According to the Shanghai-based China Business News, Samsung's share of the smartphone market in China sharply declined to 8% in the fourth quarter of 2014 from 20% in the first quarter, lagging behind those of Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi for three quarters in a row. "In the first quarter this year, Samsung's smartphone shipments in China are expected to linger at a low level, with its market share ranking to remain unchanged in 5th spot. In contrast, Apple's iPhone is the number one smartphone in China and "In urban China, Apple iPhone 6 remained the bestselling phone in the three months ending in February," according to Kantar.
Despite the hyperbole surrounding the new Samsung S6, it's seen as a real yawner in China. In the mainland market, Yan Zhanmeng, a senior analyst at IDC said that "Samsung is facing competition from Huawei and Apple in mid-range to high-end smartphones. When Huawei sells one more Mate 7 unit in China, Samsung is forced to sell one less Note 4 model, due to a high overlap of consumers."
Apple beat Samsung in China and in the World for that matter in Q4, and more importantly, took 93% of the smartphone profits. That's something that Samsung can only dream of ever achieving. Samsung has always been more concerned, if not obsessed, about pushing smartphone "shipments" instead of sales or profits; it's an industry metric designed for losers.
In a recent interview with Fast Company, Apple's CEO stated that "There's this thing in technology, almost a disease, where the definition of success is making the most." Yes, it's a disease that permeates the entire Samsung culture.
Yet the Korean press simply overlooked Samsung's ongoing bad news yesterday and chose to focus on parts of a research report that was published by TrendForce on Thursday that touched on smartphone shipments.
The Korean report stated this week that "Samsung Electronics achieved a 27.8-percent share in the global smartphone market in the first quarter of this year, overwhelming its rival Apple whose share remained at 19.9 percent." Of course the line of "overwhelming its rival Apple" was the predictable point of view of the Korean Press and not found in TrendForce's report.
Since Apple doesn't sell 5 to 10 mobile phone models catering to low-end and emerging markets, the shipment numbers quoted are of no statistical value, let alone actually overwhelming Apple in any meaningful way. And yet the Korean press cling to these empty-headed shipment numbers because it's a distortion that they can easily sell to the Korean public still shell shocked by Apple's stunning growth with the iPhone 6, even on their home turf. That reality so disturbed the powers that be in Korea that they're now writing new regulations so that Apple could never duplicate their iPhone success in their country again.
Beyond the iPhone 6 hurting Samsung in both Q4 2014 and Q1 2015, Huawei's new flagship model P8 is being touted as a Galaxy S6 "killer" in China and abroad, according to "Want China Times" report published this morning.
So as far as China is concerned, the new Galaxy S6 isn't going to be much of a hit. Apple's iPhone 6 and other smartphones from Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo will be keeping Samsung in check going forward. Even though that reality will fall on deaf ears in Korea, the Korean press will no doubt find some research company willing to spew out some meaningless shipment and volume statistics to feed their diseased cravings. They just can't help themselves as it's an addiction that they're just not willing to let go of.
Apple reports their financials on April 27th and it's here where we'll get to hear about some meaningful statistics like profits and how stunningly well the iPhone 6 did in calendar Q1 (Apple's Q2). Yet to be sure, we can all count on the Korean press running for cover and scurrying to find another useless statistic somewhere in the world that will help to cheer up their home team Samsung with. It's so predictably sad.