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Samsung and Apple’s channel dominance crushes smartphone vendors

21 Aug 2013

Tough times are ahead for smartphone vendors, as the balance of power remains with Samsung/Android and Apple.

That's the damning, if not unsurprising verdict of analyst group ABI Research, who claims the smartphone market is entering a new, more mature stage in its growth.

Such progression has led to an era where execution rules over innovation, with Samsung dominating the sales channel with more than double the number devices on offer than any other vendor across the 13 markets and multiple online retailers studied.

“ABI Research’s Device Portal analysis showed that Samsung is dominating the sales channel at nearly every price point, with only Apple challenging Samsung at the high end of the market," says Nick Spencer, senior practice director, ABI Research.

"This leaves little room for the other vendors to compete, especially the other Android vendors and those using uncompetitive operating system ecosystems.

"Despite some carrier’s efforts to create a more balanced smartphone device vendor industry with their use of subsidy, ultimately they are obliged to fulfill consumer demand and at the moment that means Samsung/Android and Apple.”

Spencer claims the balance of power looks set to remain with Apple and Samsung for the foreseeable future, with the course of the smartphone market looking increasingly set as it enters a more mature stage on the current innovation curve.

"This is bad news for the players vying for the third ecosystem position," he concludes.

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