back to article The bigger they are, the harder they fall: Peak smartphone hits Apple, Samsung the worst

The two biggest brands in the West are the two biggest losers as the smartphone slump continues, analyst Gartner has found. Apple and Samsung both shouldered major market share losses: Samsung down from 20.9 per cent globally to 19 per cent, and Apple down from 14 per cent to 13.4 per cent. Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi all took …

  1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Oh dear

    Title says it all really.

  2. big_D Silver badge

    Given that Apple had slipped to 3rd place behind Huawei and Xiaomi were close on their heels in Q3, that is some comeback in Q4... :-S

    Looks like Gartner are using different figures, again...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Apple always sells more phones in Q4 than they do in other quarters, for obvious reasons - they've been #1 in Q4 in multiple years because the increase was enough to beat Samsung's total for that quarter, though they have always been behind them for the whole year.

  3. djstardust

    Well well well ....

    Samsung putting £50+ each year for incrementally the same device was never going to go down well.

    Apple are just as bad if not worse.

    The days of people having endless funds to purchase non-essential items are gone (certainly in the UK) so this is not really news.

    There will always those who want the latest and greatest shiny, but for the rest of us there are phones from Huawei/Honor and Nokia in the £250 to £350 bracket that are more than good enough.

    corporate greed biting the giants in the arse at last, Good.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Well well well ....

      Yeah, the S9 didn't offer much over the S8, but the release of the S9 knocked a few hundred quid off the price of the S8 - making it the same price as the inferior OnePlus. A win for the consumer but not for Samsung's bottom line.

      I'll stick with my S8 until a model with a rear-mounted Time of Flight sensor so I can easily grab 3D scans of rooms and objects. A flexible phone won't interest me until it is cheaper than buying a phone and tablet - and maybe not even then.

      1. druck Silver badge

        Re: Well well well ....

        I could have written the same thing about the S8 and the S7.

    2. simonlb

      Re: Well well well ....

      I completely agree, and personally still cannot see any significant benefit in paying anything over £150 for my handset, but that's just me. Irrespective of cost though, they'll almost all need charging daily in normal use so there's no benefit there and if it's a Samsung it'll have a ton of unwanted crapware installed which you cannot remove without rooting, which is why I actively avoid that brand.

      The manufacturers are going to have to innovate more. And no, a notch isn't innovation, it's a piss-poor attempt to spin a blatantly lazy design flaw which you didn't think through and which adds no benefit for the end user.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well well well ....

        Irrespective of cost though, they'll almost all need charging daily in normal use

        That depends on your normal daily use. My Pocophone is lightly but regularly used, doesn't get turned off, just flight mode overnight, and I charge it once a week. Currently showing 6 days, 22 hours 22 minutes on battery since last charge, and 33% charge remaining. So, your mileage will vary, but my phone lasts a week (and my preceding Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X did about five to six days).

        Seems to me that the flagship phones that Apple and Samsung develop for Western markets are built on the assumption that the customer is never more than ten seconds from a power socket, and enjoys plugging it in to charge. Although I accept it doesn't help when idiots load malware like the Facebook app, and can't stop the continual fondling of the device.

  4. BebopWeBop

    People 'wants' change. Having had an iPhone SE for a reasonable length of time, and still happy with it, I have found that using it as a network server for my Gemini PDA suits me down to the ground. Compact form factor and reasonable phone with a larger device and screen/keyboard for when I need one travelling and the phone can always double up if I am out without the PDA.

    I don't see a great reason for going for anything different in the future. Monster phones - bleeegggggh

    1. Korev Silver badge

      I hadn't heard of the Gemini PDA before your post, it looks interesting

      One for you -->

  5. JimmyPage

    Who needs names ?

    My original Wileyfox Swift is still running perfectly (or perfectly enough for me).

    The good lady wife is still happy with her Alcatel Pixa 4 (6" - big screen for poor eyesight).

