1 trillion won) from 2017 (77.262 billion dollars) last year. The share of sales also decreased by 1.9 percentage points from 20.8% in the previous year to 18.9%.
Apple ranked as the number one and the Chinese companies ranked between 3rd to 5th increased their sales and expanded their market share. Apple last year saw sales of $15.663 billion (about 178 trillion won) in the smartphone business, up 5.8 percent from a year earlier. Its revenue share increased from 39.8% in 2017 to 40.4%.
The growth of Huawei is amazing. It grew 62.1 percent year-on-year to $46.468 billion last year. The revenue share rose from 7.7% to 12%. In China, Oppo and Vivo, which are ranked on the 4th and 5th, grew 6.2% and 4.3%, respectively, from 6.3% and 5.4% last year.
Samsung Electronics was the only company among the top five smartphone makers to experience reverse growth.
Chinese companies, which have grown by targeting the mid to low-end mobile phone market, are also achieving success in the premium market. In the case of Huawei, the Mate series and Nova models have gained high popularity in China and other European countries.
Apple was unparalleled in terms of its profitability. Apple accounted for 78% of the entire smartphone industry operating profit, followed by Samsung with 14%, Huawei with 4%, Oppo with 1.9%, and Vivo with 1.5%.
Apple's average wholesale price was $786, which is much higher than Samsung Electronics ($251) and Huawei ($226). It means that even if Apple sells at a higher price, it still sells.
SA reported that Huawei is narrowing its gap with Samsung Electronics, and predicted that it could surpass Samsung Electronics in its smartphone sales this year.