Samsung is being challenged by lower-cost competitors; the companyâ€™s average price per phone fell by $30 last year, and its share of >$400 phones slipped from 40 percent to 21 percent. This kept up Samsungâ€™s volume â€“ they now account for one in three smartphone sales â€“ but the result was their first profit decline in nine quarters.
Apple had the exact opposite problem: the iPhoneâ€™s average selling price jumped from $577 to $636 quarter-over-quarter, and was only down $6 year-over year. Apple also increased its share of the >$400 market from 35 percent to 65 percent. Growth, though, was meager: a mere 7%, despite the addition of NTT DoCoMo and a much earlier China launch for the iPhones 5S and 5C as compared to the iPhone 5.
I can see Samsung’s top end Galaxy line being compared to Apple, but not the other models geared for customers who want the cheapest money can buy. If I were to choose between the two problems I would pick Apple’s problem of selling to those with more disposable income, those who value design thinking, and those who are generally more loyal to brands.