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Opinion: Samsung may be #1 in the USA, but they are still on a downward slope

Samsung may have taken their #1 spot in the USA, but this doesn't mean they are doing great.
By
July 9, 2015

Despite Samsung’s recent onslaught of bad fortune, the latest smartphone data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech puts the popular phone maker back in the #1 spot in the USA. This is good news for Sammy, as they have finally taken back the crown they once held so dearly. The sad news is that chances are no one is celebrating in Samsung’s Korean head quarters. Even though Samsung is winning, they are still losing!

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The report states the Android operating system continues to grow its market share when taking a look at the three months of the year ending in May 2015. Android now holds 64.9% of the US smartphone market, showing a 2.8% increase over last year. The real question is whether this is, in large, thanks to Samsung or not.

The Galaxy phone maker is reported to have regained the market lead in the US with an increase from 52% (3 months ending in April) to 55% (three months ending in May). This means they were able to retake 3% of the market in just one month, mostly thanks to the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. The Galaxy S6 went on to become one of the best-selling smartphones in the US after the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5.

How is Samsung losing?

Here’s where things get interesting: Samsung also improved their year-over-year statistics, with market share only down by 0.5%, as opposed to 2014’s 1.6% during the same period of time. According to these numbers, Samsung is still losing sales… they are just losing them slower.

samsung galaxy s6 active aa (5 of 19)

Regardless, these changes don’t seem significant enough to place Samsung in a victorious state. A big factor is that Apple is beginning to lose sales as the iPhone 6 hype starts to die down. Meanwhile, Samsung’s flagship device is brand new and should probably be doing much better. The real numbers will come once we compare both devices’ statistics on equal terms. Keep in mind the Galaxy S6 is still the third most sold smartphone in the USA, not the first.

It could be argued that Apple numbers are going down thanks to Samsung’s awesome smartphones, which offer an improved build quality, stunning design, an insane camera and top-notch performance. The phone is a beast, but we can’t give Samsung all the credit for taking down Apple; LG has managed to nearly double its market share year-over-year, which is helping the cause. Now that is an impressive statistic!

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Not to mention, Samsung continues to report more quarterly profit drops, with Q2 2015 expected to be the 7th in a row. Not even their best smartphone ever was able to help them return to growth.

Why is this? These matters are complex and no one can give you a straight explanation as to why Samsung keeps spiraling down. Some say it has to do with Samsung’s supply not being able to meet customer demand. That may be a factor, but we also have to consider Samsung’s phones haven’t exactly been meeting consumer expectations either.

Previous Galaxy smartphones performed great, but the build quality was horrendous. Samsung went back to the drawing board after realizing a change was due. They wanted to improve their strategy and create a Galaxy S6 worthy of consumer envy. This thing had to be powerful and well-built, and they sure accomplished it. The Samsung Galaxy S6 really is amazing in many ways, but it’s still not the hero Samsung was looking for, nor the one we deserved.

samsung galaxy s6 vs note 4 aa 10

I believe Samsung is still trying way too hard to compete with Apple, as opposed to placing more attention on what their customers want. One of the main reasons why Samsung critics stuck to Galaxy phones was that these devices continued to support expandable storage and removable batteries. It was what differentiated them, yet the Samsung Galaxy S6 got rid of both features. And chances are the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 will do the same.

There are good arguments to the exclusion of these, something we make sure to mention in our opinion piece regarding the Note 5’s lack of microSD support. My gripe with this whole issue is more about the lack of a removable battery. Have you used a Samsung Galaxy S6? Its battery life is bad! The thing seriously won’t last me half a day. And now I can’t even swap batteries when one dies? One day I said “forget this” and just stopped using it.

If Samsung was going to improve the build quality by sacrificing battery life (or the removable battery), we would have liked it to be a sizable battery, at least. This is why so many are finding refuge in LG’s latest smartphone, the G4. It offers a larger removable battery, great performance and a design that is also amazing. In a different way, but it’s amazing.

samsung galaxy s6 edge vs lg g4 aa (14 of 28)

The real question is whether the Galaxy S6 will continue to sell as well as it has. And if all my beliefs on Samsung’s decline are right, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 won’t really help much, as the latest rumors suggest the it will pretty much be a larger Galaxy S6 with a stylus.

Like I said above… Samsung may be #1, but they are still losing. Their numbers are still going down, their new devices have flaws they don’t plan on changing and the awesome improvements pale against the sacrifices Samsung had to take. But tell us, guys. Would you agree with me that Samsung made some bad decisions? What factors would you credit their decline to? Sound off in the comments and let us know whether you agree or disagree with me.

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