back to article Samsung ships two smartphones for every one Apple sells

We already knew smartphone shipments have never been higher, and now we know that, in Q3 at least, the beneficiary is Samsung. According to ABI Research and Strategy Analytics, market watchers both, the Korean chaebol - a multi-industry colossus - took more than a third of the market. According to SA, Samsung’s share was 35.2 …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Samsung has many models, Apple has one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Same old argument.

      requires the same old answer.

      So for AC7:52 - and indeed anyone else who is equally hard of thinking - here it is again:

      It doesn't matter *how* many models you have, just about everybody only buys one phone.

      1. Toxteth O'Gravy

        Re: Same old argument.

        Indeed. Samsung has more models, so it can appeal to more people. Apple prefers to limit itself, sell fewer, but make more money. Both are valid approaches, but Samsung's is clearly more successful for now.

        Not that I'd have one - Samsung's not a brand I trust.

        Oh, were for art thou, Nokia?

    2. goldcd
      WTF?

      Apple are still selling the 4, the 4S and the 5 (and then 3 different memory sizes for the 5).

      Sure, Samsung have 'more' phones, but the Apple range above covers £319->£699 - so I'd definitely say they have a range of phones and there's a pretty large overlap in prices between Samsung and Apple Smart phones.

      i.e. They're both fighting over the same section of the market (with Samsung also covering the cheaper end, Apple's ignoring for now).

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Hmm

        Samsung have phones like the Galaxy Y and Ace which are still classified as smartphones yet are far cheaper than anything Apple has to offer, you even can pick them up on PAYG if you want.

        So unless Apple have a radical change of strategy they can't do a thing against Samsung. You'd probably ask why Apple would want to change their strategy. They probably wouldn't, but that doesn't matter to people with lots of money who buy their shares.

        1. GregC

          Re: "you even can pick them up on PAYG if you want."

          Um, so? I can pick up any phone, up to and including an iPhone 5 or Galaxy SIII either PAYG or SIM free. What has availability on PAYG got to do with this?

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: "you even can pick them up on PAYG if you want."

            In a pack complete with PAYG SIM and a PAYG data plan suitable for that phone (which perhaps just allows messenger and Facebook use).

            You'd have great difficulty finding an iPhone or an S 3 sold in such a pack (link please?).

            1. GregC

              Re: "you even can pick them up on PAYG if you want."

              Don't know if they come in the exact pack you're talking about, and in fairness a brief scout didn't turn up a currently avaiable iphone 5 deal like that (although O2 appear to have such a thing, if you try and get one it says "All stock of iPhone 5 on Pay & Go has been snapped up" - yeah, right....)

              However, both iPhone 4S and S3 can be had on PAYG deals with various carriers at CPW, they can also be had from the 3 website too. I don't think the Reg would appreciate me putting unpaid ad links up, but they aren't hard to find.

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge
                FAIL

                Re: "you even can pick them up on PAYG if you want."

                Oops, fail, looks like I'm too familiar to the Spanish mobile phone 'market'.

            2. Ian Watkinson
              FAIL

              Re: "you even can pick them up on PAYG if you want."

              Link please?

              You can't work google?

              http://www.carphonewarehouse.com/mobiles/choose-tariff/SAMSUNG_GALAXY_S_3/PPAY/NEW

      2. jai

        i.e. They're both fighting over the same section of the market (with Samsung also covering the cheaper end, Apple's ignoring for now).

        I think this is the critical aspect here.

        I suspect that the sub £300 end of the market is considerably more than just twice the size of the top end of the range.

        This kind of analysis is pointless because the phones being shipped are not equivalent. If you want to claim that one company is beating the other, then you need to compare them on like-for-like range of phones, and further, on phones that are earning the company a like-for-like profit margin. Samsung could sell 100x the number of phones, but if they're not making any money off 99% of them then such a statistic is merely obfuscating the real facts.

