Samsung’s Galaxy S5 outsold the iPhone on its opening weekend

By on April 29, 2014

However, mobile sales fell four percent in the first three months of the year. The electronics manufacturer faces pressure to launch a lower-cost version of its mobile phones to get into emerging markets.

The majority of us may have whizzy smartphones, but it’s only been two years since Samsung pushed Nokia off its crown as the world’s biggest mobile maker (suggesting Snake is still a popular time-killer in emerging markets).

Now Samsung has reported a four percent decline in mobile phone sales, with revenues falling to R414 billion, in the first three months of the year.

To be fair, the popularity of Samsung’s Galaxy range continues apace: In fact, figures also published yesterday (by iQmetrix, a North American retail management software provider) suggest it sold more of its new Galaxy S5 handsets during its launch weekend than Apple sold iPhone 5S devices when it was launched.

That suggests the problem isn’t so much unpopularity, as a combination of fierce competition between manufacturers pushing prices down and the market for smartphones in developed markets slowing.

That’s why a lot of technology companies – not just mobile phone manufacturers, but the likes of Facebook and Google – are focusing their energies on emerging markets, where smartphones are becoming increasingly accessible.

So the onus is on Samsung to find a way of developing a lower-cost model so it can build that base in emerging markets. Although it faces still competition from manufacturers who have already got there – particularly in China, where the likes of Xiaomi, Huawei and ZTE are eating up the market.

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