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Friday, 27 July 2012

Samsung Widens Lead Over Apple In Smartphone Market

Samsung's smartphone market share nearly doubled to 34.6% in the quarter that ended June from 18.3% a year earlier, while Apple's share for the same quarter declined on the year to 17.8% from 18.4%. Above, Samsung's Galaxy S III devices on display in Seoul.

HONG KONG—Samsung Electronics Co. 005930.SE +1.21% increased its share of the global smartphone market in the second quarter, widening its lead over Apple Inc.AAPL -0.02% as the South Korean technology giant shipped more than 50 million smartphones, the largest number of units ever shipped by any vendor in a single quarter, according to two market research firms.
The reports from research firms IDC and Strategy Analytics showed that Samsung, the world's largest smartphone vendor, gained a larger market share in the second quarter compared with the previous quarter, while Apple's market share declined with some consumers holding off iPhone purchases ahead of the expected release of the next model later this year.
The reports indicate that Samsung's strategy to sell smartphones in a broad price range from high-end models to more affordable ones, combined with its aggressive marketing campaigns, has been helping the South Korean company enhance its global market presence. By contrast, Apple only sells iPhones, focusing on the high-end segment.
Samsung's market share lead over Apple comes as the smartphone market isn't only growing but becoming more diverse in price and technological features, as more consumers in emerging markets are replacing their conventional cellphones with smartphones. According to IDC, the global mobile handset market grew only 1% in the second quarter from a year earlier, but smartphone shipments jumped 42.1%.
Still, the battle between Apple and Samsung is taking place in the high-end segment, which remains the most profitable for smartphone vendors. Samsung launched its new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S III, in the second quarter, while Apple is expected to release its new iPhone later this year.
U.S.-based IDC estimated Samsung's global smartphone shipments in the second quarter at 50.2 million units with a market share of 32.6%. In the first quarter, Samsung held a 29.1% share with 42.2 million smartphones shipped, IDC said.
Earlier this week, Apple said it sold 26 million iPhones in the quarter ended June.
According to IDC, Apple's market share declined to 16.9% in the quarter from 24.2% in the previous quarter.
Similarly, London-based Strategy Analytics estimated Samsung's second-quarter smartphone shipments at 50.5 million units, with a market share of 34.6%, topping Apple's 17.8%. That marked a widening gap from the first quarter, when Samsung held a 30.6% share while Apple had 24.1%.
The research reports were released shortly after Samsung reported a record net profit for the second quarter on the strength of its mobile business. Earlier this week, Apple reported weaker-than-expected earnings for its fiscal third quarter that ended June, while its iPhone sales for the quarter also missed analysts' forecasts.
Many consumers around the world are waiting for the Cupertino, Calif., company to release the next iPhone, which some analysts expect will come out in September or October. People familiar with the matter said in May that Apple is preparing a new iPhone that has a larger screen compared with its current iPhone models, while Apple itself hasn't confirmed its launch plans.
The reports from IDC and Strategy Analytics also highlighted Nokia Corp.'s struggle to establish its position in the smartphone market. The Finnish mobile giant, which dominated the world's handset market in the pre-smartphone era, saw its share of the global smartphone market drop to 6.6% in the second quarter from 8.2% in the first quarter, according to the IDC report. In the second quarter of 2011, Nokia held a 15.4% share, IDC said.
In the overall mobile handset market including conventional cellphones as well as smartphones, Samsung, which overtook Nokia as the world's biggest handset vendor in the first quarter, maintained that position in the second quarter. Samsung held a 24.1% share, while Nokia had 20.6%, according to IDC.

Edited By Cen Fox Post Team

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