Home Mobility Galaxy S8 unlikely to be an iPhone killer: Kantar

Galaxy S8 unlikely to be an iPhone killer: Kantar

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are unlikely to be iPhone killers if past statistics are any guide, Lauren Guenveur, consumer insight director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, says.

In the last year, only 5% of Samsung's new customers were those who were switching from an iPhone with 66% being repeat Samsung customers, Guenveur pointed out in a commentary released alongside the organisation's smartphone figure for the three months ending February 2017.

Kantar said loyalty to Apple/iOS was about 93% right now. The only conclusion from these figures was that Samsung stood to gain more from its own installed base and other Android brands than from Apple.

The Kantar figures showed that as of February 2017, the Galaxy S5 was the most popular Samsung device in the US, with 15.6% of the installed base. Then came the Galaxy S7 at 11.5%, the Galaxy S6 at 11.4% and the Galaxy S7 Edge at 5.8%.

"Over the last 12 months, Kantar data shows that roughly 28% of that installed base upgraded to a new Samsung smartphone," Guenveur said.

"Of that 28%, 52% opted for the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge, and 10% for a Galaxy S6. The remainder was divided among an astounding 48 devices, showing that although the last flagship gets all the attention, Samsung’s offering in the US remains as diverse as ever."

About 20% of Galaxy S7 owners said they planned to upgrade in the next 12 months, with 40% of Galaxy S6 owners intending to do so, and a whopping 55% of Galaxy S5 owners planning the same.

"Samsung brand preference is weaker on newer devices, with 64% of current Galaxy S6 owners saying they prefer to purchase Samsung again vs 76% of Galaxy S5 owners. Brand preference numbers for the S7 are not yet available," Guenveur said.

Galaxy S6 and S5 owners preferred Apple over other brands after Samsung; they were at 15% and 12%, respectively.

"While I have no information that Apple’s timing of the (PRODUCT)RED iPhone and iPhone 7 Plus announcements were intentionally planned to coincide with the S8 news, it certainly does seem convenient," Guenveur said.

"Should Samsung be worried? Perhaps not. Despite the expected fallout from the Note7, Samsung announced last week that pre-orders on the Galaxy S8 were double that of the S7.

"For S8 pre-orders, Samsung will include a free Gear VR, a move that helped catapult the S7 to become the top-selling device in April and May of 2016."

Guenveur said Samsung's focus should be on keeping consumers within the Samsung ecosystem, and ultimately having them expand into other product categories.

"This is a strategy Samsung began to hint at between MWC and the Unpacked 2017 event – with two new tablets, an updated VR headset, a 360-degree camera, a mesh Wi-Fi router, a new way to talk to your smartphone with Bixby, Samsung Connect, an app designed to control all your Samsung devices, and DeX.

"Samsung’s biggest challenge isn’t the Note7 or Apple. It’s finding growth in an ever-changing technological landscape that is focusing more and more on interoperability, the smart home, and how to get consumers to buy into the next ‘big thing’."

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.