Smartphone shipments topped 1.2 billion in 2014, Samsung's share plummeted in face of Apple gains

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2015
Squeezed at the high-end of the market by Apple, and also at the low-end by cheaper Chinese alternatives, Samsung saw its share of the total smartphone market shrink in 2014, even as overall smartphone shipments grew to new heights.


Chart data via Gartner.


Samsung's share dropped from 30.9 percent of total smartphone shipments in 2013 to 24.7 percent in 2014, according to new data released by Gartner on Tuesday. Total unit sales for the South Korean electronics maker were up just 7 million, even as the total market grew by nearly 200 million units to 1.24 billion.

The greatest losses for Samsung came in the fourth quarter of 2014, when its market share plummeted 10 percent year over year in the face of Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. That marked the first time that Apple exceeded Samsung in terms of total smartphones shipped, with Apple's 74.8 million iPhone shipments eclipsing Samsung's 73 million smartphones.

Apple grew to a 20.4 percent share of the market in the fourth quarter, while Samsung fell to 19.9 percent.

Overall in 2014, Apple sold 191.4 million iPhones, an increase of more than 40 million from the year prior. Its total market share dipped slightly from 15.5 percent in 2013 to 15.4 percent in 2014.

iPhones 2014


With the gap between Samsung and Apple rapidly closing, Samsung is hoping its new premium Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge will be able to turn the tide. But critics have contended that the new S6 series closely resembles Apple's iPhone 6, once again drawing copycat accusations toward the South Korean company.

"Samsung continues to struggle to control its falling smartphone share, which was at its highest in the third quarter of 2013," said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner. "This downward trend shows that Samsung's share of profitable premium smartphone users has come under significant pressure."

In terms of operating system share, Android accounted for 80.7 percent of smartphones shipped in 2014, representing over a billion units. Apple's iOS, meanwhile, took a 15.4 percent share, leaving all other competitors with less than 4 percent of the market.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member
    Apple actually lost a tiny fraction of share. Both Samsung and Apple sold more phones but neither, according to the chart provided, increased share.
  • Reply 2 of 29
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,657member
    Did they count shipments to landfills?
  • Reply 3 of 29
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 750editor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post



    Click bait headline. AI, you should be ashamed to write such crap.



    Apple actually lost a tiny fraction of share. Both Samsung and Apple sold more phones but neither, according to the chart provided, increased share.



    Samsung's share fell 10% in the fourth quarter, when Apple made its gains with the iPhone 6 launch. It's all spelled out clearly in the story.

  • Reply 4 of 29
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nhughes View Post

     



    Samsung's share fell 10% in the fourth quarter, when Apple made its gains with the iPhone 6 launch. It's all spelled out clearly in the story.


     

    Oh, bs.

     

    The graph and the headline are there for everyone to see.

     

    The headline says that Samsung lost share and Apple gained share in 2014. I don't care about each quarter when the graph presented shows that Apple clearly lost share in the year... regardless of any gains in individual quarters.

  • Reply 5 of 29
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 750editor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

     

     

    Oh, bs.

     

    The graph and the headline are there for everyone to see.

     

    The headline says that Samsung lost share and Apple gained share. I don't care about each quarter when the graph presented shows that Apple clearly lost share in the year... regardless of any gains in individual quarters.




    "Samsung's share plummeted in face of Apple gains." Apple's gains came in the fourth quarter, and Samsung's share dropped accordingly. Seems pretty clear to me.

  • Reply 6 of 29
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,354member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post



    Click bait headline. AI, you should be ashamed to write such crap.



    Apple actually lost a tiny fraction of share. Both Samsung and Apple sold more phones but neither, according to the chart provided, increased share.



    It doesn't matter.

     

    This is Gartner data. It's worthless.

  • Reply 7 of 29
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nhughes View Post

     



    "Samsung's share plummeted in face of Apple gains." Apple's gains came in the fourth quarter, and Samsung's share dropped accordingly. Seems pretty clear to me.


     

    Well, Amigo, maybe in the land of incomprehension but not in the real world.

     

    This headline:

     

    Smartphone shipments topped 1.2 billion in 2014, Samsung's share plummeted in face of Apple gains

     

    would make anyone believe that smartphones topped 1.2 billion in 2014... and that during that time Samsung's share (of the 1.2 billion) plummeted (it did) and that during that time (2014) Apple's share (again, of the 1.2 billion) gained (it did not).

     

    The headline would make you believe that Apple actually gained worldwide share in 2014. According to the graph it did not.

     

    So... it's a bs headline and is not backed up by anything in that story... regardless of Apple's gains during individual quarters. The headline clearly states... 2014.

     

    Had you written a story about the Christmas quarter with this headline:

     

    Smartphone shipments topped X hundred million in Q4, 2014, Samsung's share plummeted in face of Apple gains

     

    ... then you'd be aligning the headline with the story.

  • Reply 8 of 29
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mpantone View Post



    It doesn't matter.

     

    This is Gartner data. It's worthless.


     

    There is that.

