On January 18, 2013 a Reuters poll showed that Samsung and Apple are the leaders of the pack when it comes to smartphone sales. Reuters analysts have forecasted that the two leading companies have pulled ahead while the other smartphone companies are expected to fall further behind.
Analyzing the two leaders shows that Samsung has had the most growth. The forecast shows that the South Korean company had a 71 percent increase from last year’s fourth quarter results. This was achieved by Samsung’s shipment of 61 million smart devices.
Samsung has had very strong sales of its Galaxy handsets. In addition, there has been a lot of demand from its flat screen division. Samsung’s flat screens are used in many mobile devices for several other companies. The forecast from earlier this month stated that Samsung expects a quarterly profit of about $8.3 billion. The full results for the fourth quarter profits are expected to be out by January 25.
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The question is how strong will Samsung’s momentum continue to be? There is some thought that the market is getting saturated. If that is the case, then sales for everyone will slow down. However, Samsung is still expected to outpace Apple.
Sales of Apple’s new iPhone 5 do not seem to be as strong as they originally expected. The forecast is that Apple will have shipped 46 million iPhones in the quarter. Although this represents a 25 percent increase from a year earlier, Apple is slashing orders for screens and other components due to the fact that iPhone 5 demand is not as high as expected.
Shipments for Samsung devices are expected to grow by over 70 million in 2013. Samsung shipped 210 million smartphones. The expectation for 2013 is 283 million smartphones. Apple is also expecting a growth from 134 million in 2012 to about 167 million this year.
Playing catch up to the pack leaders are Nokia and RIM. When cell phones first starting coming out on the market, Nokia was the world’s biggest handset maker. In 2000, I bought my first real cell phone and it was a Nokia, as were the next two phones. Unfortunately, Nokia did not keep up with smartphones. Now, it is trying to make a recovery putting its hopes on the Lumia smartphones. The Lumia uses Microsoft’s Window Phone software.
Nokia’s fourth quarter analysis states that mobile phone shipments fell 15 percent to 80 million units. Smartphone shipments, which include the Lumia, fell 65 percent to seven million units. Nokia has high hopes that Lumia sales will continue to grow in the coming quarters.
RIM is also struggling with BlackBerry devices. At the end of January, RIM will be launching the new BlackBerry 10. You can also get a little more information on the BlackBerry 10 phone by checking out our TechZone360 section.
Fourth quarter expectations for RIM is a 30 percent drop in shipments to seven million units. Notwithstanding the fact that the BlackBerry 10 is due out shortly, the poll showed that analysts expect RIM’s full year sales to drop about three million from 33 million in 2012 to 30 million this year.
Edited by Brooke Neuman