During the end of last year, we saw Apple draw in close to Samsung as the world’s largest smartphone maker, where both rivals managed to ship around 74 million devices in the fourth quarter of 2014, with Apple just edging out Samsung. Much to Samsung’s relief, the company has managed to regain its leading position in the first 3 months of 2015, with a catch.
In the first 3 months starting 2015, Samsung managed to boost up its sales to beyond the 80 million mark, while Apple’s total shipments dropped down to 61 million within the same period. However, this alone does not translate into the good news that it sounds like, with the Korean company having lost out in profits when compared to its rival based in Cupertino. Apple may have sold a lower volume, but that volume is matched by a high average selling price, but for Samsung, this increase in sales stems from the sale of its less profitable mid and low-end smartphones.
Starting 2014, in the first quarter, Samsung managed to ship around 89 million units, so the company still has a lot of catching up to do despite having beat Apple in terms of volume sold with 83 million Samsung smartphones. There is no doubt that the company is pinning a lot of hopes on its brand new front-runner, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge which offers that touch of premium offering that was lacking in previous generations of its flagship phones. The way the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge have been received, the two phones look well poised to deliver on the promises.
As for profits Samsung seems to have earned around 47 trillion won ($44 billion) in the first quarter ending March 31st, with the operating profit coming down to 6 trillion won ($5.6 billion). The figures are significantly lower than those found in the same period last year with the company reporting earnings of 53 trillion with an operating profit of 8.5 trillion won.
It is important to note that Samsung releases a ton of new smartphone models each year, targeting all low, to mid, to high-end markets compared to Apple’s only two iPhone models released each year, targeting only high-end market.
Following the two giants in the smartphone business is the Lenovo-Motorola group with 18.8 million units sold in Q1 2015, while Huawei follows in at 4th place with 17.3 million units sold in the same period this year.