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Apple and Samsung Missed Holiday Smartphone Sales Opportunities

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Written by Kamil Arli

In a recent piece by The Wall Street Journal, hardware analyst Stephen Baker commented on the state of holiday sales figures for both Apple and Samsung. While many believed Apple would have it easy this season due to Samsung’s Galaxy Note7 crisis, Baker said that “Apple’s own lack of a wowing product this year” meant that woeful Note7 owners opted for other high-end Galaxy phones, and not the iPhone 7.

          MOST OF THOSE WHO BOUGHT OR WANTED TO BUY A NOTE 7 OPTED 

“Most of those who bought or wanted to buy a Note 7 opted for a different high-end Galaxy phone,” Mr. Baker said. “Samsung was able to fend off other Android competition, and Apple, too, thanks to Apple’s own lack of a wowing product this year.

APPLE DECIDED TO NOT RELEASE THE FIRST WEEKEND SALES NUMBERS FOR THE IPHONE 7

Apple decided to not release the first weekend sales numbers for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus back in September, because it felt the results were “no longer a representative metric” due to demand outweighing supply. Samsung officially halted sales of the Galaxy Note7 worldwide in early October, but another industry analyst, Chetan Sharma, continued Baker’s thread by commenting on the iPhone 7’s lack of “a compelling enough feature set,” which wasn’t enough to convince owners of potentially exploding Note7 devices to switch ecosystems.

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“Apple has the strongest ecosystem, with its hardware, software and app and content stores,” said consumer tech and mobile industry consultant Chetan Sharma. “IPhone users looking for an upgrade stick with Apple. But in a year when Samsung dropped the ball in a huge way,” he said, Apple “didn’t have a phone with a compelling enough feature set to lure Samsung owners away.”

Earlier this week, Yahoo-owned mobile analytics firm Flurry released data surrounding the top device activations by manufacturer between 12/19 and 12/25, confirming that Apple was again at the top of the list with 44 percent activations, while Samsung came in second at 21 percent. In comparison to the previous year, Apple dropped from 49 percent and Samsung climbed slightly from 19 percent.

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Ultimately, the two analysts admitted that both Apple and Samsung “made mistakes this year that cost them growth.” Sharma said that “the timing couldn’t have been worse for Samsung and it couldn’t have been better for Apple. But the truth is neither company capitalized this year.”

In the first few days of December, financial firm Oppenheimer summed up the current negative cloud surrounding Apple — fueled by mixed-to-negative consumer reception and its first revenue decline since 2003 — and stated that the company could be heading into a “decade-long malaise” if it doesn’t turn things around.

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About the author

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Kamil Arli

Editor of DigitalReview.co. Digital Media Consultant

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