Mar 2, 2020

Samsung Still Leads the Domestic Market in Q4 in Spite of Apple's Increasing Influence

The South Korean smartphone market continues to flourish, thanks to Samsung's continued dominance as the number 1 vendor in the local market, boosted by its Galaxy Note10 5G and Galaxy Note10+ handsets.

2019 end-of-year research figures on global smartphone shipment already proved mobile tech giant Samsung as a reigning leader, and naturally, getting the top spot in its home country South Korea is already a given.

Yet, in spite of retaining its standing as number 1 smartphone maker in the local market, Samsung must not rest on its laurels as Apple seems bent on recovering its standing in the mobile phone industry, with its influence increasing by 17% in the fourth quarter of 2019, propelling it to the second spot with 28% market share. This growth of the US brand was aided by the increased sales of the iPhone 11, which launched in September 2019. What's notable is that Samsung's market share in South Korea had plummeted from 71% in Q3 2019 to 57% in Q4 of the same year, which is equivalent to a 14% slump.

Globally, Samsung remained flat during 2019 Q4 compared to 2018 Q4 with 18% global share while it grew 2% for 2018-2019 YoY.

Fellow South Korean brand, LG, trails behind Apple as the number 3 mobile phone vendor in the domestic smartphone space, owning 15% of the market share.

Samsung's success in the domestic market in Q4 last year was driven by the popularity of seven of its smartphone models, with the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G as the most in-demand handset in South Korea in the last quarter of 2019. Apple's iPhone 11 is still widely popular in the domestic market and has taken the number 2 spot in the highly sought-after smartphone roster. The Galaxy Note10 5G, standard version, took the third spot.

The popularity of 5G handsets gives an indication of the upcoming trend in smartphone units that mobile phone companies will develop going forward. Apparently, even though the technology is still at its early stages, many smartphone users are interested in equipping themselves with 5G-enabled handsets. Forecast data from a well-respected IT market research company suggests that the number of 5G subscribers will grow from around 2.5 million in 2019 to at least 700 million by 2023, with China being projected as the largest 5G market followed by South Korea. With this, it's just a matter of time before 5G services and 5G-enabled devices, which are mostly based on the non-standalone (NSA) version of the 5G standard, become standard offerings.

Even though Samsung's market share declined in the last quarter of 2019, its top-selling 5G handsets were strong contributors to South Korea's domestic smartphone market in general. The country's smartphone industry is thriving, achieving 1.6% quarter-on-quarter growth versus its Q3 performance.

Spec Comparison

Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G Samsung Galaxy Note10 Samsung Galaxy Note10 Apple iPhone 11 Apple iPhone 11
Lowest Price P42,000 P27,321.07 P30,107.89 Used
Release date Aug 2019 Aug 2019 Sep 2019
CPU Samsung Exynos 9825 (7nm)
Octa-core (2x 2.7 GHz Mongoose M4 + 2x 2.4 GHz Cortex-A75 + 4x 1.9 GHz Cortex-A55)

Qualcomm SDM855 Snapdragon 855 (7nm)
Octa-core Kryo 485 (2.8 GHz + 2.4 GHz + 1.7 GHz)
Samsung Exynos 9825 (7nm)
Octa-core (2x 2.7 GHz Mongoose M4 + 2x 2.4 GHz Cortex-A75 + 4x 1.9 GHz Cortex-A55)

Qualcomm SDM855 Snapdragon 855 (7nm)
Octa-core Kryo 485 (2.8 GHz + 2.4 GHz + 1.7 GHz)
A13 Bionic chip
OS ver Android 9.0 (Pie); One UI Samsung One UI (Android 9.0 Pie) iOS 13
Display Size 6.8 inches 6.3 inches 6.1 inches
Display Resolution Quad HD+ 3040 x 1440, 498 ppi
Dynamic AMOLED
FHD+ 2280 x 1080, 401 ppi
Dynamic AMOLED
792 x 828 pixel (326 ppi)
LCD, Liquid Retina HD display
Storage 256GB, 512GB 256GB 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
External Storage microSD up to 1TB Up to 1TB via microSD No
Main Camera 16MP + 12MP + 12MP + TOF 3D VGA camera 16MP + 12MP + 12MP 12MP + 12MP
Front Camera 10MP 10MP 12MP
Battery Non-removable Li-ion 4,300mAh
Super Fast Charging 2.0 compatible with 45W Travel Adapter and 5A cable (wired)
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
Wireless PowerShare
Non-removable Li-ion 3,500mAh
Super Fast Charging compatible with in-box TA and cable (wired)
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
Wireless PowerShare
Non-removable Li-Ion 3110mAh
Wireless charging (works with Qi chargers10)
Charging via USB to a computer system or power adapter

Lasts up to 1 hour longer than iPhone XR
Video playback: Up to 17 hours
Video playback (streamed): Up to 10 hours
Audio playback: Up to 65 hours
Fast‑charge capable: Up to 50% charge in 30 minutes9 with 18W adapter or higher (sold separately)