iPhone will grab more market share as Samsung falls in 2018


iPhone plus model next to iPhone X
New iPhones will require millions of new displays.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The iPhone will gain market share as Samsung loses its grip in 2018, according to new predictions.

Apple is one of just three companies that are expected to see growth this year following weaker-than-expected smartphones sales in late 2017. TrendForce expects total handset production to grow just 2.8 percent, down from the 5 percent previously expected.

iPhone X didn’t kick start the upgrade super-cycle Apple investors were hoping for, largely thanks to its $1,000 price tag. iPhone 8 hasn’t exactly been a smash hit, either. Apple has big plans for 2018, however, including three new devices that all look like iPhone X.

iPhone’s market share will grow in 2018

In addition to a refreshed iPhone X, Apple is expected to introduce a more affordable model with an LCD display, and a larger iPhone X Plus with an OLED display. Analysts expect the trio to translate into big sales for Apple, and TrendForce is predicting similar results.

“For this year, Apple is set to launch three new flagship models in 3Q18, and will expand the adoption of Face ID and all-screen technology in these new iPhones, along with upgrading their existing functions and increasing the memory content as well,” reads its latest report.

“According to TrendForce, iPhone’s annual production volume is expected to increase by 6% because of improved specifications of new iPhones and Apple’s expansion in Indian market.”

Apple’s market share is expected to rise to 15.7 percent from 15.2 percent off the back of those new iPhones. Huawei and Xiaomi are the only other smartphone vendors expected to see an increase, with their shares rising to 11.6 percent and 7.1 percent, respectively.

Samsung will fall

Samsung is expected to remain the top smartphone vendor throughout 2018, largely thanks to its budget Galaxy A and Galaxy J series smartphones. However, it will produce only 300 million handsets, according to TrendForce, resulting in a 5 percent decrease year-over-year.

Samsung’s share of the smartphone market, like that of every other vendor except Apple, Huawei, and Xiaomi, is expected to fall in 2018. TrendForce predicts a drop from 21.9 percent to 20.3 percent.

Total smartphone production for 2018 is expected to reach just under 1.5 billion units, up from 1.46 billion last year.

2018 smartphone market
The smartphone market for 2018.
Photo: TrendForce

The edge-to-edge display trend will continue throughout 2018, TrendForce reports, as will dual camera systems that allow for optical zoom and other fancy effects. Apple is expected to push forward with Face ID, while Samsung will focus on iris recognition.

Other brands are expected to maintain capacitive fingerprints sensors for the most part due to “technical barriers” with more advanced technologies. Smartphones with fingerprint scanners integrated into their displays aren’t expected to enter mass production until late 2018.


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