Samsung pegged as top mobile, smartphone vendor in March quarter

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
After Samsung confirmed record earnings for the March quarter on Friday, a set of new analyses estimate that the company overtook Apple to become the world's largest smartphone vendor while simultaneously passing long-time leader Nokia for the top spot among global mobile phone vendors.

Smartphones

Strategy Analytics issued its latest research late Thursday, noting that Samsung and Apple combined to take more than half of all global smartphone shipments for the first time ever. The South Korean handset maker accounted for an estimated 31 percent of the market, while Apple's share was believed to be 24 percent.

"Samsung and Apple are outcompeting most of their major rivals and the smartphone market is at risk of becoming a two-horse race," said Neil Mawston, executive director at the research firm.

Overall, smartphone shipments grew 41 percent year over year to 145 million units, according to the research. Nokia came in third with estimated shipments of 11.9 million smartphones.

Earlier on Thursday, Samsung confirmed its original estimates of record profits for the March quarter. It posted profits of 5.85 trillion won ($5.2 billion), the bulk of which came from its mobile division.

According to Strategy Analytics, those sales were enough to recapture the smartphone crown from Apple. The two companies have been in fierce competition over the title, and Apple reportedly beat out Samsung in the holiday 2011 quarter on the strength of the iPhone 4S launch.

Smartphone market share
Numbers are rounded | Source: Strategy Analytics


For its part, Apple reported earlier this week that it had sold 35.1 million during the first quarter of calendar 2012. Samsung declined, however, to provide mobile phone shipment figures for the quarter.

The smartphone race between Apple and Samsung is expected to heat up even further next week when Samsung unveils its new Galaxy S smartphone. Though the specifics of the third-generation Galaxy S remain unclear, the company did reveal that it will pack a quad-core Exynos 4 Quad processor.

Mobile phones

Strategy Analytics also released its analysis of the smartphone market for the first quarter of 2012. Mobile phone shipments were estimated at 368 million units during the quarter, up 3 percent annually.

According to the firm's research, Samsung for the first time unseated Nokia to become the world's largest mobile phone vendor. Samsung had spent years chasing its rival from the No. 2 spot.

"Five years after it captured the number-two spot from Motorola, Samsung has finally become the world?s largest handset vendor in volume terms,? said Alex Spektor, associate director at Strategy Analytics.

Finnish handset maker Nokia saw shipments drop 24 percent year over year to 82.7 million units last quarter. The company had reigned the mobile market for 14 years before being bested by Samsung.

Mobile Phone market
Numbers are rounded | Source: Strategy Analytics


As for Apple, shipments of 35.1 iPhones gave the company a record 9.5 percent of global shipments during the period. Strategy Analytics director Tom Kang said he expects Apple to "grow further" in the second quarter, but he cautioned that the release of Samsung's Galaxy S3 smartphone could stymie sales if the device is "well-received by operators and consumers."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45


    Whilst having number 1 market share is an envious and marketable position, somehow I don't think Apple minds being second, or even third, given they make more profit on their mobile phone business than all other manufacturers combined.

  • Reply 2 of 45


    It's a good thing Samsung's R&D team consists of meetings in an Apple Store or else they probably wouldn't be on that list.


     


    R&D costs must be $1K annually maybe?  How much is lunch and coffee these days.

  • Reply 3 of 45
    icelusicelus Posts: 49member
    The smartphone maker for the third world. Seems they aren't out selling Apple in the US.

    It isn't so hard to fill the world with cheap junky phones ate a discount rate. As in the US, eventually people will want to move up to the best.

    Not to mention that Siri just smokes everyone, although the android freaks deny it. After buying an iPad I hardly used my iPhone until Siri came along. Now the iPhone is the perfect mobile companion for stuff you do on the move.
  • Reply 4 of 45


    I Stil find it comical that they compare Apple's sales to everyone else's estimated shipments.  Don't you think if they actually sold more phones they would be singing it to the rafters? I wonder how many iPhones were on the shelf or in transit to so a store or warehouse somewhere?

  • Reply 5 of 45


    Samsung sells about 20 individual cellphone models which, according to their website, present 140 separate configurations amongst various US carriers: http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/cell-phones/all-products


     


    Apple sells 3 iPhone models: iPhone 4s, iPhone 4, & the iPhone 3GS. With every option available (color, carrier, and capacity) you can buy the iPhone 25 different ways.


     


    Of course they're going to be covering more ground with all those models, and it certainly helps that many of their products can be purchased contract-free, for less than $50, at the local supermarket. You move a lot of cellphones when you make burners.

  • Reply 6 of 45
    Good job by Samsung.

    Even better job by Google, which continues to barely break even (and not even come close to recovering all the costs of acquisitions and development) with Android, so Samsung can gain record profits.

