The smartphone market is out of competition

Smartphones are not as hot as they used to be. The “brick” that you carry everywhere, all the time doesn’t look like a futuristic device anymore – it’s more like an essential product.

The smartphone market is out of competition - LG was right to leave - Photo 1.

As consumers settle into the ecosystem and brand loyalty, the competition in this market narrows. While regions like China and India still have “land” for new brands, markets like North America or Europe – only a few companies have won the hearts of consumers. More importantly, new brands have almost no “door” to win the trust of consumers.

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April marked the 1 year event that LG withdrew from the mobile market. Although its high-end phones had relatively limited sales, LG’s low-end mobile phones were still very successful and when LG “left”, a big hole appeared in the North American market. .

The smartphone market is out of competition - LG was right to leave - Photo 1.

Smartphone market share in the US.

Without LG, Motorola has taken over most of that hole, rising to third place in terms of market share in the US nearly a year after LG quietly left the market. If only counting the segment under $ 400, this company even holds the 2nd place, according to Counterpoint Research data.

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But what about in the high-end segment? LG is not a big competitor, but its mobile phones (if launched) are still a certain counterweight to the Galaxy S22 or Google Pixel 6. LG’s “missing” in the market is another sign of choice. User choices are dwindling.

Looking at smartphone sales globally, this is very clear. Apple and Samsung currently lead the ranking, followed by Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo in the top 5. But in the US, Oppo (including OnePlus), Xiaomi and Vivo do not have official sales channels. All other manufacturers – including Motorola – are classified as “other manufacturers”.

The competition looks much stiffer if you focus on “premium” smartphones – defined as devices that sell for more than $400. Not surprisingly, Apple dominates this segment. The latest statistics show Apple’s global sales share in this segment at a whopping 60% in 2021, up 5% year-on-year.

Samsung still holds the 2nd position but accounts for only 13%, down 4% from 2020. While Oppo tries to increase its market share from 2 to 4%, none of these companies can keep up with sales. Apple’s. This is somewhat of a concern for professionals who want to stay competitive in the mobile market.

The smartphone market is out of competition - LG was right to leave - Photo 2.

Global high-end smartphone market share in 2020 and 2021.

The fact that Apple’s entire product range is priced above $ 400 plays an important role in the company’s absolute market share. However, even when LG and HTC withdrew from the market, Huawei suffered a heavy “blow” leading to a sharp drop in market share, “space” for new players still did not exist.

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OnePlus has quite bad sales and is gradually focusing on emerging markets like China and India. It is also difficult for Chinese manufacturers to enter the US market.

Therefore, the story is not new, but it still has to be repeated: the gap between Apple and Samsung and the rest of the industry – especially in the high-end mobile segment, which attracts the attention of the majority. users – growing.

The cause, of course, did not come from LG leaving. It is more precisely the result of the market losing its competitiveness, leading to a series of well-known manufacturers choosing to leave the market, rather than “trying to eat sticky rice”.

As competition fades, don’t be surprised when new smartphone features dwindle, prices continue to rise, and consumers have fewer choices.


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