Global smartphone trends- Samsung sells most mobiles… but Apple makes most money

02/05/2012

Samsung is selling the most smartphones worldwide, but Apple is making the most money, according to new research. The study, from Juniper Research, indicates that almost 60% of the 139 million smartphones shipped worldwide in the first quarter of this year were either Apple (35.1 million) or Samsung (46.9 million) devices.

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This was an increase on the companies' combined 46% share during the last three months of 2011.

However, although Samsung has built a considerable lead in terms of shipment volumes, it’s not leading in terms of revenue.

While Samsung outpaced Apple by some 11.8 million shipments, Apple's iPhone sales were worth $22.7bn in the first quarter of this year, compared to the $17bn generated by Samsung's mobile division during a comparable period.

Daniel Ashdown, Research Analyst with Juniper Research, said: “Apple’s revenues from its ‘mobile division’ continues to remain significantly higher than Samsung’s, even when you take into account the latter’s featurephones”.

Apple’s iPhone revenue was $22.7 billion in Q1 ($29.3 billion including the iPad), compared with Samsung’s KRW18.9 trillion ($17.0 billion) from its entire mobile division. While flagship devices, the Samsung Galaxy SII and Galaxy Note contribute substantial unit volumes, the company’s rise to top spot is evidence of the smartphone’s entry into mass market price points with products like the Galaxy Y.”

Rich-Pickings Still to be had for HTC, Nokia and RIM

The research said there will still opportunities for RIM, HTC and Nokia in the smartphone market, who have all launched turnaround strategies following poor results.

HTC – who have not released shipment volumes for the last two quarters – appears to be following Nokia and RIM in taking-stock of where it’s best strategy lies.

Nokia’s Lumia launches do not appear to have kick-started a rival yet, with the Finnish company shipping just 11.9 million smart devices in the first quarter – less than half the number it shipped in the same period a year previous.

RIM’s recent results – which run to a different financial schedule – nevertheless hint at continuing problems for the Canadian firm.

However, with Juniper forecasting that smartphone shipments will nearly double over the next five years – from nearly 600 million in 2012 to 1.1 billion by 2017 – there are still plenty of opportunities for other players to make gains in this market.

With Juniper forecasting that smartphone shipments will nearly double over the next five years – from nearly 600 million in 2012 to 1.1 billion by 2017 – there are still plenty of opportunities for other players to make gains in this market.

The full report is avaialble for free here (registration required).

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