Samsung breaks smartphone unit sales record in China for Q1, doubles Apple’s iPhone

“After becoming the smartphone market leader in China last year, Samsung has reportedly broken records by shipping 12.5 million handsets in the first quarter of 2013, more than doubling sales of Apple’s iPhone,” reports AppleInsider.

“According to market research firm Strategy Analytics, as reported by The Korean Herald (via The Next Web), Samsung broke a smartphone sales record in the booming Chinese smartphone market during the first quarter, selling some 12.5 million handsets, while Apple’s iPhone saw sales of 6.1 million units,” AppleInsider reports. “Quarter-on-quarter, Samsung boosted its share of the Chinese smartphone market by 2.2 percent, leaving the Korean company with 18.5 percent of all sales for the three month period ending in March. This is the first quarter Samsung sold over 10 million smartphones in the country. ”

AppleInsider reports, “Second through fifth place went to Chinese companies, including second-place Huawei and third-place Lenovo, which sold 8.1 million and 7.9 million smartphones, respectively. Fourth and fifth place went to Coolpad and ZTE, which managed to move a respective 7 million and 6.4 million units. Apple landed in sixth place with 6.1 million iPhones sold during the first quarter.”

Read more in the full article here.

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        1. the S4 BoM is in the $200 range. S3 is a lot less now. the S4 sells for the same price as the iphone 5. but a lot of the cost of samsung phones go back to samsung since they make most of the components. the screen, CPU, flash and i forgot what else. The US LTE versions use Qualcomm so the profit on those is less.

          same thing with the Galaxy Note. those cost $299 here in the US and the BoM isn’t that much higher than the regular Galaxy

      1. You have to be joking, figures released recently showed that even with their greater market share they were considerably below Apple’s overall earnings in smartphones making the earnings per phone much, much lower.

  1. Samsung shipped twice as much as Apple sold. Samsung sold a lot of cheap smartphones at 3% to 5% markup.

    Apple still had a higher profit in China than Samsung did, when it comes to smartphones.

        1. Don’t look now, but in the world market, Apple is quickly being passed.

          Canaccord Genuity’s report that 1st quarter 2013 handset profits went 57% to Apple and 43% to Samsung [a severe drop from the iPhone’s heyday when value share was over 70% in favor of Apple]. This report was accompanied by a statement by Canaccord’s Michael Walkley: “During the June quarter, we believe softer iPhone sales combined with strong Samsung Galaxy S4 sales could result in Samsung surpassing Apple for the top share of handset industry profits.” Let me restate that for you: the trend is clear and Apple isn’t doing enough to change it.

          The trend that has been happening for two years now: steady erosion of handset profit (AND market) share as Apple does nothing to create a diverse iPhone family.

          Let’s consider another aspect of the market: late-changers like MS and RIM/BB spent billions in the last few years to attempt to catch up. Whether they do achieve the usefulness and value that an iPhone offers can be debated, but the point is now those investments may pull into the black. Even if they don’t gain a profitable toe hold on the market, Blackberry and MS/Nokia would still give more of their customers to Samsung/Google than Apple. Think about it: it is highly unlikely that people who went out of their way to avoid the iPhone this long are suddenly going to switch to the iPhone. Yes, Kin fanboys really can be that shallow. Samsung is more than able to fill in the void with many models of phone, each with a 20% profit margin average compared to Apple’s 35% or so [which is why Apple is losing its stream in the the developing world].

          Speaking of developing markets, Apple might as well be attempting to sell BMWs to the Chinese. Without basic/inexpensive models of iPhone to offer, Apple’s App store will inevitably also lose share. Everyone here seems to think that makes no difference, but the reality is that this isn’t the car business. Apple needs to keep its App Store #1. That’s why market share matters: to keep the best & newest apps on Apple’s store. If more people get hooked on a different platform, then no matter what superior quality you offer, the Windows vs Mac OS story will play out the same way: with 3rd party developers jumping over to the technically inferior, but bigger and more profitable, marketplace.

