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Samsung loses market share to Apple in its home stomping grounds

According to new market research, Samsung has lost market share to Apple in Korea, while Sony has lost out in Japan.

Published onJanuary 21, 2015

New market research is showing that Apple has gained market share in Japan, China and Korea. In fact, iPhone sales reached a record high in Japan and Korea during October and November, at the expense of Samsung, Sony and LG.

Samsung is clearly one of the top smartphone makers globally.  But in Korea, its home country, it is nothing less than dominant. Samsung historically commands anywhere from 60% and upwards of the smartphone market. However with the launch of the larger iPhones, Samsung has seen some of that dominance erode away.


According to Counterpoint Research’s latest markets report, Apple’s market share in South Korea jumped from below 15% to over 30% during October and November, primarily due to demand for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Tom Kang, Counterpoint’s Research Director in Korea, has even suggested that if there was a better supply of 64GB and 128GB iPhones then Apple’s market share could have reached 40%.

Japan is one of the top premium smartphone markets in the world. Apple has a good track record in Japan, but it was often behind Sony in terms of market share. However with the launch of the iPhone 6 in September, Apple’s market share has jumped significantly. Apple managed to command more than half of the smartphone sales in October, as well as November 2014. Sony was the biggest loser dropping from a high of 30% to just 17%.


In China the iPhone 6 helped Apple achieve a 12% market share, making it the third largest OEM in China behind Xiaomi and Lenovo. According to Counterpoint’s Research Director Neil Shah, “Apple with iPhone 6 & 6 Plus has been able to impact Samsung’s premium Galaxy S5 & Note 4 sales. But with the launch of Xiaomi Note & Note Pro it is going to be a fierce battle in the premium segment, with Samsung being attacked from both ends.”

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