SINGAPORE - Even with the largest recall in mobile phone history, Samsung continued to grow on consumers, with its name on nearly one in every three smartphones that made their way to Singapore last year.
The latest data from market research firm IDC showed that Samsung accounted for 31 per cent of the 3.4 million smartphones shipped here last year, up from 28 per cent in 2015, which makes it No. 2 in the country behind Apple.
The figures excluded the Note7, which was recalled and scrapped following several reports of the phone emitting smoke or catching fire in the United States, South Korea and Australia.
If not for the recall, Samsung's shipment could have been higher.
The Note7 was to have been Samsung's best phone - slim and sleek, yet packed with the most advanced features and a long battery life. It received rave reviews until the faults came to light.
IDC Asia-Pacific research manager Kiranjeet Kaur said: "The way Samsung handled the refund in Singapore and the region limited the damage of the recall."
Manufacturing and design faults with the Note7 batteries were to blame for the fires, according to Samsung and several independent investigation findings revealed earlier this month. Globally, 2.5 million units were recalled, with tens of thousands affected in Singapore.
It remains to be seen if consumers will take to the upcoming Note8.
Some Note7 users switched to another brand after collecting their refund. Investor relations consultant Ngo Yit Sung, 35, said he switched to the Huawei Mate 9.
However, retiree Herman Chia, 64, said he would consider buying the Note8 if the battery problem is resolved.
"From my Note7 experience, the photo quality is really good," he said.
Meanwhile, Apple's share shrank even though it continued to dominate Singapore's saturated smartphone market overall, shipping the most number of phones here last year.
The iPhone maker accounted for 46 per cent of smartphones shipped to Singapore last year, easing from 47.6 per cent in 2015.
IDC's figures include products shipped to Singapore that traders and tourists take to other nearby markets.
Globally, both Samsung and Apple lost market share while up-and-coming China brands Huawei and Oppo gained more of the growing global smartphone market.
IDC figures showed that Samsung maintained its global lead, followed by Apple, Huawei and Oppo.
In Singapore, Asus, Sony and LG took the remaining top-five spots.
TOP SMARTPHONE BRANDS IN 2016
Top 5 vendors in Singapore
Top 5 vendors in the world
Source: IDC ASIA-PACIFIC
This article was first published on Feb 13, 2017.
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