2No Surprise Here: Apple Is Samsung’s Biggest Threat
No company has done more to harm Samsung than Apple. Apple sells tens of millions of iPhones each quarter and has launched devices each year that easily outpace those sold by Samsung. Meanwhile, Apple has found a way to attract more developers to its devices and deliver more attractive products to people in key markets, like China. Apple is the biggest threat to Samsung’s mobile business.
3Huawei Is a Major Concern in China
Huawei doesn’t always get much attention in the worldwide mobile market, but in China, it’s a major player. The company, which offers a range of smartphones and other mobile devices to customers in China, continues to see its market share grow. Samsung was once dominant in China. Now, it’s starting to give way to companies like Huawei.
4Xiaomi Might Just Be the Biggest China Concern
Huawei may be a major threat to Samsung in China, but Xiaomi could be an even bigger concern. Xiaomi has been called the “Apple of China,” as it delivers a wide array of high-quality products that look awfully similar to the iPhone but with a cheaper price. Xiaomi has also built a hype machine that can match Apple’s. Xiaomi is in China what Samsung wishes it could be.
5LG Display a Thorn in the Side in the Screen Business
Let’s not forget that Samsung’s mobile business is more than just selling smartphones. Samsung is also in the display business. However, LG Display has made great strides in that space and is delivering some high-end organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens that are tough for Samsung to match. Look for this battle to intensify as Samsung and LG continue to promote their mobile screens in the coming years.
6Don’t Count Out HTC Just Yet
HTC may have lost some of its allure among consumers and its market share is down, but the company is stealing customers from Samsung in emerging markets. Part of the reason for that has been HTC’s penchant for offering solid products at cheap prices in increasingly important spaces. HTC may be nipping at Samsung’s heels on a global basis, but in certain local markets, it’s a real threat.
7Lenovo Could Be an Enterprise Threat
Samsung has been trying to appeal to enterprise customers in the mobile space. However, the company has been met with serious opposition from companies such as Lenovo that have long serviced the corporate world. While Lenovo doesn’t have the same kind of power as an Apple or even Xiaomi, in the enterprise, it’s an important force. And Samsung is having trouble breaking down that barrier.
8Is That Google, We See?
Google is a Samsung rival on many fronts, even though Samsung uses Google’s Android as the software backbone for its Galaxy S6. The search giant’s Android One smartphone competes with Samsung’s Tizen in emerging markets. Plus, Google offers its own branded Nexus line of devices, an app store in Google Play that competes with Samsung’s marketplace and more. Google and Samsung are competitors in many more ways than some may believe.
9Believe It or Not, BlackBerry Is a Threat
BlackBerry may not appear to be a threat at first blush, but when it comes to security, the company is a real concern for Samsung. BlackBerry has its own suite of enterprise applications that compete with the likes of Samsung’s Knox security platform. Again, when with its security platform, Samsung is gunning for the enterprise, but at least right now, BlackBerry has the space locked up.
10Qualcomm Is Worrisome on the Chip Side
Qualcomm is also battling Samsung in the mobile space. Both companies make smartphone processors that are bundled with nearly all the major products in the game. Samsung’s chips are in Apple and Samsung products (of course), but Qualcomm makes chips for a slew of smartphone competitors. Look for the companies to continue to compete on smartphone processors in the coming years.
11Don’t Forget About … Samsung
When looking for companies that are hurting Samsung’s mobile business, perhaps it’s best not to look any further than Samsung’s own headquarters. The company has itself acknowledged that it’s offered too many products in recent years and its spending on marketing is astronomical. Samsung also doesn’t appear to know what to do with Tizen. The company doesn’t appear able to get out of its own way, and that’s hurting its chances of turning the tide in mobile. Further modification to its mobile strategy isn’t just necessary—it’s required.