Taipei, Sunday, June 25, 2017 06:47 (GMT+8)
Digitimes Research: Samsung Note 7 issues may help Apple to regain number-1 crown in 4Q16
Joseph Tsai, DIGITIMES, Taipei [Tuesday 11 October 2016]

With a series of battery fires reported with Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 and its latest announcement telling customers to turn off the smartphones immediately to prevent further incidents, Digitimes Research senior analyst Luke Lin expects the move to seriously impact Samsung's overall smartphone production for the second half of 2016 and allow Apple, the number-two smartphone vendor worldwide since 2011, to regain the number-one crown in the fourth quarter.

Samsung had projected to manufacture 12-13 million Galaxy Note 7 smartphones for the second half. However, after the first incident reported on September 1, Samsung began to adjust its projected manufacturing volume and cut the number by around half in late-September.

Samsung originally expected its battery replacement program to maintain Galaxy Note 7 demand in the fourth quarter, and therefore shifted most of the projected manufacturing volume to the fourth quarter. However, with replacement devices still seeing the same problem, Samsung has made a decision to cease production of the smartphone.

Since Samsung is unlikely to be able to re-design and re-release a new flagship smartphone to replace the Galaxy Note 7 before the end of 2016, Lin believes that Samsung's overall smartphone production for the fourth quarter will drop from 75-80 million units estimated after Samsung cut its Note 7 manufacturing volume by half, to only 70-75 million units.

This will bring Samsung's smartphone orders very close to those of Apple, which is also expected to place orders for 70-75 million smartphones in the fourth quarter; giving Apple an opportunity to surpass Samsung in shipments and become the largest smartphone brand vendor worldwide. The last time Apple was the largest smartphone vendor was in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Lin noted that Samsung will remain the largest smartphone vendor worldwide for the full year with shipments reaching up to around 300 million units, higher than Apple's estimated 210 million units.

China smartphone touch-panel industry 2016 forecast
Global AP demand forecast, 2017-2020
The transition to 4k TV - UHD TV market forecast, 2014-2017
  • Wireless broadband developments in Southeast Asia markets

    As of 2013, the 10 ASEAN nations had a total of over 700 million mobile subscriptions, with the CAGR from 2003-2013 reaching 24%. This Digitimes Research Special Report analyzes the various mobile broadband markets in ASEAN and looks at the respective trends in 4G LTE development for those markets.

  • 2015 global tablet demand forecast

    This Digitimes Research Special Report provides a 2015 forecast for the global tablet market and analyzes the strategies of key market players such as Google, Apple, Intel, and Microsoft.

  • 2015 China smartphone panel trend forecast

    This Digitimes Research Special Report analyzes the strategies of key China-based major panel makers BOE, Tianma and IVO for attacking the different market segments through technology and pricing, and their relationship to local vendors Huawei, Lenovo, ZTE, Xiaomi and Coolpad.