Samsung Shipped Six Times More Phones Than Apple, But What About Profits?

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Photo by the justified sinner - http://flic.kr/p/95ZbjT
Photo by the justified sinner - http://flic.kr/p/95ZbjT

Here’s a great sleight-of-hand trick from Samsung: trumpet that you’ve sold 300 million phones through November. While everyone is amazed that the South Korean company pumped out nearly six times as many mobile phones than Apple, people will forget the iPhone maker rules smartphone profits. Nice try, but it won’t work.


Apparently, despite all the court actions around the globe, some Galaxy S smartphones are getting into consumers’ hands. Samsung credits the Galaxy S series as the engine for increased sales. Indeed, the S series sold more than 10 million units in just five months — or 500,000 handsets per week. By comparison, Apple sold 4 million iPhone 4S handsets in just the first two days of availability. If the Galaxy S series is the fastest-selling handset for Samsung, we can only wonder how many mobile phones the company usually sells.

Despite the numbers, a Samsung executive told The Dong-a libo that the record shipment was due to “upscale designs and cutting-edge technology.” The comment is ironic, given the flurry of court cases where Apple contends Samsung devices rip-off the iPhone design and infringe upon the smartphone’s patents.

But back to profits – where Samsung would rather you not pay attention. Repeatedly, we’ve seen Apple squeeze more profits from its iPhones. At the start of 2011, we reported how Apple had 51 percent of smartphone profits, leaving everyone else to fight over the scraps. By the end of July, that percentage climbed to 66.3 percent. Where was Samsung? Down to 15 percent of the market profit, according to Asymco analyst Horace Dediu.

All of which makes us wonder about Samsung’s latest boast that its sales figures “demonstrates that Korea is taking the center stage in the global mobile handset market.” News which will likely make Apple cry — all the way to the bank.