After the ancient rulers of Nokia, the twin kingdoms of Apple and Samsung conquered the land with an iron fist. Under their rule, the land grew and prospered with iPhones and Galaxies.
We all know the story by now. Samsung and Apple have stood atop the smartphone industry for more than a decade. With how technology is developing, it seems likely that both brands will remain as two of the top phone manufacturers.
However, Samsung’s sales reports hint that it’s losing its grip on the industry’s peak.
According to the company’s earning guidance for the second quarter, Samsung lost 0.7 percent in sales. Last semester, Samsung posted consolidated sales of 60.56 trillion in Korean won. This semester, the company posted only approximately KWR 58 trillion. However, according to The Verge, the company still saw an 11 percent increase in overall profit.
While 0.7 percent doesn’t seem like much, the loss is the first time in a while that Samsung’s sales have not grown. For the past quarters, Samsung has enjoyed record-breaking numbers on its sales column. The positive trend has finally buckled this year.
Meanwhile, according to Financial Times and Wall Street Journal, the loss came from the Galaxy S9’s less-than-spectacular sales. With current sales, the Galaxy S9 is the company’s least popular phone since the Galaxy S3 in 2012.
As of late, Samsung has suffered mounting pressure from other brands outing their own competitive flagships (see: Huawei P20 Pro). Coupled with its lack of redeemable features, the Galaxy S9 is a tough phone to sell.
Moreover, with Apple taking its screen business elsewhere, Samsung might see a drop in component sales as well.
Regardless, the company will surely still enjoy massive sales numbers. At the same time, the drop should inspire the company to take measures with next year’s Galaxy S10 to get back to their winning ways.
US government will be banned from using Huawei and ZTE tech
Not a total ban, though
The president of the United States has just imposed a major ban against two Chinese tech giants, Huawei and ZTE, from working with the US government. The ban is a component of the Defense Authorization Act which US President Donald Trump has just signed after months of discussions.
We first heard news about the bill earlier this month followed by reports of Huawei spying on people and ZTE getting banned after getting accused of selling merchandise to US rivals. The fiasco hindered Huawei phones from getting sold through US carriers. ZTE, on the other hand, was saved by Trump as confirmed by his tweet.
In the end, though, both Chinese companies now have the same fate. The US Congress worked on a measure that will essentially ban the US government and soon-to-be allies from using components and availing services from Huawei, ZTE, and a number of other Chinese communications companies.
The ban, which will go into effect over the next two years, doesn’t completely cut the ties of the US with Huawei and ZTE. The Chinese companies are not allowed to be part of any “essential” or “critical” systems of the US government, but they can still work with the US government as long as they will not be used to route or view data.
Huawei is not happy about the ban, of course, and calls it a “random addition” to the defense bill which is “ineffective, misguided, and unconstitutional.” The company also said that the ban will increase cost for consumers and businesses.
Via: The Verge
Samsung falls to less than one percent market share in China
Might pull out of Chinese market by next year
Recently, Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 9 to worldwide acclaim. Ironically, despite the positive response, the company is still slogging through one of its most dismal years to date. Previously, the Galaxy S9 opened to tepid, abysmal sales.
Now, with the dawn of more capable competitors, Samsung is falling more drastically than ever before. Formerly a stalwart in China, the company has now fallen to less than one percent market share in one of the world’s biggest markets.
Just a few years ago, Samsung’s phones captured a comfortable market share lead at 20 percent. The huge lead accurately represented Samsung’s grip on the market at the time.
However, with the recent developments (or lack thereof), the balance of power is steadily shifting. This year, gigantic (but more affordable) outings from smaller companies — Huawei, OnePlus, OPPO, Xiaomi — have taken the market by storm.
Besides the downpour of competitive rivals, Samsung has cited the decline of the smartphone market at large as a reason. From the lack of revolutionary features, adoption and upgrade rates have declined, causing an overall plateauing of phone sales.
According to Reuters, Samsung is considering drastic measures to alleviate the slump in sales. Most radically, the company might pull out of the Chinese market entirely.
Specifically, the plan affects Samsung’s Tianjin factory in Northern China. On its own, the facility manufactures 36 million phones per year. Additionally, Samsung has other plants nearby in Huizhou and Vietnam.
Currently, Samsung officials have yet to decide on the Chinese market’s ultimate fate. However, the pull-out is still a tempting move to improve efficiency.
Regardless, Samsung will remain as a global powerhouse even if it withdraws from the Chinese market. If anything, the move will dictate the company’s (and its Chinese competitors’) trajectory for the future.
Besides Samsung, Apple has also fared similarly, bowing out to Chinese brands in multiple markets.
EU might force Apple to abandon the Lightning cable
Voting yes for a USB-powered iPhone
Recently, the EU has gone on a mass crusade against the world’s biggest tech firms. To the benefit of the region’s consumers, the European Commission is trying to create a universally competitive industry.
In 2009, the EU has urged tech firms to create a more universal standard for smartphone charging. At the time, fourteen companies including Apple and Samsung signed the pledge.
However, as you can probably guess, these efforts fell terribly flat. Companies have still segmented the industry into a plethora of charger options — micro-USB, USB Type-C, and Lightning, for starters.
Irked by the lack of results, EU Commissioner of Competition Margrethe Vestager has taken matters into her own hands. The Commission is researching if additional regulations can rescue the industry.
Currently, the EU is concerned over the rising number of wasted chargers and cables. Because of the different standards, users are forced to shelve their old cables to accommodate phone upgrades.
Among the affected companies, Apple has created the most disparity. Notoriously, the company has stuck with its own exclusive cables. Whereas its competitors have relied on USB standards, Apple has used FireWire, the dock connector, and the Lightning cable.
Apple’s exclusivity creates an advantageous but unfair revenue stream for the company. Users are forced to source their cables from the company directly (or indirectly through licensed products).
As such, any future EU regulations will likely affect Apple the most. From a consumer’s standpoint, Apple switching to USB will please users the most.
Even without the regulation, a USB-powered iPhone is still plausible. Previously, Apple had already considered a break from Lightning before releasing the iPhone X.
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