There is no doubt that Samsung is Android’s darling boy right now. They are the largest Android manufacturer on the planet. No contest. But while a lot of noise is being made about Samsung’s Android influence, I believe that the Korean giant’s marketshare has been in decline for a while now. Stay with me.
Move over, US; China is here
China has passed the United States as the country selling the most iOS and Android OS smartphones. This was back in February this year. That means that China is now the world’s largest and most important smartphone market. If you want to see where the global smartphone market is headed, look at China. And for effects, after China, look at emerging markets.
There is a growing army of Android manufacturers rising out of China. Samsung currently has 19% of the smartphone market in China. Lenovo has risen fast to become number two in China’s smartphone market after Samsung. Lenovo now holds 11% market share there. Apple is at 9.5%. There is also Huawei who is the third-largest global smartphone maker by sales – and Android is their primary OS. Nobody is talking about TECNO on the global scene – perhaps because this manufacturer has an African focus only. Big mistake. I have it on good authority that TECNO outsold other vendors in Nigeria last year 2012. People have no idea the sort of revolution that is going on within the Android ecosystem. Besides these known brands, there are many others who are rising up, especially in emerging markets, and are making a dent.
Don’t tell me that all these rising armies of Android smartphone manufacturers are not eating into Samsung’s lunch.
This infographic from UnWired.com shows the path of Samsung’s share of the Android smartphone market:
According to UnWired, “It took a few years, but in 2012 most of the smartphone OEMs finally figured out how to make good Android phones. And they are getting better at it.” It looks so to me too. Sony is getting it right. HTC is still a bit of a hit-and-miss. LG is pushing too. And then, the China army. TECNO is getting it right – just play with the Phantom A for a few minutes to see for yourself.
Is this an attempt to say that Samsung is dying or failing? That would be a hilarious thought; wouldn’t it? Samsung is alive and well, and kicking butts. But the reality is that there is a revolution going on, and it is not happening where most people are looking. If Google ever was worried about Samsung becoming too powerful, they can relax now. While I believe that Samsung will remain the dominant Android manufacturer for a while, I daresay that their hold on Android has peaked. From here, the share of the cake and power begins to be diluted and spread out.
Statistics from IDC.