Samsung holds 84% ​​of the Korean smartphone market

According to data released by Counterpoint Research on Monday, Samsung retains its top position in South Korea. The report reveals that in Q3, 2023, Samsung accounts for 84% of the Korean market. This is a distant first position. In a distant second position is Apple which accounts for 15% of the South Korean smartphone market. This means that there are basically two mobile phone brands in the South Korean market, Samsung and Apple. Both brands account for a whopping 99% of the market share. This means that every other brand in the Korean market is sharing 1%.

Galaxy Z Flip 5G in the Korean smartphone market

Counterpoint Research reveals that despite Samsung’s declining market share, it still has more than 80% of South Korea’s smartphone market. The decline is mainly because of the launch of the iPhone 15 which is now competing with its high-end phones. One of the reason for Apple’s low market share in South Korea is the late launch of the iPhone 15 series in the market. The iPhone 15 series was launched in South Korea in October. Thus, it has been in the market for only a few weeks. However, within these few weeks, Apple’s market share increased by 2%, taking the company from 13% to 15%. 

Samsung dominates the Korean smartphone market

According to the latest industry data, Samsung Electronics seized over 80% of the smartphone market share (84%, to be exact) in its homeland of South Korea in Q3 2023. As per Counterpoint Research, these amazing numbers are amid the contracted demands for high-end smartphones and other gadgets. The report highlights that around 3.4 million smartphones were sold in South Korea by Samsung during Q3, i.e., July to September. Notably, the numbers are down by 10% during the same period a year ago. Samsung Electronics managed to grab a higher market share, all thanks to the popularity and buzz around the latest flip and foldable devices, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and the Galaxy Z Fold 5.

Apple’s market share in Korea

Apple’s iPhones accounted for 15 per cent of the market, a 2 percentage point increase from the previous quarter. These are some healthy numbers for the American smartphone maker, despite the delayed launch of its Apple iPhone 15 series. The report from Counterpoint Research (via Yonhap News Agency) shows that other brands, such as Motorola Inc., held the remaining 1% of the market.

iPhone 15 Series

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The expectation is that within the next two to three months, the iPhone 15 will likely make decent sales in Korea. At least, it will hold on to its own before the official launch of the Galaxy S24 series.

Reasons behind Samsung’s market share

There are a couple of reasons behind the huge market share by Samsung in South Korea. For those who do not know, South Korea is the home country of Samsung. Thus, there is some sort of loyalty to the brand in South Korea. Lets take a look at the factors that contributed to Samsung’s huge market share in South Korea

  1. Popularity of foldable devices: Samsung’s latest foldable devices, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and the Galaxy Z Fold 5, have been well-received in the Korean market, contributing to Samsung’s market share.
  2. Brand loyalty: Samsung is a Korean company, and many Koreans prefer to buy products made by Korean companies. Samsung has a strong brand image in Korea, which has helped it maintain its market share.
  3. Wide range of products: Samsung offers a wide range of smartphones at different price points, making them accessible to a broad range of consumers.

Reasons behind Apple’s market share

Just like Samsung, there are also some reasons behind the market share of Apple in South Korea. Here are some of the reasons.

  1. Performance: According to a survey conducted by Counterpoint Research, respondents cited “Performance” (32%) as the first priority for switching from an Android phone to an iPhone. This means that there is a general likeness for the iPhone in Korea because of its performance.
  2. Brand image: Respondents in the same survey cited “Brand image” (31%) as the second priority for switching from an Android phone to an iPhone. Apple has a very good brand image globally. Thus, people can buy an iPhone without worrying if the device will deliver their needs. This mostly happen because of the good brand image that the company has. 
  3. Camera: Satisfaction and expectation with the camera had the greatest impact on the purchase decision, according to the same survey.
  4. Delayed launch: Despite the delayed launch of its Apple iPhone 15 series, Apple managed to increase its market share by two percentage points to 15% over Q3 2023. The delayed launch did affect the sales of the iPhone 15 series in the country. If it had launched a few weeks earlier, the results would have been different. 

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Final Words

Samsung dominates the Korean smartphone market with an 84% market share, while Apple accounts for 15% of the market. Samsung’s market share can be attributed to factors such as the popularity of foldable devices, brand loyalty, and a wide range of products. Apple’s market share can be attributed to factors such as performance, brand image, and camera quality.

Data shows that from July to September this year, a total of about 3.4 million phones were sold in South Korea. This is a 10% decrease from the same period last year. Among them, Samsung mobile phones have firmly dominated the market, accounting for 84% of total sales. This is mainly due to the popularity of its new folding screen mobile phones, Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Fold 5. What do you think about the South Korean mobile phone market share? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below

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