Samsung beats out Apple in smartphones
By Kim Yoo-chul
Samsung Electronics has taken a large lead over rival Apple in smartphones, selling 48.7 million smart handsets in the second quarter for a 32.2 percent market share. The figure, based on the latest analysis by Strategy Analytics (SA), is well above the U.S. technology giant’s 17.2 percent.
Apple suffered a decline of 6.6 percent from the previous quarter hit by its Korean rival’s aggressive promotion for the latest in its Galaxy line of devices, the S3.
Samsung’s handset division reported revenue of 24.04 trillion won for the second quarter, an increase of 60 percent from a year ago, while the operating profit spiked by 145 percent to 4.19 trillion won, according to the company.
By contrast, Apple only reported a 20 percent increase for revenue and profit during the same period, with market analysts saying there is an ``iPhone slump.’’
Samsung officials say their firm looks poised to continue its current lead over Apple, though it needs to tackle emerging Chinese handset manufacturers such as ZTE and prepare for the possibility that better Android software by Google will be made available to Motorola.
In all regions except Apple’s home turf, Samsung was top. In Western Europe, the Suwon-based outfit claimed a 44.2 percent market share, while the world’s biggest technology firm had a 43.9 percent share in Eastern Europe, SA said.
``This is the first time that Samsung’s smartphone share in Europe exceeded 40 percent,’’ said company spokesman Lee Seung-joon, Tuesday.
Data from leading market research firm IDC also stated Samsung was the global No. 1 for smartphones in the second quarter with a 32.6 percent share by selling 50.2 million handsets, followed by Apple with a 16.9 percent share and sales of 26 million.
But Samsung officials and market analysts say Apple will steal some of Samsung’s share in the fourth quarter as the Cupertino-based firm looks ready to release a newly designed smartphone, tentatively named as the iPhone 5, and a smaller iPad sometime in October.
Samsung mobile chief Shin Jong-kyun will unveil updated business strategies in Europe and even North America at an upcoming technology fair in Berlin, Germany, as a strategy to keep continue the bullish business momentum.
Samsung will release the Galaxy Note 2 at the exhibition, according to Lee. Apple CEO Tim Cook has vowed to make a ``fall transition’’ with new i-branded devices.
``This is very dramatic. The two companies are involved in heavy patent disputes, while they also compete for leadership in smartphones and cooperate for components. But one thing is other smartphone makers are nowhere to be seen. The duopoly of Samsung and Apple is hurting an entire eco-system,’’ said an analyst at a Europe-based investment bank in Seoul.
During the April-June period, Finland’s Nokia captured just 6.8 percent of the smartphone market, followed by Taiwan’s HTC with 6.1 percent and Japan’s Sony with 4.9 percent, SA said. LG Electronics was level with China’s ZTE in eighth place.