Just as Apple doesn’t sell an iPhone like Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8, Samsung doesn’t have an iPhone X equivalent in its inventory. The difference between Samsung’s and Apple’s latest flagships is that only the iPhone X is selling like hot cakes. And unlike the Galaxy Note 8, which is a bigger Galaxy S8 equipped with a stylus and better camera, the iPhone X isn’t just a bigger iPhone 8.
Apple is still struggling to meet iPhone X demand, although production has been significantly improved. Going into 2018, iPhone X demand is expected to remain strong, as more iPhone fans are interested in the X rather than the iPhone 8.
iPhone demand, likely fueled by robust iPhone X sales, will hurt Samsung next year. A new report from US research firm Strategy Analytics, quoted by The Korea Herald, says that Samsung will see smartphone shipments drop to 315 million units, which will account for 19.2% market share.
Samsung is expected to sell 319 million phones this year, and a 20.5% share.
This will be the first time Samsung will see its annual shipment decrease compared to the previous year since the first Galaxy S model launched. There is one exception though, 2016, when the whole Galaxy Note 7 fiasco happened — Samsung sold 300 million phones last year (20.8% market share). But it can’t be a coincidence it all happens in the period following Apple’s most important iPhone launch in years.
Apple’s shipments will rise from 14% this year to 14.3% next year. That seems like a drop in the bucket, but we’re talking about 16 million extra iPhone sales. The iPhone maker should ship 218 million iPhones this year, and 234 million next year.
Chinese smartphone makers including Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi complete the top five spot. Each of them will see steady or improved sales next year. Huawei will sell 164 million smartphones in 2018, which will account for 10% of the market — that’s 8 million more than this year, which got Huawei the same market share.
Oppo sales will account for 7.8% share of the market in 2018, for the second year in a row, while Xiaomi will rise from 6.1% to 7.4%.