Samsung dominates third quarter sales despite Note 7 troubles


Two market reports show Samsung ruling the roost, but long-term effects are yet to be seen

A high-profile product recall is always going to be bad for business, but in the short term at least, not as bad as it could be. Two third-quarter market reports have been released, from IDC and Strategy Analytics, and both show Samsung on top of the world despite its continued Note 7 troubles.

IDC estimates that 362.9 million phones were shipped from all manufacturers worldwide in the last quarter, while Strategy Analytics suggests total sales of 375.4 million – a rise of 1% and 6% respectively year on year. Both award Samsung with the highest market share of 20%, followed by Apple at 12%, but both reports show the pair losing market share on the same quarter last year to the same three Chinese manufacturers: Huawei, Oppo and Vivo. In other words, it’s a very similar story to the first quarter of the year.

What’s different here, of course, is that Samsung didn’t have any high-profile explosions back in March, when the Note 7 was but a glint in the company’s eye. But it’s too early to draw any conclusions about their long-term prospects, as Melissa Chau, associate research director for mobile devices at IDC, explained. “Samsung’s market dominance in the third quarter was unchallenged in the short term, even with this high-profile Galaxy Note 7 recall, but the longer-term impact on the Samsung brand remains to be seen,” she said.

And what’s interesting, according to Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, is that Apple didn’t really take advantage of its troubles either. “Apple has been given a slight boost by Samsung’s Note 7 missteps, but it continues to face iPhone fatigue among many consumers in major regions such as China and Europe,” he said.

All eyes will now be on Samsung to see what long-term damage the Note 7 recall will have on the brand in Q4 and beyond – particularly looking ahead to Q2 2017 when the Samsung Galaxy S8 is likely to launch.

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