Over the last year or so there have been periodic reports that Samsung’s smartphone business has collapsed, destroyed by the arrival of Apple’s iPhone 6.
But the scale of the collapse has been tricky to gauge.
Although Samsung reports quarterly revenue and profit numbers like other publicly traded companies, its disclosures often lack detail. They’re written in a bare-bones way that sometimes obscures the big picture, and they often come without charts that can help readers visualise how the data is changing over time.
So it is incredibly welcome that Jan Dawson, founder of Jackdaw Research, has created a set of charts showing exactly that. And it is only when you see them that you realise just how bad the damage is that Apple has inflicted on Samsung.
Look at the reduction in revenues at Samsung as consumers anticipated, and then switched to, Apple’s iPhone 6:
Consumers began turning away from Samsung at the beginning of 2014, months before Apple’s iPhone 6 launch. Of course, by that time everyone knew the iPhone 6 was on its way. Clearly, some of Samsung’s customers held off on renewing their Android phones while they waited to see what Apple would deliver.
Here is what happened at Apple over a similar period, according to Macrumors.
“Sequential comparisons for revenue are not very helpful as the business is v cyclical,” Dawson tweeted. “Samsung’s business has always been less cyclical than Apple’s, as it has more products, which launch throughout the year.”
There is some good news for Samsung, Dawson says: The worst is probably over and the company may already be in recovery. Here is Samsung’s profitability over a similar timeframe:
“Samsung’s hardly going gangbusters, but it looks like Q3 2014 was the nadir across a couple of metrics,” Dawson says.
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