As Samsung's stake at the top of the smartphone market continues to shrink, airy reports of a new Galaxy device keep pushing the rumor mill's turbines around.
Samsung is coming off yet another quarter of declining sales, though the Korean tech company remains the leader in the smartphone phone market.
The Galaxy maker now holds a 24.4 percent grip on the smartphone market. That's approximately double Apple's share but reflects a sharp decline from the 32.1 percent share held in the same time frame in 2013.
Sales of both Samsung's low-end and feature phones have been in decline, a trend research firm Gartner attributes to moves by Chinese mobile device manufacturers. Handset producers such as Xiaomi and Huawei are offering devices that rival Samsung's flagship smartphones but at significantly cheaper prices, according to Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner.
"With the ability to undercut cost and offer top specs Chinese brands are well-positioned to expand in the premium phone market, too, and address the needs of upgrade users that aspire to premium phones, but cannot afford Apple or Samsung high-end products," says Cozza.
As Samsung's high-end smartphone grip gets a bit loose, reports of the unannounced Galaxy S6 are picking up. The web buzzed for a few hours Monday when images of a purported Galaxy S6 appeared online, but the device was shortly ruled a fake.
Another still-standing rumor asserts Samsung is preparing to launch the Galaxy S6 at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show Jan. 6-9 in Las Vegas, though the handset maker says it isn't able to "comment on rumors as of now."
Beyond the smartphone market, Samsung's entire line of mobile phones has also continued to slide. The industry leader's share of the mobile phone market stood at 20.6 percent at the end of the third quarter of 2014, down from the 25.7 percent it held in the same term in 2013.
"Samsung and Nokia experienced sharp double-digit declines in the third quarter, which let Apple get closer to Nokia, with only 5 million units separating these two vendors," says Cozza. "The gap is also narrowing between the third and fourth positions, and the fourth quarter could be decisive for Huawei and LG."
Despite the woes of Samsung's mobile division, J.K. Shin, head of the unit, retained his job when the tech company announced its annual personnel changes at the start of December. Shin led the mobile division into its position at the top of the market and so he has earned more time to stop its slide, a Samsung official stated.