Winners and losers 2022: Samsung
It’s hard to stay on top, especially in a market that’s teeming with innovation and competition. It becomes even more difficult when the year has been difficult, characterized by insecurity, shortages and an impending economic downturn. But it’s not that bad for everyone and for Samsung it was pretty awesome. It has 9 of the top 20 phones in our database this year. Samsung has launched a diverse portfolio of midrangers, flagships, accessories, and even a few capable tablets.
So let’s look at some of Samsung’s winners, as well as some of the inevitable losers. Let’s start off on the right foot.
Winner: Galaxy S22 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra was our readers’ most popular phone of 2022. You simply can’t get enough of Samsung’s flagship and for good reason. There’s hardly a better display out there, and there’s none with S Pen support. All of the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s cameras have autofocus, you get a macro-ready ultra wide and two zooms, one of which goes further than any competitor.
Whether it’s the nostalgic design of the Galaxy Note or the fairy dust of Samsung, the Galaxy S22 Ultra has been hugely popular and people love it – a winner for Samsung.
Winner: Galaxy Z Fold4 and Galaxy Z Flip4
The Galaxy Z Fold4 and Galaxy Z Flip4 may look like their predecessors, but they’re better everyday phones in several important ways. The Galaxy Z Fold4 got a better 50MP main camera and a much better 3x telephoto lens than its predecessor, while the Galaxy Z Flip4 got needed battery and a boost in charging speed.
Even better, Samsung kicked off the Galaxy Z Fold4 and Z Flip4 sales with pre-order bonuses, buy-back promotions, and carrier deals that made the pair accessible and popular.
Losers: Galaxy Watch5 and Watch5 Pro
Along with the new foldables, Samsung launched its Galaxy Watch5 series. They brought in some new colors and coated all three sizes in sapphire crystal which was a nice touch. But the new smartwatches use the same Exynos W920 chip and sensors as the Galaxy Watch4, which makes the intelligence of the new watches on par with the old ones.
The Galaxy Watch5 Pro boosted the battery by 40% and brought a different, arguably ‘pro-er’ design, but it did away with the rotating bezel which was arguably the Galaxy Watch’s most recognizable feature – users experienced people will tell you that it is irreplaceable.
Winners: Galaxy A and M series
Like every year in recent years, Samsung’s mid-range range was in demand. Both the Galaxy M series and the A series brought small improvements over their predecessors, but kept the underlying philosophy intact – a good user experience at a great price.
Samsung’s inherent lead in market availability has helped keep the Galaxy A and M phones well ahead of most midrange competitors in most global markets.
Losers: Galaxy S22 and S22+
Ultra aside, the Galaxy S22 series was disappointing as an upgrade over the S21. Samsung brought back the glass on the rear panel of the smaller S22 and there was the generational update in the chipset, but the cameras weren’t a significant step up. We would have liked to see autofocus on the ultra-wide camera and we’ll have to see it on the Galaxy S23 series or we’re deducting points.
It seems no one was interested in upgrading to the Galaxy S22/S22+ and they did more to stimulate interest in competitor phones, which isn’t exactly a win.
Loser: Galaxy S22 FE
The Galaxy FE edition is traditionally a big winner for Samsung. Last year’s Galaxy S21 FE 5G was released in early January, making many fans happy. But in the summer of 2022, we received reports that Samsung apparently decided to abandon work on an upcoming Galaxy S22 FE in order to increase the S22 Ultra supply. And judging by the lack of leaks, a Galaxy S22 FE is definitely not happening.
Losers: Galaxy tablets
Samsung is by far the leader in global Android tablet market share for 2022, hovering around the 30% mark, which is not to be overlooked. But Apple is around 60% and that’s just in terms of market share. If we look at revenue, then Samsung is far behind Apple.
So yeah, being second isn’t the worst thing, but for a company of Samsung Mobile’s stature, it’s a loss.