Apple Is Gaining Back Market Share in the Smartphone Industry

The war between smartphones is changing

Image by Mylene2401 from Pixabay

Since the launch of the new iPhone 11 Pro with a good marketing campaign in place before and after it’s launch, Apple has seen a successful end of the year 2019. Between the first, second and third quarters of 2019, Apple had dropped its market share to as low as 10%, which is the lowest that they have ever been in the last decade. Samsung in Huawei has dominated the market in 2019.

A marketing success

The advertising campaign of a new generation iPhone that was planning to bring new innovations to the product line made some former loyal consumers return. As per usual, with Apple, it has never been about the price point but the innovative aspects that the brand would bring to the table. However, the growth of a new major competitor such as Huawei has definitely impacted the market as they have reached a huge growth of almost 20% market share.

Global market share held by leading smartphone vendors from 4th quarter 2009 to 4th quarter 2019 from Statista

As the graph shows, since the introduction of Huawei into the smartphone industry, Apple has been slowly declining, and the major reason that I see is that Huawei brings the same level of innovation (and in some cases even higher however this is debatable) at a lower price point. Huawei has managed to keep its expansion and with Samsung making major moves, the market is becoming more and more concentrated.


However, because of a good marketing campaign that has been offered with the introduction of the iPhone 11 Pro, Apple has managed to gain back it’s market share, even beating Samsung who has been leading the market for the last 2 years consecutively in each quarter. This goes to show what a good application of Marketing can do to not only the company but the whole market.

Learn and improve

Many marketers have considered the XS line of smartphones from Apple quite a failure from a technological perspective as it did not offer anything “groundbreaking” within the industry or the market. The hype of the XS line did not live up to the expectations of the Apple consumers, even if in my own opinion as a researcher in marketing I see a good part of Apple's loyal consumers as consumers with fairly low expectations when it comes to variety and uniqueness.

At the same time, taking a closer look specifically at the market share of Apple within the global smartphone market I have acknowledged a trend within the last 5 years. Since 2015, it seems that the first quarter of the year the market share is balanced but then it always drops in the second quarter of the year and slowly picks up in the third. By the 4th quarte (end of the year) Apple always reaches its peak in market shares within every year for the last 5 years.

iPhone unit sales as a share of global smartphone sales from 3Q’07 to 4Q’19 from Statista

However, in 2019 they have definitely suffered a bigger drop than usual and from my perspective, this is due to the XS and its poor welcome from the market and for the right reasons. I am not saying that the design of the phone is not good nor that the quality of the phone is bad but the phone simply did not bring a wild factor in order to attract newer consumers or retain some of it’s existing consumers. But the drop in the rise of 4Q in 2019 makes up for the loss in 2Q 2019.

The power within the market shares

Even if for you it may seem that the difference is not so big, oh trust me it is. That 2% of a market share that has been lost can represent the monetary loss of more than 5 billion US dollars. Now you can see why such analyses of the loss of market share are important and why we need to look directly at the market share to get an understanding. As I have said, these are my assumptions which have been concluded from some qualitative research.

Taking into consideration the trend that has been going on for the last 5 years, Apple’s market shares should drop again in the first and second quarter of 2020 and pick up by the third quarter of 2020 (1 July — 30th September). However, I see it very difficult for them to do well in the next quarter of 2020 as Samsungs new launch has had a good response from the market. We also need to take into consideration what Huawei will bring to the table later this year, who knows maybe they will lead the industry.

Avid Writer with invaluable knowledge in Business Studies, History and Psychology. “You make your own life”

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