If you've been keeping up with recent smartphone and tablet market research, you might be wondering if Apple's charm over consumers has begun to wear off.
Strategy Analytics last week reported that at 76 million units, Samsung shipped more than two times the smartphones than that of Apple's 31.2 million iPhones shipped in the second quarter of 2013. That gave Samsung a 33.1 percent share of the global smartphone market and second-ranking Apple 13.6 percent share, its lowest market share level in three years.
"The flagship [Samsung] Galaxy S4 model experienced solid demand in China and worldwide and helped to lift volumes," Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement. "Samsung's next major flagship launch is likely to be the rumored Note 3 model later this year."
In all, Samsung grew 56 percent in the second quarter on a year-over-year basis. Meanwhile, Apple grew just 20 percent on the same basis -- less than half the overall smartphone industry average of 47 percent growth, which brought about a record 230 million smartphone shipments in the second quarter of 2013.
"The current iPhone portfolio is under-performing and Apple is at risk of being trapped in a pincer movement between rival 3-inch Android models at the low-end and 5-inch Android models at the high-end," Mawston noted.
Following on its smartphone market report, Strategy Analytics this week reported that Apple iOS continues to lose share in the tablet world as well. While miles ahead of Windows tablet share of 4.3 percent, Apple iOS share of 28 percent at 14.6 million iPads shipped is less than half that of market leader Android's 67 percent with 34.6 million units shipped in the second quarter. Peter King, director of tablets at Strategy Analytics, said in a press statement:
Android is now making steady progress due to hardware partners like Samsung, Amazon, Google, and white-box tablets, which, despite the fact that branded OEMs are lowering price-points and putting pressure on the white-box manufacturers, are still performing well. Apple iOS shipments were 14.6 million iPads in Q2 2013, which declined 14% annually. In the same quarter a year ago the first retina display iPads were launched, which could partly explain the decline as there were no new models in this quarter. However, to compensate that, iPad Mini, which was not available a year ago [and is] now freely available, was expected to take the figure higher than 14.6 million.
To be true, Apple is hardly in danger of closing its doors. Its late July report on quarter three showed it sold 31.2 million iPhones, a record for the June quarter and up compared to 26 million in the third quarter of 2013. Apple further sold 14.6 million iPads in the third quarter, down compared to 17 million in the year-ago quarter, but certainly respectable sales.
Still, the company is one of the largest chip consumers in the electronics supply chain. In 2012, Apple dominated OEM semiconductor spending, according to IHS iSuppli, necessary in light of its then strong product demand and beneficial relationships with more than 150 suppliers.
Looking at 2013, however, IHS has suggested Samsung might overtake Apple in terms of semiconductor spending. Chip spending comes with influence over electronics design, demand, and supply. When products from an OEM with such a high standing as Apple see even a minor change in sales, the electronics supply chain feels it.
What are your thoughts on Apple? Has it begun to lose its shine in the competitive smartphone and tablet markets? How, if in any way, do you expect Samsung's and Android's gains to impact the electronics supply chain? Share your thoughts below.