        As the article says, the more interesting fact here is the Samsung's success is cannibalising the Android market, not eating into Apple's sales.

        1. sabroni Silver badge
          WTF?

          Samsung's success is cannibalising the Android market

          Eh? They're android phones, they are the Android market, they're not "cannibalising" it. That statement makes no sense.

        2. Mark .

          Sure compare like with like, but price isn't what we should be looking at - that just rewards Apple for being overpriced. Apple's first iphone couldn't even run apps, putting it on the same level as dumb (not even feature) phones - so high price doesn't mean it should only be compared to the same priced phones from Samsung.

          Neither fact is more real. If we want to know who is most popular, then sales are what's important, not profit. The only people who care about profit are shareholders.

          "As the article says, the more interesting fact here is the Samsung's success is cannibalising the Android market, not eating into Apple's sales."

          Or rather, Samsung are more successful, and Apple are completely failing to take any of the growing market. You phrase this as if suggesting that nothing's changed, but the fact is that Android as a whole is still growing, massively more popular over IOS (which is struggling to catch up to the installed userbase of old Symbian, a year after it was ditched for WP by Nokia). (And come on now - if instead Android's share was split evenly among dozens of companies, you'd be here praising Apple for having more sales as an individual company, rather than by platform.)

    3. Stacy
      FAIL

      Or not...

      iPhone 4 Black and White

      iPhone 4S Black and White

      iPhone 5 Black and White, in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB

      It's been a while since I went to school, but I count more than 1 phone there.

    4. 20legend

      And who's fault is that?

    5. Peter 48
      Stop

      no, Apple have 3 models (4 if you include3 the 3GS which would have still been available over that quarter until the release of the iphone 5). Still nowher near the total number of Samsung's smart phones, but certainly more than 1

    6. Robot

      It's the TREND that counts!

      Let's say in the next quarter, RIM leaps from 4 million to 25 million smartphones. That is still lower than Apple's 27 million smartphones. So who is winning? Obviously RIM, because what counts is the trend. RIM is now the guy to watch out for, even if it sold less than Apple in absolute numbers (25 million versus 27 million).

      What about the REAL world? In the past 1.5 years, Apple went from 15 million to 27 million, and Samsung went from 8 million to 57 million. Do you see what is happening? Capiche?

      Of the 57 million Samsung phones, perhaps about one-third are quality smartphones, or about 20 million. So even if that falls short of Apple's 27 million, it's still the trend that counts.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or maybe people are getting fed up with Apple's antics with suing everyone and his dog over patent violations that they are voting with their wallets? Apple would be far better off firing all of their lawyers and hiring more engineers.

  2. Hardcastle the ancient

    For certain values of "1"

  3. Pete 2 Silver badge

    But who has an app store up their sleeve?

    I doubt that Apple is too worried about the number of units it ships. It has a whole different revenue stream that Samsung could only dream about. So for Apple, shifting hardware is merely a means to a (30% royalty/tax) end - whereas Samsung has to make all its profit from flogging kit, where margins aren't that great.

    1. Chet Mannly

      Re: But who has an app store up their sleeve?

      "whereas Samsung has to make all its profit from flogging kit, where margins aren't that great."

      Samsung phones come with a Samsung app store, book buying, magazine buying, music, video etc

      Not the same scale as Apple's obviously, but if they keep selling twice as many phones there's still some money to be made apart from hardware.

      1. Jim Mitchell

        Re: But who has an app store up their sleeve?

        I think most Samsung Android phones come with the Google Play app store. Does Google kick back some of that revenue to the handset maker? I had not heard that.

        1. a_been

          Re: But who has an app store up their sleeve?

          Google used to kick back cash to the handset vendors as well as the carriers, don't know if they still do that. Still the different app stores arn't making anyone much money. Apple has made ~2.5b from it's 30% over 5 years before costs.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ships vs Sells

    Shamsung always shouts about how many it ships to the channel (with lots of subsidies)

    Apple says how may it sells to the consumer.