    Ultimately there's only so much you can do with the concept of a smartphone. And it's pretty much been done. The next few years should be spent consolidating, not trying to artificially "innovate" with fripperies. Better batteries, and more accessible UIs should be the areas of research.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who needs names ?

      Better batteries, and more accessible UIs should be the areas of research.

      I think you'll find there's many billions being spent on battery research. Problem is the gains tend to be incremental, lab breakthrough benefits tend to be watered down by economic and practical compromises, and there's a long six year journey from lab breakthrough to certified, warrantied product in the shop.

      The more accessible UI shouldn't take that long, though.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Who needs names ?

        "Problem is the gains tend to be incremental"

        Incrementally smaller batteries. The name brand makers are always touting that their new toy is slimmer and lighter than the last model. I'd rather keep that 3mm of thickness and add hours more time between having to recharge.

  6. Richard Jones 1

    Make At least Some To Be Them Better Phones!

    My £100 plus small change Motorola is all the phone I need. Improvements might include a better battery, improved reception, though that is a network issue as much as anything, elimination of pest calls, though those are mercifully few these days.

    My demands are very lightweight though, better more reliable voice activated hands free calling would be a great break back to about 2008 when Nokia and the 6230i had that one nailed. I find current 'SMART' things are really crap at voice activated calling. Perhaps when my present phone is as old as the Nokia was, my interest in a phone will have laid down and died anyway.

  7. tempemeaty

    Todays smart phone is yesterdays calculators

    Calculators were as expensive as today smart phones. Now calculators can be found on hanging displays for $1.99. Even though the corporations are fighting to prevent that repeat of history it's the smart phones destiny.

    Last December a prepay $69 Trackphone smart phone was marked down to $39 on my local supermarket's hanging display. Then the day before Christmas it was marked down to $19.99. Does it work? It's not top of the line but yes, it works. I know that because I bought it just to test it. The phones in the market are back to $69 now but it was the first serious plunge to the inevitable I've witnessed. I suspect they'll keep dropping in general over the years and you'll eventually see more basic landfill quality $29 smart phones on a regular basis when it finally bottoms out.

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Re: Todays smart phone is yesterdays calculators

      In way that's good; but if a manufacturer gets small slice of that $19.99 how on earth will they be able to afford to provide updates (it's not like they do now with most smartphones costing >£100.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Udpates for $19.99?

        They will not. It will either go open source or ad/service sourced revenue (like Google, but even more so).

        As, just with your landline phone, or PC you don't get "paid for" updates, they update it if, and when it will give them more customers back in other services.

        Otherwise, it will probably go the way of the calculators/pen and paper. When it runs out, we get a new pen/paper. :)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Udpates for $19.99?

          More ad revenue than Google? How would they do that, exactly? Will it force you to watch a short video when you unlock your phone, and listen to a 15 second audio ad before your call is connected?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Udpates for $19.99?

            No. But Google would probably pay for them to make/sell the phone. A faulty android OS is no help to Google's image, so it is in their interests to keep the platform updated, or kick off those not keeping to the standards.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Udpates for $19.99?

              A faulty android OS is no help to Google's image, so it is in their interests to keep the platform updated, or kick off those not keeping to the standards.

              I see you're new to this planet. Welcome, alien visitor!

  8. Korev Silver badge

    Too expensive

    I wanted to buy an iPhone XR as it supports two SIMs (if you count eSIMSs), but Apple were after so much for it I went for a Moto G6 Plus and so far haven't regretted it.

    1. Tenkaykev

      Re: Too expensive

      If you are in the UK and want a phone with 2 Sims then John Lewis have this:

      Honor 10 Lite Dual SIM Smartphone, Android, 6.21”, 4G LTE, SIM Free, 64GB, Sapphire Blue

      £199.95 and comes with a John Lewis 2 year warranty

  9. silks


    Given there are only incremental benefits of upgrading thee days it's no wonder that device sales are declining.

