Apple iPhone Faces Odd Competitor in Samsung Flip Phone

by Alyssa Oursler | August 14, 2013 11:36 am

The Apple (AAPL[1]) iPhone has already been losing market share, and could be set to lose even more if Samsung’s (SSNLF[2]) new smartphone — that’s also a flip phone — is a hit.

The new Samsung device and Apple iPhone competitor was just announced in China, and is called the Samsung Hennessy[3].

The Samsung Hennessy is an interesting hybrid of smartphone and flip phone thanks to dual screens, and will run Google’s (GOOG[4]) Android platform. In fact, it could almost be mistaken for a knock-off of an Apple iPhone from the outside … until it flips open and reveals a QWERTY keyboard and another screen.

There’s a good chance that second screen on the Samsung Hennessy could mean double the trouble for the Apple iPhone, too.

While sales of the Apple iPhone have been marching upwards across the globe, the company’s market share has been slipping[5]. In the second quarter, Apple’s market share fell from 18.8% to 14.2%, while Samsung’s grew from 29.17% to 31.7%.

That trend is especially evident in China, where Samsung’s lead is much larger.

Apple iPhone shipments in China fell year-over-year by 4 percentage points in the most recent quarter. The Apple iPhone thus made up a mere 5% of the country’s smartphone shipments — the lowest market share since late 2010, according to [6]Reuters[7].

Meanwhile, Samsung phones made up 18% of the country’s shipments. Heck, more shipments were of handsets from domestic producer Xiaomi Corp. than of the Apple iPhone.

The success of the Samsung Hennessy will likely depend on its price, though, and that has not yet been announced. One reason domestic suppliers like Xiaomi, ZTE Corp. (ZTCOF[8]) and Lenovo Group (LNVGY[9]) have been successful is because they offer lower-prices alternatives.

With that in mind, the soon-to-come new Apple iPhone could also be a turning point for the California-based company. Rumors are swirling that the new iPhone will be announced Sept. 10, and many think a cheaper iPhone could be in the cards.

As of this writing, Alyssa Oursler did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Follow her on Twitter at @alyssaoursler[10].

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