Samsung number one smartphone brand again but Apple still making more money
Samsung and Apple have traded places once again in the smartphone market, in what is increasingly becoming a two-horse race. Samsung now leads the smartphone market in terms of sales, while Apple is still pulling in the majority of the cash, said Juniper Research.
In the first quarter of 2012, Juniper Research has estimated that nearly 60% of the 139 million smartphones shipped worldwide carried either the Apple (35.1 million) or Samsung (46.9 million) brand, the latter being up from 46% in the last three months of 2011.
While Apple and Samsung have taken it in turns to lead the smartphone market over the last four quarters, Juniper stated it seems as if Samsung may now have established a firm lead in this space, shipping 11.8 million more units that the Apple in the first quarter.
With the iPhone launch craze now past, the analyst firm believes Samsung may hold onto its lead next quarter, but as Daniel Ashdown, research analyst at Juniper noted: '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 $17.0 billion (KRW18.9 trillion) 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.
HTC, which has not released shipment volumes for the last two quarters, appears to be following Nokia and RIM in taking-stock of where its 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.