Samsung might be the world’s number one smartphone maker by numbers, but its going to have a hard time keeping itself at the top. According to the latest numbers from research firm Strategy Analytics, Samsung’s market share in the smartphone market in China has fallen to an all-time low of just 0.8%. In comparison, Samsung held 20% of the smartphone segment in China just five years ago. The slump in market share is a disturbing trend for the Korean smartphone maker, considering that China is the world’s largest smartphone market by a huge margin.
While on its own this is bad enough, what makes things worse is that the slump has been rapid in 2017 itself. Samsung started 2017 with a 3.1 percent market share in China, and dropped rapidly to less than 1 percent before the end of the year. Additionally, Samsung also lost its long-time dominant position in India, ironically to Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi.
While the company’s position in India is still strong, India accounts for just 10 percent of Samsung’s overall shipments, while Xiaomi gets nearly 30 percent of its global shipments from the country. This dedicated focus to making smartphones for India is what has helped the competition succeed at Samsung’s expense.
WATCH: Samsung Galaxy S9+ Review
Samsung’s poor global performance has a lot to do with its focus on the premium segment. While the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ are undoubtedly excellent smartphones, Samsung perhaps spends too much effort on marketing these devices that don’t sell in large volumes. In comparison, Samsung’s mid-range and affordable offerings aren’t quite as newsworthy or memorable, and it’s losing market share here. Furthermore, with online buying picking up in markets such as China and India, users are less inclined to go to a store and buy a phone, something that has typically been Samsung’s biggest strength.