Feature Article

May 01, 2012

Samsung Tops Apple in Smartphone Sales in Q1

Recent data from mobile research and analysis firm Juniper Research shows that Samsung is now ahead of Apple once more in the increasingly competitive smartphone market — a position that has been changing hands between the two manufacturers lately. In the first quarter of this year, Juniper estimates that almost 60 percent of the 139 million smartphones shipped worldwide were manufactured by either Apple, which shipped 35.1 million iPhones, or Samsung, which shipped 46.9 million smartphones.

This is a big jump up from the 46 percent of combined smartphone shipments from the two companies in the last three months of 2011. And, while Apple and Samsung have been taking turns in the lead for smartphone shipments for the last year or so, it looks as though Samsung may have now established a firm enough lead in the smartphone market to hang on to it. This competition hasn't been confined to smartphone sales, either, as the two tech giants have been battling it out in the courtroom globally for the past year as well.

However, while Samsung is now the leader in smartphone sales, by Juniper's estimates, Apple's mobile division revenues are much greater than Samsung's. Apple reported $22.7 billion in revenue for the first quarter of the year — a figure which jumps to $29.3 billion when adding in iPad revenue — while Samsung's mobile division only made about 18.9 trillion Korean won (about $17 billion) and that includes feature phone sales. While Samsung's high-end Galaxy SII and Galaxy Note devices contributed substantial unit volumes, its entry-level products like the Samsung Galaxy Y were what really propelled the company forward.

Another milestone for Samsung is its record overall profit for the first three months of this year, pulling in some 5.05 trillion Korean won, or $4.45 billion US. It was Samsung's Android devices that really fuelled this figure as well as a shift away from television production which has seen less global demand over the past year or so.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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