Note 7 debacle leads to lowest Samsung phone market share in years

Samsung had a lot riding on the explosive Galaxy Note 7, and its death has led to the company’s lowest share in the smartphone market since the fourth quarter of 2014.

Back then it had a 19.9% market share, and Samsung has only just topped that now with a 20% share at the end of the third quarter of 2017, according to market research firm IDC.

In total, it’s estimated that Samsung shipped 72.5 million phones during the quarter, which might sound like a lot, but it’s down from around 83.8 million handsets during the same quarter last year – a drop of roughly 13.5%.

What's bad for Samsung is good for Apple

Yet as bad as that is, Samsung’s position is likely to get even worse in the fourth quarter of the year, as the Note 7’s impact only affected a few weeks of Q3, and with no new flagships on the market would-be buyers of the Note 7 will be turning to rivals, like the iPhone 7.

That’ll be good news for Apple, which had also seen its number of shipped phones and market share drop compared to this time last year, though it’s only down from a share of 13.4% to 12.5%.

All of this makes the Galaxy S8 an even more important phone for Samsung than it would have been otherwise, as the company will be reliant on it to regain lost ground.

If it disappoints, or if too many consumers have lost faith in the company, that could be just what companies like Huawei, which is currently in third place globally with a 9.3% market share, need to rise further up the ranks, nipping ever closer at Samsung and Apple’s heels.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.