For over one year, industry numbers have been showing that the smartphone market is quickly becoming a two-company race. Apple and Samsung have been taking market share quarter-by-quarter at the expense of companies such as HTC, Motorola, and BlackBerry. Now that the high-end smartphone market is becoming saturated in Western nations, at least one analyst predicts that Apple and Samsung will continue to dominate the industry for a long time to come.
“The balance of power looks set to remain with Apple and Samsung for the foreseeable future," said Nick Spencer, senior practice director at analyst firm ABI Research. "The course of the smartphone market is looking increasingly set as it enters a more mature stage on the current innovation curve. This is bad news for the players vying for the third ecosystem position.”
ABI this week released a stark graph showing just how far ahead Samsung and Apple are. Though the image is not well labeled, it shows the number of mobile devices each manufacturer offers in a variety of price ranges. The pink portions show how many more of the highest-end smartphones Samsung and Apple offer over the competition. The height of Samsung's offerings shows that it offers over double the number of mobile devices as any other manufacturer. This mirrors the Korean company's recent shipment numbers, which show it far outpacing other manufacturers.
“ABI Research’s Device Portal analysis showed that Samsung is dominating the sales channel at nearly every price point, with only Apple challenging Samsung at the high end of the market," said Spencer. "This leaves little room for the other vendors to compete, especially the other Android vendors and those using uncompetitive operating system ecosystems. Despite some carrier’s efforts to create a more balanced smartphone device vendor industry with their use of subsidy, ultimately they are obliged to fulfill consumer demand and at the moment that means Samsung/Android and Apple.”