    Not so many people queuing outside fruity phone stores for the latest phone these days.

  10. DerekCurrie

    Profit Share & Invention

    Market share is irrelevant if the companies with the most aren't making any money. Apple and Samsung own the profit share of smart phones.

    Then consider the operating system being used on the not-Apple smartphones. It's Android. It's the single most dangerous operating system available today specifically due to:

    (A) OS version fragmentation, meaning that relatively few Android phones are capable or allowed by their vendors to run the latest Android security updates.

    (B) Consistent malware foisted at the Android stores, including Google Play. The result is a consistent millions of infected users on a monthly if not weekly basis.

    Then there's the question of invention and innovation VERSUS mere imitation and robbery. What do companies in China actually INVENT and INNOVATE? If you can't come up with anything, don't be surprised. Most of the modern Chinese economy is based on making stuff that was invented elsewhere. China acquire the IP they use to make stuff from either companies that hire them to make the stuff, or they rip it off via cyber hacking (documented to have been happening since 1998, the year the Clinton administration gave China Most Favored Nation Status), or they force companies to hand over their IP if they want to sell their products in China.

    This is why I describe them as China: Criminal Nation. This is entirely typical of so called 'Communist' regimes. There is no incentive to create. There is incentive to steal.

    1. c1ue

      Re: Profit Share & Invention

      Theft goes on by Chinese companies, but it goes on by American, European and Korean companies too.

      Your commentary would be a lot more credible if you left the politics out and inserted more objective data.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Profit Share & Invention

        Your commentary would be a lot more credible if you left the politics out and inserted more objective data.

        He's just angry because Paddington keeps coming out on top.

    2. xpz393

      Re: Profit Share & Invention

      I was 100% going to upvote the OP's comment, right up until the end of "(B)".

      I was still kinda onboard up to the "invented elsewhere." point.

      Then it all got a bit Trump, and it takes a special kind of person to thumb that. <sigh>

      1. DerekCurrie

        Re: Profit Share & Invention

        Ignorance is yours to enjoy. I prefer knowledge and opinions there from. I've been studying and writing about the China vs World issue from the perspective of computer security for over a dozen years now. Everything anyone needs to know about the actual China: Criminal Nation is out on the web to discover and read, including video commentary from people who live in China itself, despite the criminal Chinese government doing their best to stop such things from existing.

        As per the old saying: Freedom has a cost. You're either a shill for the crooks or ignorant (double emphasis!) of the reality of China. Sit back and watch the consequences. Thank yourself for enabling them. I promise to not laugh. I'll have moved on to the next important aspect of humanity's survival.

  11. herman Silver badge


    I live in the desert and the only phones I found that can work here, not overheat and shut down, is Apple. So that is what I use.

  12. MachDiamond Silver badge

    It's finally getting noticed

    that there is less and less new under the sun when it comes to useful phone features. I saw that years ago and avoided Apple and Samsung products as I couldn't see any significant value in the "features" that they were crowing about over what my very cheap BLU phone would do (mind you, it's a hunk of poo too but came really cheap). I don't live with my head buried up to my neck in my mobile so a lot of functionality is going to pass right under me. I just need a phone that's reliable, gets good battery mileage and does the simple things like reminding me when things on my calendar are coming up. I've got a nice desktop and laptop for all of the other stuff. I now have a fondleslap to go with my drone and to remote my camera and all of them together didn't cost me what Samsung is asking for the Fold and probably on par with what Apple wants for their latest.

  13. the Jim bloke Silver badge

    apparently the current generation of phones think a 20 megapixel selfie camera is a selling point.

    I am thinking of purchasing another phone, saw a prepaid one on special for about $25. will probably suit my requirements, if not there are a few more around below $80.

  14. xpz393

    "But a stronger retail presence and brand has swung the market towards the challengers"

    No, a p*ss-take RRP set by the market leaders for their flagship products has swung the market towards the challengers.

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