“Cheap Androids to the left of me, Apple to the right… Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.” Samsung must be feeling like Stealer’s Wheel lately, as they’re feeling the squeeze from Apple’s premium iPhone offerings on one side, and numerous cheap Android offerings on the other.
Samsung’s share dropped from 30.9 percent of total smartphone shipments in 2013 to 24.7 percent in 2014, according to new data released by Gartner on Tuesday. Total unit sales for the South Korean electronics maker were up just 7 million, even as the total market grew by nearly 200 million units to 1.24 billion.
Samsung saw the biggest losses in the fourth quarter of 2014, as its market share dropped 10% year-over-year following the introduction of Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. That quarter marked the first time Apple shipped more smartphones than Samsung, 74.8 million, versus 73 million, respectively.
Apple’s 20.4% share of the smartphone market in the fourth quarter edged out Samsung’s 19.9% piece of the pie.
Although Apple sold more iPhones in 2014, 191.4 million for the year, up over 40 million from 2013, it also saw its share of the smartphone market dip ever so slightly, dropping 0.01%, with 15.4% of the market in 2014, down from 15.5% in 2013.
Samsung is pinning its hopes on its new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge handsets, as they continue to feel increasing pressure from both ends of the market place.
“Samsung continues to struggle to control its falling smartphone share, which was at its highest in the third quarter of 2013,” noted Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner. “This downward trend shows that Samsung’s share of profitable premium smartphone users has come under significant pressure.”
Android continued to hold a massive overall lead in operating systems for smartphones shipped in 2014, grabbing a huge 80.7% chunk of the market, while Apple’s iOS took 15.4%.