Despite launching formidable flagship phones this year, Samsung could see a decline in its market share next year. The Galaxy Note 8 maker is predicted to experience a slower growth in its smartphone sales in 2018, while its biggest rival, Apple, and Chinese competitors enjoy unwavering if not better reception from consumers. 

On Thursday, Strategy Analytics published its predictions for smartphone manufacturers in the following year. Surprisingly, the U.S. research firm is anticipating a dip in the market share of South Korean giant Samsung. This dip is said to cause the Galaxy S8 maker to experience the slowest growth among the top five companies in the smartphone industry next year, Korea Herald has learned.

For this year, Samsung is predicted to incur a 20.5 percent market share with shipments amounting to around 319 million units of its Galaxy smartphones. Unfortunately, the company could see a decrease in its market share to 19.2 percent and a drop in its shipments to 315 million units. 

On the other hand, Apple and Chinese firms belonging to the top five — Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi — are predicted to do well by maintaining their market share or seeing growth in their shipments. This prediction is of course not surprising to Apple who launched the iPhone X just this past November.  

Strategy Analytics is expecting a raise from Apple’s 14 percent market share to 14.3 percent. The company is also expected to ship around 234 million units of its iPhones instead of the original 218 million units.

It’s worth pointing out that DigiTimes previously learned from an upstream component supply chain source that the demand for iPhone X seems to be weakening in spite of the holiday season. The source even told the publication that Apple could be reducing its shipment target for the first quarter of 2018.

Despite the alleged dwindling demand for the iPhone X, the supply chain source still maintained that Apple’s first quarter shipments next year would still end up being better than the shipments made by the Cupertino giant in the same period of 2017. 

Meanwhile, Chinese companies saw improved reception from consumers this 2017, and this is expected to be carried over to next year. Huawei’s market share is predicted to reach 10 percent both this year and in the following year. The number of shipments it will be making is also predicted to increase from 156 million units to 164 million units.

Oppo’s percent share is also expected to reach 7.8 percent, while Xiaomi’s is predicted to rise to 7.4 percent from 6.1 percent during the same period last year. 

Industry watchers claim Chinese smartphone vendors are doing well because they are solidifying their presence in emerging markets, including India and China, by way of releasing more affordable yet good quality products. While this is good news for Chinese manufacturers, it isn’t for Samsung. 

“Since successful Chinese firms are expanding their presence in the fast-growing, budget smartphone markets, Samsung’s global presence will further shrink unless it secures competitiveness against Chinese firms,” KAIST College of Business professor Lee Byung-tae said.