Cyanogen CEO says Samsung will be ‘slaughtered’ by competition

Cyanogen's CEO thinks Samsung's days at the top are numbered. Photo: Cyanogen

Cyanogen’s CEO thinks Samsung’s days at the top are numbered. Photo: Cyanogen

Samsung may have just announced its best smartphones ever at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, but according to Cyanogen, Inc. CEO Kirt McMaster, that’s not going to help the company’s declining smartphone sales and falling profits.

McMaster believes that the South Korean company — and other high-end smartphone makers — will be “slaughtered” by new competition over the next five years.

McMaster points to the recent successes of rivals like Xiaomi, which are offering cheaper devices that are already eating away at Samsung’s market share. In fact, thanks to its incredibly growth, Xiaomi actually overtook Samsung to become China’s top smartphone vendor during the fourth quarter of 2014.

McMaster expects this trend to continue until today’s high-end smartphone makers are no longer the biggest and most successful. Speaking to Business Insider this week, he said, “tier one OEMs like Samsung are going to be the next generation Nokias in the next five years.”

“They’re going to be slaughtered” by the competition.

For Cyanogen, that could be good news. High-end smartphone makers like Samsung, HTC, and LG have the resources to build their own Android software, but rivals making more affordable devices are beginning to lean on the likes of Cyanogen take care of that for them.

CyanogenMod is already available on the OnePlus One (for now), as well as smartphones sold in India by Micromax — which, coincidentally, also overtook Samsung to become the top smartphone vendor in India last quarter.

But there will always be a marker for high-end devices like the iPhone, the new Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, and the HTC One M9. So as long as Samsung and its competitors can continue building better devices each and every year, they should do okay in established markets.