I’ve just this minute put the finishing touches to Samsung: better rep than Apple in the US, but here I’ve stumbled across yet more sucky news for Samsung.
Specifically, Samsung’s Q4 market share in China plummeted, while Apple and Xiaomi enjoyed massive growth.
With around one sixth of the world’s entire population, China is an incredibly important market, and one Samsung is struggling to keep engaged.
Looking at IDC’s figures for 4Q14 first of all, Samsung managed fifth place over all, behind – in order – Xiaomi, Apple, Huawei and Lenovo.
Specifically, Samsung accounted for 7.9% of 4Q14 Chinese smartphone shipments, marking a worrying 49.9% year-on-year drop from 18.8% in the same quarter last year. Ouch.
For further context, Samsung claimed 11% share in 3Q14. It very much appears that the South Koreans have sprung a leak.
Looking at shipments for the entire year, Samsung somehow managed to secure second place (behind only Xiaomi), but 12.1% share means Sammo was down 22.4% year-on-year. If 4Q14 is any indication, expect to see the South Koreans slip behind Apple, Huawei and Lenovo throughout 2015.
Samsung has emphatically failed to adapt as Chinese smartphone makers offer devices with impressive specs at highly competitive price points. Apple’s arrival in China, too, has clearly affected Samsung.
Meanwhile, Xiaomi enjoyed an incredible 186.5% year-on-year boom. Remember at one pont Hugo Barra’s crew was behind only Apple and Samsung in global shipments, despite focusing on China and the surrounding areas for now.