A supply shortage has meant Apple and Google haven’t been able to take advantage of Samsung’s exploding phone nightmare, according to a report in The Financial Times.
Two weeks ago, Samsung was left with little choice but to recall millions of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 devices after a battery issue caused a number of handsets to catch fire, therefore deeming all of the devices unsafe.
The ongoing escapade has tarnished Samsung’s image and left many Note 7 owners considering whether or not they should buy a new handset from a different company, such as Apple and Google.
But those two particular US tech giants have missed an opportunity to fill “the void in the mobile market left by Samsung’s withdrawal of its Galaxy Note 7” according to the FT.
Apple announced in its Q4 earnings on Tuesday that demand for the iPhone 7 Plus — considered to be Apple’s closest competitor to the Galaxy Note 7 — surpassed its expectations. The current wait time for an iPhone 7 Plus on Apple’s website is being shown as eight weeks.
“Particularly on iPhone 7 Plus, we are significantly supply constrained,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s finance chief, according to the FT. “The demand [for Jet Black iPhones] has been significantly stronger than our original expectations … We are selling everything that we can produce.
“As we get into the December quarter, we are not in supply-demand balance so it is very difficult to tell what impact this Samsung issue will have on us,” Maestri said. Probably that is something that will become clearer as we go through the year.”
Tech publications like Trusted Reviews have also hailed Google’s new Pixel devices, which cost upwards of $650 (£532), as possible replacements for the Galaxy Note 7. But Google is also experiencing supply shortages that are preventing it from acquiring unhappy Samsung customers.
“We’re thrilled to see the excitement for our new Pixel phones, and frankly pre-order demand has exceeded our expectations,” a Google representative told The Financial Times. “We’re working to restock our inventory as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi has also released a new high-end phone as it looks to snap up some of those disgruntled Samsung phone owners.
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