  • Reply 9 of 29
    If Apple maintains its stellar iPhone growth of the last quarter, we should expect to see a large increase in share.

    It's pretty irrelevant at the moment, as iOS and Android are both here to stay for the foreseeable future.

    More pertinent is which platform makes developers more profit. That is iOS, has been forever and is forecast to continue.
  • Reply 10 of 29
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 750editor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

     

     

    ... then you'd be aligning the headline with the story.


    I have no problem debating the merits of the headline or the story. But using words like "click bait" and "bs" and saying that I should be "ashamed" is just inflammatory. Tone it down, please.

  • Reply 11 of 29
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nhughes View Post

     

    I have no problem debating the merits of the headline or the story. But using words like "click bait" and "bs" and saying that I should be "ashamed" is just inflammatory. Tone it down, please.


     

    It is click bait. Tone down your headlines and I'll tone down what I have to say.... dad.

  • Reply 12 of 29
    goofy1958goofy1958 Posts: 122member

    I wish that just once Gartner would detail the "Others" category, but of course they won't, since they make those numbers up to make the percentages look like what their customer wants.  Zero credibility.

  • Reply 13 of 29
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,893member

    Samsung desperately needs to make inroads at the high-end with their new S6. My guess is they won't, because these things will likely be overpriced due to three bad design choices:

     

    1. The SOC they're using sucks from a price / real-world-performance standpoint. That's because smartphones can't utilize all those cores. It's a phone, not an HPC workstation. Single thread performance is key. 

     

    2. The screen is too expensive without any real benefit to the user. The PPI is crazy high and the curve/edge feature is useless. 

     

    3. They've using more expensive materials, and indeed the phone does look better than the predecessor, but it still doesn't look as good as an iPhone. 

     

    These decisions make the phone more expensive. Samsung isn't running a charity -- they want these to be profitable, so I'll bet they are going to pass those costs onto consumers. The problem, though, is that these costs don't come with any benefits, so consumers are likely to say "no thanks". 

     

    Another issue is that Samsung doesn't have a premium brand. If people are going to pay a higher price for a Samsung phone, they are going to look long and hard at it first. Samsung hasn't proven themselves, precisely because they keep making these kinds of ham-handed design choices. 

  • Reply 14 of 29
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,438member
    nhughes wrote: »
     
    I have no problem debating the merits of the headline or the story. But using words like "click bait" and "bs" and saying that I should be "ashamed" is just inflammatory. Tone it down, please.

    It is click bait. Tone down your headlines and I'll tone down what I have to say.... dad.

    To call Samsung a competitor to Apple is sort of inflammatory. Heck, these are called 'smartphones'? Really? With 40 features less in the new S6 when compared to the S5 can we still call it a smartphone?

    Kidding aside, the article is fine. But I do get the point on the headline you make.
  • Reply 15 of 29
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post



    Kidding aside, the article is fine. But I do get the point on the headline you make.

     

    Phil!! What the hell are you doing??!!

     

    Anything close to agreeing with me will make your credibility plummet!

     

    Har!

  • Reply 16 of 29
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,141member
    mpantone wrote: »

    It doesn't matter.

    This is Gartner data. It's worthless.

    Although in a way it may be telling. To me it is a shock for them not to have massaged the data to show that Scamsung, Giggle and Microshit are way a head of Apple in anything and everything. That tells me the data is actually worse for Scamsung than they say.
  • Reply 17 of 29
    jungmark wrote: »
    Did they count shipments to landfills?

    At least there's less waste!
  • Reply 18 of 29
    pfisherpfisher Posts: 758member

    I don't feel Apple is competing with Android anymore. It's Apple competing against itself. It needs better products to get people to upgrade.

     

    Android hardware makers compete against each other for the scraps in profits.

     

    Google is competing against - no one for the phone market. They own most of the smartphone market. Let's admit it. And their revenue stream is different from Apple.

     

    This is not Google against Apple, anymore, at least. It's not that simple. Just like GM may not be competing against Ford, in a sense. GM's profit comes from financing cars. They haven't made money off of a 4-door sedan in decades - except through financing cars.



    GM is like Google. They don't make money off of the obvious. They make money off of the peripheral: GM for loans and Google for customer data scraping.

     

    Let Apple have 10% of the whole market and 90% of the profits (on phone directly), let Android phone makers make 10% among a dozen manufacturers and let Google make their money off of information.

  • Reply 19 of 29
    philboogie wrote: »
    To call Samsung a competitor to Apple is sort of inflammatory.

    He said, without sarcasm.
  • Reply 20 of 29
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,783member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post



    Apple actually lost a tiny fraction of share. Both Samsung and Apple sold more phones but neither, according to the chart provided, increased share.



    So what is more important to Apple? Selling more product, more revenue, more profit OR increasing market share? It would appear that in Apple’s case market share does not translate to success in terms of sales, revenue, and profit. They “lost” market share but blew away everybody else in every other metric.

     

    Or is the mobile market so huge and growing that market share means nothing in the end?

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