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Apple's Q3 smartphone shipments only half of Samsung's

Posted: 30 Oct 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smartphone shipments? GALAXY S III? iPhone? ABI Research? Nokia?

According to ABI Research, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has dramatically expanded its lead over Apple Inc. during the third quarter, shipping more than twice as many smartphones.

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. According to ABI, Samsung shipped about 35 per cent more handsets than Apple in the third quarter of last year.

Michael Morgan, a senior analyst at ABI, said that Samsung looks to be running away from the pack while Apple's new product portfolio continues to eat into its decreasing gross margins. Morgan added that in order for Apple to match its 2011 iPhone shipment growth of 96 per cent, Apple would need to ship 94 million smartphones in the fourth quarter.

In the calendar third quarter, Samsung shipped 55.5 million smartphones, up 109 per cent from the third quarter of 2011, according to ABI. Apple's smartphone shipments, meanwhile, grew to 26.9 million, up 58 per cent from the third quarter of 2011, the firm said.

Figure: Hamdset and Smartphone Shipments by OEM (Millions) World Market: 3Q 2012
Source: ABI Research.

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 82.4 million smartphones in the third quarter, more than half the global total of 155.5 million, 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 387.3 million, according to ABI.

Smartphone shipments accounted for 40 per cent of all handset shipments in the third quarter, up from 39 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 itand all other Android OEMscurrently trails Apple in 10-inch devices and ASUS and Amazon in 7-inch devices," said Jack Narcotta, an annalyst at Technology Business Research Inc., in a report circulated Friday.

"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."

- Dylan McGrath
??EE Times

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