Although Samsung posted record profits in 2017, thanks to the stellar performance of the semiconductor division, the company’s mobile business struggled to register growth. Samsung’s smartphone business faced challenges in many key markets around the world, particularly in China where the Chinese OEMs have a strong presence.
Samsung’s mobile business has been on a downward spiral in China with the market share declining from 20 percent in 2015 to a mere 2 percent in Q3 2017. It was expected to drop even further to a minuscule 1.6 percent in the last quarter of the previous year. Things seem to have gone worse than predicted for Samsung as the company’s market share in China fell to 0.8 percent in Q4 2017 according to the data compiled by the market research firm Strategy Analytics.
Ranked 12th in market share in China
As per the data, Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, and Apple occupied the top five spots in market share, while Samsung was placed at a distant 12th place. Despite being the largest vendor of smartphones globally in 2017, Samsung has failed to make a mark in the world’s largest Smartphone market, China. Samsung seems to be struggling to counter the onslaught of the Chinese OEMs operating on razor-thin margins.
Samsung seems to be unhappy with the numbers, and a spokesperson talking to The Investor raised doubts over the timing of the report. Samsung has acknowledged its poor performance in China on many occasions and vowed to do better. Recently, at the Samsung’s annual shareholders meeting held in March, DJ Koh, Head of Samsung’s mobile division, apologized to the shareholders for the falling market share in China. He said the company is trying different approaches in China, and the results of these efforts will be visible soon.
Samsung’s troubles are not limited to China alone. In 2017, the company faced stiff competition from the Chinese smartphone brands in the world’s second-largest smartphone market, India, as well. For many years, Samsung was the undisputed market leader in India, but all that changed in the last two quarters of 2017 when Xiaomi, with its value for money offerings, emerged as the largest vendor in the country according to reports from multiple market research agencies.