Samsung still can’t take a bite out of Apple’s profits

1 May 2012

Samsung may be topping the charts when it comes to the number of smartphones sold, and passed out Nokia as the world’s No 1 phone brand, but Apple is the company raking in the most revenue, Juniper Research says.

Having knocked Nokia off the top spot as the world’s biggest mobile phone vendor (a position the Finnish company held for 14 years), Samsung is now being established as the world’s leading smartphone manufacturer ahead of Apple.

The mobile analyst firm estimates that, together, Apple and Samsung accounted for nearly 60pc of the 139m smartphones shipped worldwide in the first quarter of 2012, but Samsung topped the iPhone manufacturer with 46.9m units to Apple’s 35.1m.

But the South Korean manufacturer still can’t beat Apple to the revenue top spot. Even as the hype surrounding the iPhone dies down, “Apple’s revenue from its mobile division continues to remain significantly higher than Samsung’s, even when you take into account the latter’s feature phones,” says research analyst Daniel Ashdown.

Apple’s iPhone revenue alone amounted to $22.7bn in Q1, compared to Samsung accruing about $17.0bn from its entire mobile division. This is no surprise, however, considering the range offered by Samsung includes more than just the flagship Galaxy SII, at a price comparable to the iPhone, but also lower-priced units, such as the Galaxy Y.

Juniper’s report shows that smartphone sales have increased even in the post-holiday period, and it is forecasting shipments will nearly double over the next five years from nearly 600m in 2012 to 1.1bn by 2017, allowing plenty of room for other players like HTC to make gains in this market.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.