          1. Sure, not all that writing does not address how many new models has Apple released this year? Your Windows vs Mac OS story is a great example, because everyone, at least in the developing world is switching. Windows 8 is just the catalyst since in six horribly.

            1. Yes, I agree that the time is now for Apple to really woo disgruntled Windows users into the Mac fold. You’d think Cook would be quicker to capitalize on the latest MS flop.

              Instead Cook thinks he’s going to replace the world’s desktop & workstation infrastructure with tablets. Not gonna happen in this lifetime — the power needs of creative & scientific industries trump form factors every time.

  2. Hey, MDN, are you guys comatose or what. For years, in my opinion, Strategy Analytics has been operating practically as a division of Samsung public relations. Why do you bother to repeat their probably made up numbers as if they had the slightest credibility?! The reason that Samsung refuses to provide on-record sales figures is that they can get by using captive analysts to spread dodgy and likely highly inflated numbers and then rely on the tame press to treat these disingenuous estimates as fact.

  3. Apple’s missing link is a cheaper iPhone to appeal to third world and developing countries and a larger 4.8″ phone to appeal to an all-in-one market which may not necessarily have the funds or desire to buy an iPad mini to supplement a tiny screened iPhone.

    Unless Apple fills these holes, it will always be running behind Samsung who are more than prepared to fill niches with a multiplicity of phone sizes and prices.

    1. Literally just got back from China. I understand their strategy so much better. It’s more important to be the aspirational brand in a developing market.

      I didn’t see a single phablet. Not one.

      Saw lots of Samsungs, but anyone who could justify it was holding an iPhone. It was no question Apple was the preferred brand. And there were thousands of iPhones wherever I looked. Even off the beaten path.

    2. Yes a big error by Apple in that regard, there is no point in trying a multiplicity of devices but to think 1 could possible cover the market smacks of arrogance and complacency. With 2 or 3 new generation phones they could have made Samsung’s ability to make profits much more difficult and certainly stunted their growth. The same thing was happening to tablets but at least they rushed out the mini if belatedly to stem the threat.

  4. As we all know when a company chases market share they do very well initially. Both profits and revenue rise at the start because the margins are good enough. However after a while everyone else starts going after your marketshare and you are forced to keep lowering margins to maintain it. In no time at all you are barely making any money.

    Classic examples are Compaq and Dell. HP almost went that way but at least they have the printer market. Samsung will fall into the same trap. Luckily for them they sell more than just phones but it could become a loss leader.

    Apple’s approach has been to take share from the top down. They slowly choke the profit out of the market. Samsung is making money at the moment but soon enough it will become Apple’s.

    1. I don’t think it’s that. Samsung is moving all of these phones.

      The thing is that Apple could steal back every one of these sales if it wanted to. If Apple was willing to chase market share by dramatically reducing margins (and if they had the increased manufacturing capacity to match) Apple could have every sale in China. It’s the prefered brand by a wide margin.

      But that’s not how Apple works.

  5. I just got back from there (literally).

    It’s true.

    I saw a ton of iPhones. An absolutely staggering number. But for every iPhone I probably saw four Samsumgs.

    Having said that, I can guarantee you they all would have preferred to be holding iPhones. The people with money had iPhones.

    Every – single – one.

  6. I see Samsung GS3 or GS4 phones everywhere, sometimes while in metro train everybody seems to hold one, I have counted 8 in one glance. But there is a catch, they are so big “phones” they need to be held in hand while the iPhones are hidden in pockets. Anyway, the screen size seems to be a very good compromise for university students who read a lot, everywhere, and often have QQ chat and book or study page open at the same time on split screen.

  7. I’m confused… how can Samesung sell that many smartphones when the company doesn’t sell anything but Android phones?

    iPhone is the only real smartphone. All the other phones are idiots!

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