Samsung Overtake Nokia in Phone Shipments

Samsung Electronics have overtaken Nokia in becoming the world’s largest mobile phone maker, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.

Nokia overtook Motorola in 1998, however, in the first quarter of 2012, Samsung have shipped 93 million phones, surpassing Nokia’s 83 million. Samsung have also reported its highest quarterly profits since 2008. Their net profit this quarter was £2.8bn ($4.5bn), 81% up from last year’s figures. Samsung is also the biggest TV and flat screen manufacturer in the world.

“We cautiously expect our earnings momentum to continue going forward, as competitiveness in our major businesses is enhanced,” says Robert Yi, head of investor relations at Samsung. The company says that their IT and mobile communications division, which manufacture the smartphones, made a profit of 86% from the previous year.

The latest version of the Samsung Galaxy phone range is due to be unveiled on May 3rd. The Galaxy series has proven to be extremely popular and has helped propel Samsung into taking over Apple as the world’s biggest smartphone seller.

“The smartphone market has almost only two players, Samsung and Apple,” says Lee Sei-Cheol of Meritz Securities. “Since its Galaxy3 phone is being unveiled in May, Samsung will keep enjoying sales growth in its mobile phone division.”

It is expected that global demand for smartphones will increase within the coming years. Research from IDC forecasts global smartphone shipments will rise by a third to 659.8 million unit in 2012.

It is expected that the global demand for smartphones will increase further within the coming years. Research firm IDC has estimated that global shipments for smart phones will increase by one third to 659.8 units in the year 2012.

Given the enormous growth and dominance within the sector, other smartphone manufacturers will be keen to initiate and introduce new lines, according to analysts. Apple, Nokia and HTC, in particular, will be stiff competition in the foreseeable future.

Already selling 35 million of the iPhone in the first quarter, Apple is expected to bring out a newer version of the handset later on this year.
It is thought, by analysts, that as more and more smartphones are launched, manufacturers may need to slash prices on their models in an effort to attract a wider consumer range, which may, in turn, see profits shrink dramatically.

“Samsung’s handset earnings may weaken in the latter half of this year, with the possible launch of Apple’s iPhone 5,” said Brian Park of Tong Yang Securities.

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