The smartphone market: loads of iPhones, even more Galaxys

The smartphone market: loads of iPhones, even more GalaxysIt's amazing how quickly the new order of The Way Things Are has become an all-consuming reality in the world of smartphones: basically Samsung and Apple are the only ones making any money, and everyone else is just fighting to stay afloat.

The only question that remains at the sharp end of the smartphone market is which of the two heavy hitters will come out on top. And according to the majority of analysts, for now at least the prize goes to Samsung.

Reuters got in touch with a total of 41 analysts to get their take on the current state of play in the smartphone arena, and consensus is that Samuel flogged in the region of 50 million smartphones over the second quarter – an all-time record for any firm.

Apple, meanwhile, is believed to have sold around 30 million iPhones through the quarter, which keeps it as the largest-selling individual model around, a title it's held for quite a while now.

Indeed, the size of the gap between the two companies is largely a reflection of just where we are in their respective product release cycles. Samsung is firing on all cylinders, with the new Galaxy S III now fully in its stride but the Galaxy S II still shifting by the bucketload too.

Apple, on the other hand, is effectively treading water (if you can call selling 30m units treading water) in preparation for the iPhone 5's arrival in the next few months.

Samsung certainly won't be complaining, as it can point to both highly successful individual models (the first point most iPhone disciples bring up when comparing OS market share) and a collective strength no-one else can match.

On that last point, it's no surprise that when it comes to total mobile phone sales for the quarter (as in not just smartphones) Samsung has opened the gap considerably over longtime global flag-bearer Nokia from 3.4 million units in the first quarter to an estimated 15.7 million in Q2.

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3 comments

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 17, 2012 at 10:39

Difference: Samsung's non-phone part of the business is dying. They are held together by their Galaxy phones. Meanwhile Apple are doing, well, fine all over and overall.
Comparing 2 businesses makes sense only until it doesn't.

socialjeebus  Jul. 17, 2012 at 12:00

Difference: Samsung's non-phone part of the business is dying. They are held together by their Galaxy phones. Meanwhile Apple are doing, well, fine all over and overall.
Comparing 2 businesses makes sense only until it doesn't.


This is where a lot of commentary on Samsung falls down, a lot of western commentators seem to think that Samsung is merely phones, TVs and memory chips. It is a fact the Samsung Electronics division is definitely being boosted by the sales of Galaxy phones but the company as a whole is so diverse that mobile phones are not as important a part of the Samsung group as many tech people would have you believe. Not too mention that the loss making part of the business (LCD) is in the process of being spun off.

For example home appliances, construction (Taipei 101, Burj Khalifa, Nuclear Power Plants), engineering, insurance, advertising, retail are sectors were Samsung ranks highly on a global scale and add to that that Samsung is moving into medical equipment, weapons in a big way - identifying that government contracts (particularly in the Middle East and China) are a much more stable source of revenue. Then there's Samsung Semiconductor which was until last year responsible for far more profit for Samsung Electronics than the mobile phone division was. Samsung Semiconductor is far from dying either. Just ask Apple they order more and more components from Samsung Semicoductor every year.

And just to clarify, I'm far from a Samsung (my brother-in-law works for LG and I'm enjoying my new LG Lte 2).

Pondlife  Jul. 17, 2012 at 12:54

Reuters got in touch with a total of 41 analysts to get their take on the current state of play in the smartphone arena, and consensus is that Samuel flogged in the region of 50 million smartphones over the second quarter

Samuel has done well, that's one hell of a salesman.

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