The most common report about Apple’s recent earnings was that iPhone sales continue to fall. Those who wonder what manufacturer competes most aggressively for smartphone sales in the industry only have to turn to Samsung, the huge South Korean company with a larger share of the market worldwide than Apple. (These companies have the best reputations.)
According to Counterpoint Point Research, Samsung’s smartphone market share was 22% globally in the first quarter. Apple’s was 21%. Samsung has held that lead for all but two quarters since the second quarter of 2021.
Apple’s total revenue dropped to $81.8 billion in the most recent quarter from $83.0 billion in the same period a year ago. The decline was blamed on iPhone sales. Revenue for these fell from $40.1 billion to $39.7 billion. The decrease was modest enough that it should not have set off a panic, but investors are used to iPhone sales that soar quarter after quarter.
Sales of Apple’s iPhone 14 were blamed for the slip. As is always the case, Apple will introduce the next generation, the iPhone 15, in a month or so. Critics say it will not have enough new features to get tens of millions of people to upgrade, which they usually do when the new iPhone hits the market. Last year, a weak feature upgrade in the iPhone 14 was criticized for the light sales.
Samsung is about to compete with the iPhone 15 with its new flagship. The Galaxy Z Fold5 and Z Flip5 have extraordinary features. These include a 3.4-inch screen that opens to a 6.7-inch one in the Flip5, a 3,700 mAh battery, and a new Snapdragon processor, which Samsung says is the new state of the art. According to the company, the new Corning Gorilla Glass Victus2 is almost impossible to scratch.
The Galaxy Z Fold5 and Z Flip5 come to market this month, just ahead of the iPhone 15. That means AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile stores will offer customers two smartphones, each of which bristles with features.
Apple does not just have to worry about whether people want a new iPhone. They have to worry about Samsung, perhaps even more.
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