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Competitive Analysis | Cell Phone Market | Apple vs Samsung Market Share

August 17, 2021
ericv Author 4 mins read
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This article was originally posted on January 14, 2020. It has been updated to reflect our more recent TraQline data.

I love the feeling a new year brings, from a fresh perspective to a new trend. Whether it’s neon jelly bracelets (again) or the 479th version of Apple’s smartphone — Apple i479. Jokes aside, the new year brings a schedule of events around consumer durables, more specifically, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Looking back on some of the key products we track in Durable IQ™, we highlight a few consumer electronics product in tandem with the conclusion of the annual world’s largest tech show. Read below to see what TraQline has to say about the trends in CE, and more specifically how two CE giants continue to capture share: Apple vs Samsung.

Looking for more in-depth analysis on the CE market? Our reps are standing by to answer your questions. Contact us today!

The Leaders at the Top

The consumer electronics category continues to expand. Let’s dig into the following Consumer Electronics categories — computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, televisions, and video game systems — to better understand how Apple and Samsung compete.

The current leaders in this core Consumer Electronics (CE) category overall are Apple at almost 19% and Samsung at 16% market share. Sony takes third with 9% of the share.

While Apple, Samsung, and Sony do battle for the lead, HP had 6%, with LG and Dell tied for fifth with each at nearly 5%.

Having established that Samsung and Apple are currently at the top of the category, let’s examine specific overlapping categories for each of the two companies — in this case, smartphones, laptops, and tablets.

Apple vs Samsung: Smartphone Market Share

While Apple and Samsung both have variances in their product mix, their most fierce head-to-head competition is for smartphone market share.

Apple takes first place for smartphones: 47% of US consumers reported purchasing Apple branded smartphones in the last year vs 29% purchasing Samsung (Source: TraQline, 4QE September 2023).

On the other hand, smartphones make up only about 36% of Samsung’s product mix, with televisions – a product not currently made by Apple – making up an additional 47%.

Apple vs Samsung: Tablet Market Share

Additionally, Apple holds a large percentage of the overall tablet market, with 37%. Samsung makes a smaller dent, with 17%.

In terms of how tablets contribute to each brand’s mix of products, tablets make up nearly 24% of Apple’s overall product mix, and 12% of Samsung’s product mix (Source: TraQline 4QE September 2023).

Apple vs Samsung: Laptop Market Share

Samsung’s laptops make up just under 3% of their Consumer Electronics product mix.

The brand has 3% of the overall laptop market. Apple’s laptops win 22% of the market share and make up 21% of their product mix (Source: TraQline 4QE September 2023).

There’s more to the story

You may look at all this information and be tempted to proclaim Apple’s superiority over Samsung. However, the global market tells a more nuanced story, and it’s important to see the whole picture.

On the international stage, Samsung is won out by Apple in global smartphone shipments. [SH1] 

While Apple held first place over Samsung for smartphones, they did see a 1 percentage point decline from in Q3 2023 versus the same period a year ago. Samsung rose a half a percentage point for the same time period, which could indicate forthcoming change – and a increased need to monitor share.

Additionally, Samsung manufactures CE products such as TVs, Blu-ray players, and home theater products that Apple does not. This has a significant impact on their overall CE market share – for instance, Samsung’s share in TV is nearly 28% of the entire US market. Beyond CE, Samsung also makes major appliances, adding to their brand’s overall share in the United States.

Both of these top CE brands are clear winners in their own right. As we discussed previously, while Apple is still the go-to for smartphones and tablets, the brand doesn’t manufacture other CE products like TVs, which gives Samsung room to capture overall share.

As technology continues to change and evolve at high speeds, consumers seem poised to continue their obsession with these top two brands.

Know the US market with TraQline Durable IQ

Want the latest data on Apple and Samsung market share statistics? Check out Durable IQ for the latest up-to-date research.