    If anyone thinks Larry Page isnt fuming right now, watching Samsung make all the money while Google does all the hard work, they are dreaming. As far as Google is concerned, the Motorola acquisition cannot be completed fast enough.
  • Reply 7 of 45
    Samsung sells about 20 individual cellphone models which, according to their website, present 140 separate configurations amongst various US carriers: http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/cell-phones/all-products

    Apple sells 3 iPhone models: iPhone 4s, iPhone 4, & the iPhone 3GS. With every option available (color, carrier, and capacity) you can buy the iPhone 25 different ways.

    Of course they're going to be covering more ground with all those models, and it certainly helps that many of their products can be purchased contract-free, for less than $50, at the local supermarket. You move a lot of cellphones when you make burners.

    This is true. Which is why Apple continues to make much greater profits than Samsung.

    That being said, Apple almost certainly needs to enter a lower price point (without contract) to be competitive in non-contract bound markets. Apple is extremely uncompetitive in markets where pre-paid, and bring your own phone models are prevalent. And these are the markets where future growth will occur.

    If Apple is able to release an iPhone for 200-300 without a contract, they will absolutely crush their competition in market share.
  • Reply 8 of 45
    dmarcootdmarcoot Posts: 191member


    You nailed it. With all those what is Samsung's profit share vs market share? All those low end device have vert little in margins for Samsung. Apple's unified approach maximizes profit. Samsung, like the rest of them in PC biz in early 2000's in a race to the bottom. Most of those player turned their back when they realized they weren't making any profits.

  • Reply 9 of 45
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,855member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AussieinHK View Post


    Whilst having number 1 market share is an envious and marketable position, somehow I don't think Apple minds being second, or even third, given they make more profit on their mobile phone business than all other manufacturers combined.



     


    What's happening is Samsung is in the middle of shifting its feature phone business to smart phones. When users aren't paying smart phone prices or making use of a smart phone's platform, then they're still basically using a feature phone. Sooner or later the market is going to have to recognize specific levels of smartness, because the metrics and purposes of the statistics aren't revealing meaningful figures. As a clear indication of this, you can look at Google's ad revenue by platform, they are not making more money from Android because of larger activation numbers and Android developers aren't making money. All real world device usage statistics are disproportionately low.


     


    So what do you end up with? A dominant mobile phone OS, from which NO ONE can gain an advantage by using. It's basically just a mobile OS. Nothing more. Even calling it a platform, is starting to feel unjustified.

  • Reply 10 of 45


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Icelus View Post



    The smartphone maker for the third world. Seems they aren't out selling Apple in the US.

    It isn't so hard to fill the world with cheap junky phones ate a discount rate. As in the US, eventually people will want to move up to the best.

    Not to mention that Siri just smokes everyone, although the android freaks deny it. After buying an iPad I hardly used my iPhone until Siri came along. Now the iPhone is the perfect mobile companion for stuff you do on the move.


     


    Wow, where do I start? You do realize the United States is not the only first world country, nor does it have the highest standard of living? In fact, when you adjust for inequality, the United States doesn't even make the top 20.


     


    Siri does not smoke everyone. Steve Wozniak has even been quoted as saying Google is ahead in the voice recognition department at the moment. There are lawsuits against Siri due to deceptive advertising. The iPhone is an amazing device; if I wasn't bound to T-Mo, I would own one, but Siri is not its shining feature -- not by a longshot.


     


    On the Samsung note, I don't think the percentage really matters. Like someone mentioned, Apple makes so much more per product sold that they can afford to "lose" market share. The only time this would be problematic is if Apple suddenly made less money per iPhone sold, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.

  • Reply 11 of 45


    Shipments != Sales


     


    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/12/04/25/exhibits_in_oracle_case_show_google_expected_android_to_take_33_of_ipad_market_in_2010.html


     


     


    Quote:


    Against Google's advice, Samsung claimed to have shipped two million Galaxy Tabs by the end of 2010, but later admitted that these were really just pushed into the channel and actually sold poorly to consumers.



     


    Yeah, OK. That was tablets, not SmartPhones - but the accounting used by Apple vs Samsung is different. Apple measures ACTUAL SALES ... Samsung measures "SHIPPED TO CHANNELS" 

  • Reply 12 of 45


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post



    This is true. Which is why Apple continues to make much greater profits than Samsung. That being said, Apple almost certainly needs to enter a lower price point (without contract) to be competitive in non-contract bound markets. Apple is extremely uncompetitive in markets where pre-paid, and bring your own phone models are prevalent. And these are the markets where future growth will occur. If Apple is able to release an iPhone for 200-300 without a contract, they will absolutely crush their competition in market share.


     


    But that's only if you think the NUMBER OF PHONES sold is more important than the AMOUNT OF MONEY you make from whatever phones you do sell.


