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Apple Starts Eating Samsung's Smartphone Market Share In South Korea

by Martin Suan / Feb 22, 2018 09:48 AM EST
Apple is taking the fight head on in Samsung's bulwark thanks to their profitable iPhone X. If this continues, the Cupertino-based company may be able to catch up with Samsung in South Korea in terms

The battle between tech titans, Apple and Samsung, are getting intense every year. Apple has the U.S. as its bulwark while Samsung has South Korea. It is a no-brainer that Samsung and Apple will dominate in their country of origin. What they need to contend with will be the rest of the world. However, Apple seems to be taking the fight not only outside their shores but in Samsung's backyard - South Korea.

Analysts at research firm Strategy Analytics (SA) said Apple has significantly gained a market share following the release of their flagship device, the iPhone X. Apple's place in South Korea's smartphone industry went up by 3.3 percent this year from 25.0 percent in 2017. That makes it 28.3 percent.

While Samsung still has the lead by 26.7 percent, they seemed to be losing loyal customers. In 2017, they dominated South Korea with 56.2 percent market share. This year's data showed a writing on the wall against Samsung in that their share dropped by 9 percent, making it 55.0 percent.

Apple was able to gain an additional foothold when they diversified their product offerings - "from ultra-high priced to mid- to low-priced models," BusinessKorea reported. The combined sales of the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X allegedly went up to 120 percent than the iPhone 7.

(Photo: Jiří Sedláček|Wikimedia Commons)

Local retailers in South Korea also decreased their price for old iPhone models like the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 6 Plus in order to clear what was left in their inventories. This, according to the analysts, explained Apple's ballooning sales.

What is more, Apple just opened their Apple Store in South Korea last month for their 10th-anniversary phone, the iPhone X. Had Apple chose to offer the X at a lower price, their market share may likely be more than 28.3 percent.

Samsung is not only feeling the pain in South Korea. Global profit is set to decrease in the first half of 2018, Nikkei Asian Review reported. This is because when Apple decided to slash their production of the iPhone X, orders for OLED panels also went down. Samsung supplies OLED panels for the iPhone X and for every sold device, Samsung gets a cut around $100.

As a result, Samsung had to look for other clients and cut production of their OLED panels.

This is not a good sign for Samsung and if this continues, Apple will catch up with them in South Korea in a not too distant future, cementing Apple's dominance in the arena of smartphones.

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