When Samsung halted production and sales of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 after recalling the device twice, analysts were quick to point out that Apple’s iPhone 7 would benefit the most from the Note 7 disaster. Some even claimed that, with no major competition from Samsung, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus demand would give Apple its best-ever holiday quarter revenue.
iPhone 7 fails to check the decline in Apple’s activations
However, the iPhone 7 has failed to capitalize on the Galaxy Note 7 debacle. Flurry Analytics tracked the number of smartphone and tablet activations worldwide between December 19 and December 25 this year. Apple and Samsung products were most popular during the given period. Apple devices accounted for 44% of activations while Samsung was distant second with 21%, said Flurry Analytics.
The percentage of activations show that Apple ruled the holiday shopping season. But its share actually dipped from 49.1% in the same period of 2015. The iPhone 7 couldn’t check Apple’s slide. For Samsung, it was an increase from 19.8% to 21%. It’s quite surprising considering Samsung’s reputation and finances took a massive hit due to the Galaxy Note 7 debacle.
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Samsung fans prove brand loyalty
Commenting on the holiday sales, Stephen Baker of The NPD Group told the Wall Street Journal that Samsung’s sales did not decline because most Samsung fans stayed loyal to the brand. People who purchased or wanted to purchase the Galaxy Note 7 opted for another high-end Galaxy handset rather than switching to the iPhone. A Reuters poll conducted after the Galaxy Note 7 discontinuation found that 91% of the current Samsung users would go for another Samsung smartphone.
Stephen Baker believes that the iPhone 7 failed to capitalize on the Galaxy Note 7 issue due to the lack of compelling new features. It was the first time Apple did not disclose the first weekend iPhone sales figures. Analysts at Brean Capital expect the Cupertino company to sell 77 million to 78 million iPhones during the December quarter, up from 74.8 million units in the same period a year ago.
Both Apple and Samsung made mistakes this year
We will get to know the actual impact of the exploding Galaxy Note 7 on the iPhone 7 in late January when Apple would release the December quarter results. Stephen Baker said both Samsung and Apple made mistakes that cost them significant growth. Samsung had to recall the Note 7 twice before killing it amid more than a hundred reports of the device exploding or catching fire. And the iPhone 7 didn’t have compelling enough features to lure the Note 7 users away.
Samsung has pushed out a software update to disable the remaining Note 7 devices in the US that were still in use. The Korean company also ran full-page ads in major US newspapers, apologizing to customers. Both Samsung and Apple are betting on their 2017 flagship devices to fuel growth.