     


    Apple's doing very well selling a $600 phone.  I don't think they need a $300 phone just to get a higher number than the other guys.


     


    Money is what all companies care about... not the number of units sold.


     


    If Apple can make more money than everyone else combined... while still only selling 1/10 of the amount of phones... I think they've figured out the secret.

  • Reply 13 of 45
    djkikromedjkikrome Posts: 189member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post


     


     


    But that's only if you think the NUMBER OF PHONES sold is more important than the AMOUNT OF MONEY you make from whatever phones you do sell.


     


    Apple's doing very well selling a $600 phone.  I don't think they need a $300 phone just to get a higher number than the other guys.


     


    Money is what all companies care about... not the number of units sold.


     


    If Apple can make more money than everyone else combined... while still only selling 1/4 of the amount of phones... I think they've figured out the secret.



     


    But MORE phones does equal MORE MONEY which is good business. ;-)

  • Reply 14 of 45


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by djkikrome View Post


    But MORE phones does equal MORE MONEY which is good business. ;-)



     


    Not exactly.


     


    Did you miss the part where Apple sells a fraction of the amount of phones... but make more money than everyone else combined?


     


    First Google hit:


     


    http://www.itworld.com/networking/247476/apple-iphone-cell-market-share-small-profit-share-huge


     


    Quote:



    Apple makes just under 9% of all cell phones worldwide, but iPhones pull in 75% of profit made by all makers.



     


    And that was from February... it's now 9.5%

  • Reply 15 of 45
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,588member
    Erm, Apple provides REAL sales figures, Samsung reported their profit only, why? So analysts can make wild guesses as to the numbers of devices sold. It's all pie in the sky unless Samsung provide figures to back it up.
  • Reply 16 of 45
    djkikromedjkikrome Posts: 189member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post


     


     


    Not exactly.


     


    Did you miss the part where Apple sells a fraction of the amount of phones... but make more money than everyone else combined?


     


    First Google hit:


     


    http://www.itworld.com/networking/247476/apple-iphone-cell-market-share-small-profit-share-huge


     


    And that was from February... it's now 9.5%



     


    But MORE  = MORE $.  They do good now but as a stock holder, I still want to see more phones sold. ;-)  I don't think at all they need to dilute the brand at all but I'd love to see all the imitators out of the picture and Apple sell MORE phones at the prices now.

  • Reply 17 of 45
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member


    Samsung's Q1 2012 profits nearly double year-over-year on higher margins for TVs and phones


     


    No need to argue about shipped vs. sold or marketshare vs. profit - Samsung are obviously doing very well in the smartphone market.

  • Reply 18 of 45
    neiltc13neiltc13 Posts: 182member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post



    Erm, Apple provides REAL sales figures, Samsung reported their profit only, why? So analysts can make wild guesses as to the numbers of devices sold. It's all pie in the sky unless Samsung provide figures to back it up.


     


    Apple can track the number of units sold and activated through iTunes. It's much more difficult for Samsung to track the number of units sold and the "shipped" number is probably the closest and most realistic they have.


     


    Contrary to popular believe here, they don't report it because it somehow makes them look good - they do it because they have nothing else.

  • Reply 19 of 45
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,855member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ErosLWS View Post


     


    Siri does not smoke everyone. Steve Wozniak has even been quoted as saying Google is ahead in the voice recognition department at the moment. There are lawsuits against Siri due to deceptive advertising. The iPhone is an amazing device; if I wasn't bound to T-Mo, I would own one, but Siri is not its shining feature -- not by a longshot.



     


    To each his own as far as who gets the most mileage out of Siri. Personally I use it a lot and it works great. For some reason it likes my voice, which I find odd, because I sometimes have a tendency to mumble. I do not have to slow my speech down and I've used it in loud bars and on loud streets. Once in a while it'll have a hiccup where it can't connect to the servers, but it's usually not a big deal.


     


    The issue of people thinking Google is ahead in voice recognition has to do with the fact that they have a large library of commands that perform system related functions, which would make it more task oriented rather than informational oriented. A lot of people may find that more useful. Apple hasn't baked voice system wide yet (it is still beta), but I'm willing to bet we'll see it happen in iOS 6.


     


    I would however like to point out that Siri is not voice recognition. The voice recognition is actually Nuance's engine. Siri is more of a conversational speech recognition service, in so much that it understands words in the context of an on going conversation you could be having with Siri.

  • Reply 20 of 45
    waybacmacwaybacmac Posts: 309member


    As far as I'm concerned, I really don't care if Samsung or anyone else makes/sells more mobile phones than Apple so long as as Apple continues to make "insanely great products" that I like. To paraphrase Steve Jobs, Samsung doesn't have to lose for Apple to win. 

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