Smartphone giants Samsung and Apple are in the firing line as new low-cost devices and high-end challengers continue their onslaught.
Smartphone darlings Samsung and Apple are in for injury, inflicted by the rise of low-cost devices, coupled with intensified efforts by high-end challengers – particularly in emerging markets like SA.
This is according to industry observers and comes in the wake of a statement by rating agency Fitch this week, which predicts Samsung and Apple's global smartphone shipment market share will decline to around 25% and 14%, respectively, by 2015. This is down from 31% and 15% in 2013.
The decline, says the agency, will be largely due to rising competition in emerging markets, where lower-priced handset models from local competitors should continue to gain market share at the expense of the big two.
"Competition has also intensified as more manufacturers have been able to produce devices which exceed most consumers' design and technical requirements," says Fitch. It adds that Apple's next iPhone – rumoured to be launched in September ? is likely to have a larger screen, and developments are likely to be incremental rather than revolutionary.
year of the low-cost smartphone (../index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=136852:Seven-sub-R1-000-smartphones&catid=260), with both MTN and
Fitch says devices from smartphone war rivals retailing at
Jacobs says not only will there be margin compression as new low-end rivals enter the market, but existing players are also upping the ante on their high-end offerings, at lower prices. He mentions HTC as a case in point. Some of the other names analysts believe pose the biggest threat to the Samsung and Apple armies are
HTC, meanwhile, just recently made its local comeback (../?id=136000:HTC-re-enters-SA-market). HTC country manager
Africa Analysis analyst Dobek Pater says a stronger move into low-cost smartphones, while retaining the quality of their high-end devices, may shield Samsung and Apple's market share from the onslaught that is coming from all sides.
"One could argue that the brand or image may suffer if every subscriber and his or her dog can run around with a top brand name device in their pocket. However, in the pre-smartphone days,
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