By the end of the first quarter of 2012, Samsung ended Nokia's 14 year-long reign as the number one phone maker. It's been over 9 years at this point and Samsung is still sitting comfortably at the top. But according to new sales data, Samsung should be a little cautious otherwise they might lose their crown.
According to the latest numbers from market research firm Canalys for the second quarter of 2021, Samsung retains the number one spot with a market share of 19% with a 15% year-over-year growth, which means that the company’s overall smartphone business was better than last year.
Their Galaxy A and M series sold really well, also the Galaxy S21 lineup sold better than the S20 lineup. The second-place no longer belongs to Apple. Xiaomi takes second place, and it has managed to claim 17% of the global smartphone market, just 2% less than Samsung. Xiaomi achieved the highest growth as well with (85% YoY) and this is alarming to Samsung's dominance because if Xiaomi keeps pulling numbers like this then who knows maybe they could overtake Samsung within a year to become the biggest smartphone maker.
The reason Xiaomi is seeing this growth is due to them selling dirt cheap Redmi phones in markets like Africa, Latin America, and westers Europe. Compared to Samsung, Xiaomi's phones are, on average, 40% cheaper, while compared to Apple, they are around 75% cheaper. And when you consider all of this, Xiaomi's growth doesn't really sound impressive. But still, it would be a monumental feat for Xiaomi to dislodge Samsung from the number one spot that they have been carrying for over 9 years at this point.
Apple is threatening to leave the United Kingdom market altogether here's why. You see Optis wireless technology is a company that owns some patents relating to 3G and 4G LTE technologies. They asked Apple in court to pay a licensing fee worth $7 billion for using their technology in its products. Apple refused saying that these are standard-essential patents and this Optis company is a patent troll. A "patent troll" is one who buys patents literally for the sake of suing someone. They don't actually use the technology, they just hang on to it to screw everyone over.
So, this company Optis bought these patents from another company, and when they got to know that Apple infringed some of their 3G and 4G patents, they took them to a UK court and asked them to pay 7 billion dollars. The High Court judge ruled that Apple infringed upon two Optis patents that help iPhones connect to 3G and 4G networks and In 2022, Apple will face a trial to decide how much it has to pay Optis for infringing on its patents. But the judge said during a hearing that Apple might be disappointed by the rate the court has set. In response, Apple's lawyers said that the terms that are set by the court are just commercially unacceptable and if they are forced to pay this money then it wouldn't make sense for them to keep their operations in the UK and that they will stop selling iPhones in the United Kingdom altogether.
I'm not an Apple fan but I totally support Apple here because the patent trolls are hurting the innovation not just in tech but in all sectors. You see the more R&D a firm performs, the more likely it is to be sued for patent infringement by these trolls. This costs innovators money; it significantly impacts their businesses, and they respond by investing less in R&D. So it's time for the government to do something about these patent trolls.