U.S. Markets closed

The Galaxy S8 arrives as Samsung's hold on the smartphone market is slipping

Jeff Dunn

In what will likely be the biggest Android device launch of the year, Samsung on Wednesday introduced its new flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. At first blush, they look good. We mean that in the most literal way possible — the display-heavy hardware design is gorgeous.

That early promise is good for Samsung, because it has a lot riding on these phones. The company’s last big phone, the twice-recalled Galaxy Note 7, was one of the biggest embarrassments in tech history. The company is also dealing with a political scandal that’s rocked its native South Korea and led to the arrest of its de-facto leader.

And to top it all off,  Samsung's grip on the smartphone market is shrinking. This chart from Statista puts it in perspective: According to research firm IDC, Samsung’s smartphone market share has fallen from 32% in 2013 to just over 18% in the most recent quarter. IDC says Apple now sits at first, while at least one analyst thinks third-place Huawei will surpass it in the future.

The Galaxy S8 alone may not be able to bring the company’s phone business back to those earlier heights — that’s always been about volume, and Chinese brands are undercutting Samsung on the lower end of the market. Plus, market share doesn’t necessarily equal profits. But a smash hit would certainly help to take some of the bad taste out of Samsung’s mouth.

COTD_3.29 samsung market share

(Business Insider/Mike Nudelman/Statista)

NOW WATCH: Forget the iPhone 7 — here are 13 reasons the next iPhone will blow everyone away



More From Business Insider