CHINA, May 10 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korean electronics giant Samsung’s recent struggles in the Chinese market saw its smartphone sales more than halved during the first quarter, with the company’s market share now languishing at 3.3 percent.
While Samsung experienced one of its worst quarters in China, seeing its market share slashed by more than half from 8.6 percent to 3.3 percent with sales down to 3.5 million from 8.7 million at the same time last year, Chinese phone makers Huawei, Oppo and Vivo grew rapidly over the same period, with Huawei leading the market and boasting a market share of 19.7 percent.
Oppo, in particular, saw stunning growth, with sales up a whopping 81 percent, while Vivo and Huawei followed suit with growth of 60 percent and 25 percent, respectively.
In the meantime, foreign smartphone makers like Samsung and Apple took a hit, losing ground to the emerging Chinese brands that are commanding a larger share of the market every year.
Some critics say one of the major factors behind the downfall of Samsung in the Chinese smartphone market is last year’s Galaxy Note 7 crisis, which was prompted by battery explosions that saw the company recall million units of the controversial model.
According to a branding survey conducted by Financial Times Confidential Research, Samsung’s popularity plunged over the last three quarters, with only 4.8 percent of Chinese consumers currently holding a favorable view of the brand, down nearly 10 percentage points from 14.7 percent in the last quarter of 2015.
The survey asked consumers whether they were interested in purchasing a smartphone from each brand in the next three months.
The Financial Times also said last year’s Galaxy Note 7 crisis contributed to its underperformance during the first quarter in China, one of the biggest smartphone markets in the world.
When Samsung excluded China from its regional recalls of the Galaxy Note 7 model, it caused an uproar among Chinese consumers, even though the batteries used in the Chinese models were without defects.
However, the Financial Times also predicted Samsung could bounce back in brand value in China with the launch of the new Galaxy S8, which is set to be released on May 18 alongside the Galaxy S8 Plus that features a larger screen.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)