Samsung has already defeated its arch rival Apple in global smartphone sales in the first quarter of this year while the company's new flagship Galaxy S8 is still more than a week away from release. Both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ will be available starting on April 21.
According to the latest data released by Trendforce, strong sales of Samsung's low-cost handsets like the Galaxy J series helped the company become the only brand posting production volume growth during the three-month period, ending March 31. While the mid-range and low-end handsets drove Samsung's overall smartphone production volume, sales numbers of its high-end smartphones failed to deliver in Q1 as the company continues to struggle to win back consumers' trust after the Galaxy Note 7 crisis.
Even the latest Galaxy S8 is also unlikely to bring Samsung's high-end smartphone business back on track as consumers are holding off their purchases in the anticipation of Apple's 10th anniversary iPhone model, dubbed the iPhone 8.
"Samsung has also released its flagship device for the year Galaxy S8 this second quarter. However, the high-end model is expected to make limited sales contribution because the buzz surrounding the next-generation iPhone devices is dampening demand for products from non-Apple vendors," the Trendforce report said.
Although Samsung is expected to post flat growth for its smartphone production volume in the second-quarter, the new Galaxy S8 models and the J series are likely to the company's overall shipments stable.
When it comes to Apple, its market share dropped significantly to 16.9 percent in Q1 2017 from 20.3 percent in the Q4 2016. However, the newly-released "PRODUCT Red" edition of iPhone 7 and 7 Plus helped reduce the decline.
The report also estimated that the total production volume of all iPhone devices would drop 17 percent to around 43 million units in the second quarter. But it would be Apple's calculated move as it prepares for the launch of the next-generation iPhone in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, the worldwide smartphone production volume for the first quarter of 2017 stood at 307 million units, accounting for a 23 percent drop from the preceding quarter. Although major vendors like Samsung, LG and Huawei have already been shipping their flagship phones for the year, overall smartphone sales will still be dull until the second half of this year, the report added.