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Samsung doubles Q3 smartphone shipments over Apple

Posted: 29 Oct 2012     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smartphone  handset  OEM 

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd shipped more than twice as many smartphones as Apple Inc. in the third quarter, as the South Korean company dramatically expanded its lead over its U.S. rival, according to ABI Research.

Samsung's lead over Apple in smartphone shipments has expanded in the past year thanks to Samsung's range of offerings and the popularity of its newer models such as the GALAXY S III. In the third quarter of last year, Samsung shipped about 35 per cent more handsets than Apple, according to ABI.

"Samsung looks to be running away from the pack, while Apple's new product portfolio continues to eat into its decreasing gross margins," said Michael Morgan, a senior analyst at ABI, in a statement. According to Morgan, to match its 2011 iPhone shipment growth of 96 per cent, Apple would need to ship 9.4 crore smartphones in the fourth quarter.

In the calendar third quarter, Samsung shipped 5.55 crore smartphones, up 109 per cent from the third quarter of 2011, according to ABI. Apple's smartphone shipments, meanwhile, grew to 2.69 crore, up 58 per cent from the third quarter of 2011, the firm said.

Smartphone and handset shipments

Samsung and Apple continue to stand head and shoulders above the rest of the pack in smartphone shipments and profits. Combined, Samsung and Apple shipped about 8.24 crore smartphones in the third quarter, more than half the global total of 15.55 crore, ABI said.

The relationship between Samsung and Apple is a complicated one. The two have become fierce rivals in the marketplace and the courtroom, yet Samsung remains a key supplier to Apple of chips, displays and other items used in the production of Apple products.

Overall handset shipments decline
Samsung remained the leader in both total handset shipments and smartphone shipments in the third quarter, according to ABI. Apple ranked third in overall handset shipments in the quarter, trailing Samsung and Nokia, and No. 2 in smartphone shipments, ABI said.

While worldwide smartphone shipments increased 33 per cent year-over-year in the third quarter, overall handset shipments declined by 2 per cent to 38.73 crore, according to ABI.

Smartphone shipments accounted for 40 per cent of all handset shipments in the third quarter, up from 39 per cent in the previous quarter, ABI said.

ABI said OEMs need to consider following Samsung's lead in offering a range of smartphone products at ever lower price points to maintain market share growth. The firm expects Samsung and Apple to continue to lead the pack in the premium smartphone segment.

"With the battleground for smartphone supremacy expected to remain unchanged in the near- to mid-term, Samsung's greatest challenge will be to build a similar strength in tablets where it—and all other Android OEMs—currently trails Apple in 10inch devices and ASUS and Amazon in 7inch devices," said Jack Narcotta, an analyst at Technology Business Research Inc..

"The strain of rapid growth makes Apple appear to be running out of room at the high end," said Jeff Orr, a senior practice director at ABI. "The company's warning of additional margin pressures with its new device line up make it increasingly difficult for Apple to move downstream to the rapidly growing low-cost smartphone market."

For more statistics and forecasts, click here.

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