Samsung’s Q1 smartphone share in China tops 1% first time in 4 quarters

2019.05.06 13:53:29 | 2019.05.06 13:56:53

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Samsung Electronics Co.’s share in China’s smartphone market recovered above 1 percent for the first time in four quarters in the first quarter thanks to brisk sales of its flagship Galaxy S10 smartphone, data showed Sunday.

According to data released by global market research firm Strategy Analytics on Sunday, South Korea’s smartphone giant shipped a total 1 million units of smartphones in China during the January-March period, making up 1.1 percent in the world’s biggest smartphone market. It was the first time for Samsung Electronics’ smartphone share in China to exceed 1 percent since the first quarter of last year.

Its share in the first three months of last year reached 1.3 percent, and then shrank to 0.8 percent in the second quarter, 0.7 percent in the third quarter and the fourth quarter. The company has steadily lost its ground in China’s smartphone market with its annual market share plunging from 4.9 percent in 2016 to 2.1 percent in 2017 and 0.8 percent in 2018.

The rebound in the last quarter in the Chinese smartphone market – albeit by a narrow margin – is attributed to the brisk sales of its flagship Galaxy S10 smartphone, the company’s strategic phone for the first half of the year. The Galaxy S10, which was released on March 8, has been receiving well from consumers in key markets, including China, with its sales 120 percent to 130 percent higher than its predecessor Galaxy S9’s sales.

According to Suning Appliance, China’s largest home appliance retailer, sales of the Galaxy S10 series in the first 10 minutes after it started to take pre-orders were 365 percent higher than those of the Galaxy S9 series in the same time. Its sales in the first two hours reached to the same sales volume of the Galaxy S9, which took more than two days to achieve.

Samsung Electronics pins high hopes on its budget line Galaxy A series to accelerate the growth of its overall smartphone sales in China in the second quarter. The company announced last month that it would introduce the Galaxy A40s, Galaxy A60, Galaxy A70, and Galaxy A80 in China. The Galaxy A60 – scheduled for official release in China on May 10 – was sold out during first and second online pre-orders on April 26 and April 30.

Despite the rebound, its share in the world’s biggest smartphone market fell far short of those of local rivals.

According to Strategy Analytics, Chinese smartphone maker Huawei commanded 33.7 percent of the total market in the first quarter of this year, up from 22.5 percent in the same period of last year. Vivo’s share also jumped from 17.1 percent to 20 percent over the same period, and Oppo from 18.4 percent to 19.5 percent. Although the share of Xiaomi fell from 13.8 percent to 11.9 percent, the combined share of Huawei, Vivo, Oppo, and Xiaomi on their home turf reached 85.1 percent in the January-March period.

U.S. and world’s biggest smartphone maker Apple accounted for 6.7 percent in China, down from 9.9 percent a year ago.

By Kim Gyu-sik and Lee Eun-joo

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