Korean smartphone manufacturer Samsung has overtaken iPhone maker Apple to become the world’s most profitable handset vendor in the second quarter of 2013, according to a new report by Strategy Analytics.
Samsung’s operating profit for its handset division stood at $5.2 billion in Q2, while Apple recorded an estimated iPhone operating profit of $4.6 billion, said the report.
Strong volumes, high wholesale prices and tight cost controls helped Samsung push Apple into second position, it added.
Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, stated: “Apple’s reign as the world’s most profitable handset vendor lasted almost four years, from Q3 2009 to Q1 2013. Apple’s profit margin for its handset division has been fading recently due to lackluster iPhone 5 volumes and tougher competition from rivals. Samsung is performing well in the US market, while Huawei, ZTE and other local brands are growing vigorously in China.
“Apple is now under intense pressure to launch more iPhone models at cheaper price-points or with larger screens to fend off the surging competition and recapture lost profits in the second half of 2013.”
The US tech giant is expected to launch its much-anticipated new iPhone 5S later this year, with rumours also circulating of a new entry-level phone.
Earlier this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company was “hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software and services that we can’t wait to introduce this fall and throughout 2014 in exciting new product categories.”
Samsung beat Apple last year to become the world’s number one smartphone maker and enjoys a marketshare of 30.4 per cent as of the second quarter of the year, compared to Apple’s 13.1 per cent.