Apple loses some of its market share to Samsung in Korea

When Apple released the iPhone 12 line last September, the company was able to take some of Samsung’s market share in South Korea. Now, a report says the Android maker was able to take back some of its market share in its home country.

According to a Counterpoint Research report [via ZDNet], Samsung controlled 67% of South Korea’s smartphone market in Q1 2021. This is a “3% increase from the 64% of the same time period of 2020 and a 9% jump from the previous quarter’s 58%.”

Samsung had consistently held over 60% market share in its home country throughout the years, but it lost ground to Apple in the fourth quarter of 2020 due to the launch of iPhone 12. Cupertino controlled a market share of 31% during that quarter, an unusually strong performance from the company in South Korea, thanks to iPhone 12’s popularity.

Now, Apple accounts for a 22% market share in South Korea in Q1 2021. Counterpoint believes Samsung’s increased market share was due to its earlier launch of the Galaxy S21 series. Additionally, Counterpoint says the Galaxy S21 5G smartphone was the most popular model in South Korea during the first quarter.

In April, a Reuters report said Samsung overtook Apple in smartphone shipments globally as Xiaomi closed in.

South Korea’s Samsung shipped 76.5 million smartphones in the quarter to grab a 22% share of the market, Canalys said. The company on Thursday reported a 66% surge in quarterly profit in its mobiles business, thanks to robust sales of its flagship Galaxy S21 smartphone series.

Canalys said Apple shipped 52.4 million iPhones in the January-March period, falling to the second spot with a 15% share of the market.

Apple is expected to present its new flagship line iPhones in a few months. Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts strong iPhone 13 shipments due to the Huawei ban and tempting feature upgrades.

We have a favorable view of Apple’s future iPhone product strategy and expect that iPhone shipments will reach 230–240mn and 250–260mn units in 2021 and 2022, respectively (vs. about 195mn in 2020).