Print 14 comment(s) - last by troysavary.. on Jan 10 at 9:24 PM

Apple's new contract with China Mobile and the release of iPhones with larger screens could hit Samsung's sales

Samsung is the king of the Android hardware world, but analysts predict that 2014 will be a slow year for the company as rival Apple enters the Chinese smartphone market. 
According to a new report from Reuters, analysts forecast that Samsung's mobile devices business will either grow by a single digit or to "shrink mildly" in 2014. This is considerably slow after the company managed to grow by eight times over the past five years, according to Thomson Reuters' Starmine SmartEstimate. 
One reason for the prediction is Apple's entry into the Chinese smartphone market. The iPhone maker just scored a deal with China's largest mobile carrier -- China Mobile Ltd -- late last month, which opens the iPhone up to 760 million China Mobile customers starting January 17, 2014. 
While the iPhone 5C and 5S are much more expensive than many Android-powered phones, it's seen as a status symbol in China that many would likely be interested in buying -- meaning that it will boost competition in the high-end phone arena.

Aside from that, Apple is expected to start selling phones with larger screens this year, which is one feature typically dominated by Samsung's Android-powered phones. With Apple entering the market and offering similar features, it poses a real problem for Samsung's mobile business.
Thomson Reuters' Starmine SmartEstimate added that Samsung's fourth quarter business was likely hit by Apple's strong iPhone sales, and that this is expected to continue through the end of the first quarter of this year. Starmine predicts that Samsung's October-December earnings will show an operating profit growth of 10 percent at 9.75 trillion won ($9.24 billion USD), which is a 4 percent drop from the 10.2 trillion won in the July-September period. Analysts attribute this to Apple's strong holiday sales. 
Further, BNP Paribas estimates that Apple's China entry and larger screens could reduce sales of Samsung's latest Galaxy S and Note series by 3 percent in 2014. 
But this hardly means Apple is going to march into China and take over. Samsung has been selling its phones through China Mobile for 7 years, and is the country's largest vendor with 70 million units shipped last year, which accounts for 20 percent of its total shipments.
To top it off, technology research and advisory firm Gartner just predicted that devices running Google's Android mobile operating system will achieve 1.1 billion shipments in 2014 -- and Samsung sells the most Android phones out of any other hardware maker. This represents a 26 percent boost from 2013's total.

Source: Reuters

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By retrospooty on 1/7/2014 1:45:50 PM , Rating: 3
That will hurt alot of competitors sales. I dont know what has been taking them so long. There are alot of things the iPhone cant do, most of which is used by a small percentage of users, but the larger screen / higher res thing is something that alot of people want and dont buy iPhone becasue of. Changing that changes everything and eliminates the biggest ding against the iPhone.

Gonna be an interesting year.

By Brandon Hill on 1/7/2014 1:48:37 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, they seriously need to get away from 1136x640. I'd say it's almost a given they're gonna boost the resolution with the iPhone 6. Maybe double it again?

By retrospooty on 1/7/2014 1:55:08 PM , Rating: 2
"Yeah, they seriously need to get away from 1136x640. "

Agreed, its kind of a joke at this point. Not even 720p in 2014.

"I'd say it's almost a given they're gonna boost the resolution with the iPhone 6. Maybe double it again"

That would be good, or maybe even figure out the "scaling mystery" like everyone else has so they can use any res. ;)

By quiksilvr on 1/7/2014 3:09:34 PM , Rating: 2
I would say a 4.3" 720p screen would be a good compromise. I know most people use iPhones because it's not a huge monstrosity. And going this size would only add 3-5 mm for height and width.

By retrospooty on 1/7/2014 3:37:45 PM , Rating: 2
They already have a 4 incher, 4.3 is almost no difference. For those that want a smaller phone, its already there. They need a bigger one.

By Reclaimer77 on 1/7/2014 9:17:57 PM , Rating: 1
I know most people use iPhones because it's not a huge monstrosity.

That's just what they tell themselves and others to justify their choice. If the iPhone had a 2" screen, they would still buy one. If it had a 7" screen, ditto. As long as it is an Apple, they'll find a way to convince themselves it's perfect for them.

The cult of Apple aren't like other consumers. They don't weigh pro and con's, they don't objectively analyze things, they just go "ohh Apple thingy, I buy!"

By troysavary on 1/10/2014 9:24:27 PM , Rating: 2
You are exactly the same way with Samsung, so I don't think you have a leg to stand on when you call Apple users a cult.

By jimbojimbo on 1/7/2014 2:01:12 PM , Rating: 2
Considering Apple's typical selling history they will sell a larger screen size phone but only run 720p then 6 months later release a "retina" version.
I agree though. I see a lot of people in their 40s and up using S3 and S4 phones I'm guessing because of the larger screen. Once Apple finally joins that market they'll be competing directly. I'm not sure though how many people buy the Samsungs just for the removable battery, wireless charging, and microSD slot though in which case Apple is no competition.

By ritualm on 1/7/2014 7:02:47 PM , Rating: 2
Not possible. What's more likely to happen instead is the lower-res/size version is sold as an entry level phone while everything else moves over to the upgraded combos. Mid-year refreshes are usually slight CPU/SoC upgrades (most commonly speed increases, occasionally a smaller process node), nothing more than that.

Consider last November's refresh:
- MBP: 13" 800v Fatbook retained as entry level, all other "Pro" offerings are rMBP
- iPad mini: original XGA-res mini retained as entry level, all other offerings are retina

By m51 on 1/7/2014 2:26:46 PM , Rating: 2
It's not the resolution (dpi) but the physical screen size that needs to be bigger. All the other check boxes like card slots, replaceable batteries, etc. are minor items compared to just the need for a 4.8 to 5 in screen. It's the only major item on the wish list of all the iphone users I know. It also seems to be the number one reason from people who jumped ship from an iphone to android.

My iphone is getting long in the tooth and although I've been happy with it if apple doesn't come up with a ~5 in screen this year I'm jumping ship to android. I know half a dozen people that feel the same way.

By retrospooty on 1/7/2014 3:39:45 PM , Rating: 2
"card slots, replaceable batteries, etc. are minor items compared to just the need for a 4.8 to 5 in screen. It's the only major item on the wish list of all the iphone users I know. It also seems to be the number one reason from people who jumped ship from an iphone to android."

Exactly. Same here.

By artemicion on 1/7/2014 2:44:59 PM , Rating: 3
As a corollary, I kind of wish either Apple or Samsumg made a smaller smartphone. Personally, I'd like to run with a decent 3.5" or smaller smarthphone with shared LTE to larger companion devices.

I dunno if it's technologically feasible, but I've felt that the Smartwatch fad was backwards. They should have a Galaxy Gear-type smartwatch/phone that had the SoC built in the watch that had the option of wirelessly streaming content to bigger tablet devices.

By KoolAidMan1 on 1/8/2014 12:46:34 AM , Rating: 2
A phone that size running Android would have to be low end. I'm not sure it is possible to make something that small without killing either battery life or performance.

As a corollary to your corollary, the bigger obstacle to iOS increasing market share is not taking market share from other high end Android devices. Sales are there but they are so small in comparison. For their high end stuff, LG and HTC take months to sell what Apple does in days. Even Samsung's high end are a niche compared to both the iPhone and their own total smartphone sales.

The biggest obstacle to iOS increasing marketshare is that they don't sell low end phones. The moment they can sell cheap phones, and I'm not talking "free with two year contract", then this might change. I'm not holding my breath.

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