Across the board, smartphone manufacturers are still struggling to adjust to an environment where smartphone owners simply aren’t upgrading to new devices as frequently as they once did. While this can partially be attributed to the demise of generous subsidies from carriers, the reality is that smartphone performance in recent years has improved to such an extent that the impetus to upgrade to a new device has diminished drastically.
With respect to the current smartphone release cycle, Apple managed to buck the trend of declining sales with the release of the iPhone X, a device that introduced a brand new form factor. Samsung, though, hasn’t been as lucky. Despite the release of the Galaxy S9 — which itself is an impressive and compelling device — sales of Samsung’s flagship seem to be a tad lower than what the company experienced with last year’s Galaxy S8. More broadly, smartphone sales across the entirety of Samsung’s product line seem to be down this year.
According to a report from The Investor, there’s a good chance that Samsung will not hit its smartphone sales projections for 2018. Early on, Samsung believed it would be able to sell upwards of 350 million smartphone units for the year. Now that we’re more than halfway through 2018, the company has reportedly lowered its expectations.
Now to be fair, the 350 million figure was higher than Samsung’s smartphone sales in previous years, which is to say that the goal was likely far too optimistic from the get-go. As a point of comparison, Samsung last year shipped approximately 320 million smartphones.
As to why Samsung is seeing a dip in overall shipments, an industry source explained:
Samsung’s goal this year is 350 million units, which is higher than originally reported, and considering the lower-than-expected sales of the Galaxy S9 and its struggling mobile business in China, the figure appears to be a far-fetched goal.
China aside, you might recall that S9 sales weren’t exactly setting any records in the company’s home country of South Korea either. As we reported last month, it took the S9 a bit longer to hit the 1 million threshold compared to the S8. Suffice it to say, if Samsung wants to see a huge uptick in smartphone sales next year, it will have to bring something entirely new to the table. Put simply, faster internals and a slightly improved camera simply won’t cut it anymore.