Anything you can do, I can do better. This is essentially how China approaches everything. Whether it’s infrastructure, geopolitics or technology, China will spare no effort to truly become an enviable global superpower.
Conquering the world on his own is no easy task. China may have come up with some well-thought-out strategies and plans, but at the end of the day, a lot of it comes down to this: getting things done faster and cheaper than others. Everything else will just fall into place.
This is how China came to lead the global supply chain. The country is now an integral part of it. Everything from smartphones, computers, game consoles, textiles, industrial machines, etc. is made in china.
There was a time when China didn’t have local smartphone makers, or at least those that could compete with global players like Samsung, Sony, LG, Nokia, Apple and others in overseas markets. That all changed over a decade ago when we saw Chinese companies competing in earnest with these global giants.
Chinese tech giant Huawei has paved the way for many companies with its smartphones. It further diversified by launching the Honor sub-brand to focus on price sensitive markets. Other companies like Oppo and Xiaomi have also made it their mission to relentlessly pursue growth at the expense of their rivals.
The same strategy that is attributed to China’s economic dominance has been deployed. These smartphone makers have made devices with similar or even better specifications than those offered by market leaders, but at very aggressive prices. The markets have been inundated with one model after another to capture the attention of customers and steal the show.
Incredible sums have been spent on marketing and advertising expenses. Customers were enticed with promotions and freebies. The products have continued to improve and offer better value for money. The formula worked and Chinese smartphone manufacturers quickly established themselves as real competitors.
In just a few short years, established players like Samsung have started to feel the effects, especially in the low and mid-range segments where customers are most price sensitive. Samsung has struggled to keep pace as devices like Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, Honor, Vivo, OnePlus and many others steal its market share.
Samsung had to make significant changes to its strategy just to be able to compete with them more effectively. Yet the threat is still present. He can’t afford to rest easy as these competitors want nothing more than to eat Samsung’s lunch.
Samsung is now in the enviable position of being the dominant supplier of foldable smartphones. It holds nearly 90% of the foldable smartphone market share. The company enjoys the first-mover advantage. It came out with the original Galaxy Fold in 2019, followed by the Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Z Fold 2 in 2020.
2021 brought the truly impressive Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3. These devices have exceeded Samsung’s sales expectations. Customers now have confidence in its foldable devices. The company has proven that foldables are more than just novelty.
With the market now more receptive to foldables than ever before, it’s no surprise that Chinese companies are now showing their strengths as well. People are intrigued by them and want to buy them, but preferably at an even lower price. This is what Chinese manufacturers are good at and exactly what they do.
The Oppo Find N was unveiled this month. It has a 7.1 inch foldable screen which is actually provided by Samsung Display. Even though it’s the same panel used in the Galaxy Z Flip 3, Oppo has found a way to make the crease less noticeable.
The Find N also has better camera hardware than the Galaxy Z Fold 3, at least on paper. At around $ 1,209 for the 250GB model, the Oppo Find N costs $ 600 less than Samsung’s starting price for the Galaxy Z Fold 3.
All of a sudden, there are problems coming up for the Galaxy Z Fold 3. Even though the Oppo Find N doesn’t have the same fit and finish as the Samsung device or doesn’t feel all of it. quite as premium, $ 600 is still a lot of money.
Customers who were wowed by the Galaxy Z Fold 3 now have an alternative that promises to deliver an almost similar experience but at a significantly reduced price. If you take brand loyalty out of the equation, which is rarely a consideration for those who use Android phones, what device do you think people are likely to buy?
The Huawei P50 Pocket is a competitor to the upcoming Galaxy Z Flip 3. It has a tri-camera setup, top-of-the-line specs, and the same cutting-edge positioning as Samsung’s clamshell. While Huawei’s phones are of no use outside of China at the moment, the P50 Pocket will certainly make it difficult for Samsung to regain its market share in China thanks to the very impressive Galaxy Z Flip 3.
There have also been rumors of Xiaomi and Honor coming out with foldable smartphones as well. It appears that a decision has been made to attack Samsung along with four of the major Chinese device makers. Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi, and Honor could make things very difficult for Samsung in the future.
With 4 to 1, the odds are not in Samsung’s favor. They could have been handled easily if they weren’t full-fledged behemoths. All four have strong sales and a positive perception among customers in the markets of Asia, Europe and obviously in their home country, China.
They will use the strategy that has always worked for them. Their foldable smartphones will be packed with technology while being offered at very competitive prices. This will allow them to quickly steal market share from Samsung.
Once this is done, they can gradually increase prices to find that balance where their margins increase without significantly impacting their market share.
Samsung has used similar strategies in the past when trying to steal market share from companies like Nokia and Apple. It has worked very well for the Korean giant. Undercutting your rivals on price is nothing new. It’s just for business.
I suspect that in two years Chinese manufacturers will be able to reach their target. They will be able to match or even surpass Samsung as the main suppliers of foldable smartphones. This is obviously not something Samsung would want, so it will be interesting to see how the company intends to respond.
It won’t be a sitting duck, that’s for sure. Samsung will use all of its strength to prevent this from happening. There is already talk of a Galaxy Z Fold variant at an affordable price. Further price cuts will help Samsung maintain its market share.
The company is also striving to create a more integrated ecosystem through its various consumer electronics products and smart products. This will be an important part in its fight against the impending onslaught of cheap foldables. To witness this is certainly a treat.