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Cyanogen CEO predicts doom for Samsung, Apple

Samsung recently announced the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones, which took home our Top Tech award for best smartphone of MWC 2015. So what, says Cyanogen CEO Kirt McMaster? Samsung’s going to need to do more than that to stay afloat, the tech mogul mused.

In a recent interview with Business Insider, McMaster talks about low-budget devices from companies like Xiaomi and Micromax and their ability to diminish the market shares of today’s top companies, such as Samsung and Apple, over the next 3 to 5 years.

“They’re going to be slaughtered.”

“The tier-one OEMs like Samsung are going to be the next generation of Nokias in the next five years,” said McMaster. “They’re going to be slaughtered. We think long term Apple itself will have problems because they’re just not good at competing at the low end.”

Related: Samsung admits defeat in Japan, withdraws from market

When Business Insider asked McMaster whether he truly believes Samsung will sink in five years, McMaster said the possibility does exist.

“It could get pretty bad pretty quick,” said McMaster. The Cyanogen CEO brought up two companies that crashed and burned: Research in Motion, now BlackBerry, and Nokia. The former is a company that’s struggling to stay relevant in the smartphone space, while the latter’s devices and services division was sold to Microsoft[/internal-link] in April of last year.

McMaster also brought up Micromax, which took Samsung’s place as the top smartphone maker in India and how the company managed to do that in a span of just eight months. “We see this happen all over the world,” said McMaster.

McMaster’s argument seems more valid for Samsung than Apple; the Korean giant has indeed struggled as of late, particularly in the budget space. Looking at Apple, things seem rosier, as the company recently reported record profits[/internal-link]. The possibility always exists for companies to tank, but Samsung and Apple, at least on the outside, seem like two companies savvy enough to navigate the waters.