Apple and Samsung may be the world’s two largest smartphone vendors, but they could lose out if they fail to account for competition from other big names like Huawei and Google.
According to a Wednesday blog post from Kantar WorldPanel ComTech mobile analyst Lauren Guenveur, the insular battle between Apple and Samsung is “so over.”
“Anyone still focusing on these two giant competitors, however, is missing the bigger picture,” Guenveur wrote. “With Huawei aiming to overtake Apple as the second-largest smartphone vendor by 2020, and rumors swirling about Google entering the handset market on its own, Apple and Samsung should stop worrying so much about each other and take a look around them.”
While both Apple and Samsung have a strong market share (standing at 37 percent and 29 percent, respectively) and loyal customer bases in the United States, Guenveur said the companies’ grip on other markets is loosening thanks to lower brand loyalty and increased competition.
Guenveur said Apple and Samsung have both slipped in the China market with the rise of Xiaomi and Huawei. In China, she said, Samsung was top brand in the urban areas two years ago, but was replaced by Xiaomi in the second half of 2014. Apple eventually took over the number one slot in early 2015 thanks to the iPhone 6 and sales from Chinese New Year, and has been competing with Huawei for the top post ever since.
Once dominant, Samsung’s market share in urban China has fallen from a high of 34 percent to just 9 percent in the most recent quarter, Guenveur said.
But those on top in China have a precarious hold. Brand loyalty for Apple in the country stands at 42 percent, while loyalty for current top brand Huawei stands at just 19 percent, Guenveur said.
Samsung and Apple are also facing competition from Xiaomi and Indian smartphone company Micromax in the emerging India market, and could see even more pressure from Huawei, which has announced its intentions to focus on growing its share in India.
“With high loyalty, slowing growth in developed markets, and Chinese brands leading the largest smartphone market in the world (and looking to the third) Apple and Samsung have less to worry about from each other going forward—and much more to worry about from other competitors, and the changing landscape,” Guenveur wrote. “In that landscape, what remains to be seen is how sales in those developing markets in Latin and South America and India buffet the standing of the big three brands.”