    Bottom line is revenue and profit

    1. Ancient Oracle funkie
      FAIL

      Re: Ships vs Sells @AC 08:41

      Just a minor corrrection to your post. Had you read the article properly (or were you using the inferior iPad Mini with it's low res screen?) you would have noticed the following.

      It wasn't Samsung shouting it was "ABI Research and Strategy Analytics, market watchers both"

      Furthermore it also stated that "Samsung’s share was 35.2 per cent, achieved by shipping 56.9 million smartphones." And went on to say "the twice the 26.9 million units Apple shipped"

      Note the use of the word shipped.

      Really, you must try harder

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ships vs Sells @AC 08:41

        One is a guess, the other is based on the number of phobes Apple sold (not shipped).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shamsung

      Great, can add that to "Micro$oft" and "Crapple" in my list of things to say when I don't have an actual point...

    3. tomsk
      Headmaster

      "bottom line"

      "Bottom line is revenue and profit"

      Actually only profit is bottom line. Revenue is top line. The metaphor comes from accounting, and has a precise meaning despite people's tendency to use it loosely to mean 'the most important thing' or suchlike - a precise meaning that can't help being highlighted when you use the metaphor to talk about some actual accounts. The idea is that you start off with the sales figures (revenue), which form the top line of the income statement and basically mean bugger all unless you’re in some sort of ‘biggest company by sales’ competition. Then you go down the income statement removing various types of expense, thereby stating various kinds of profit – gross profit, ebit, ebidta etc - until finally you get to net profit, literally the bottom line of the income statement, which hopefully (if there hasn’t been too much accounting jiggery-pokery) is reasonably representative of how much cash is available at the end of the year for the owners to buy more pies.

    4. Mike Judge
      FAIL

      Re: Ships vs Sells

      Dream on... If this is what you really believe to make you sleep easier at night, happy dreams...

  5. Toothpick

    The headline...

    ... is misleading. Samsung SHIPS and Apple SELLS. Two totally different things.

    1. fandom Silver badge

      Re: The headline...

      Yes, they are different, but the are closely related so they are not "totally" different.

      I guess Apple fans who say that like to think that Samsung has warehouses filled with tens of millions of shipped but unsold phones. Let's get real, how likely is that?

      1. Philip Lewis
        Headmaster

        Re: The headline...

        Considerably more likely than you imagine!

        Stuffing the channel to pump up shipped figures is a common short term strategy to pump up figures and feed moron journalists to get print inches, which has a downside when the product does not get sold to a consumer. The products then go somewhere like "crazy joe's bargain basement outlet store" or perhaps they are quietly returned to the supplier and crushed and turn up as a write off of unused parts for phones no longer being manufactured or shhipped (yes, I am looking at you Nokia).

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    3. Ancient Oracle funkie

      Re: The headline...

      > ... is misleading.

      You are correct. Not because they are "Two totally different things." but because the article actually refers to the quantities shipped by both organisations.

      1. sabroni Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: The headline...

        Unfortunately the headline uses "ships" for one and "sells" for the other, despite the article using shipped figures for both.

        (The fails for the headline, not the comments!)

    4. Peter 48

      Re: The headline...

      actually Apple uses both terms,Shipped and Sold., which is rather confusing, but the difference is also pretty minimal. Neither Samsung nor Apple ship more than their supply chain is interested in doe to sales demand. This Shipped vs Sold is a total red herring and rather pointless without independent verification, which you won't be able to get from either party. All we have are the figures that each party supplies without explaining if those include warranty replacements, refurbished items or B-stock, let alone how much is being held by retailers as stock. Regardless, that is a lot of smartphones and both can be proud of their achievement.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Peter 48

        Apple gives the number of sold iPhones, Samsung doesn't even say how many phones they ship.

  6. Toby 10
    Happy

    Ooh, does this mean there's a new tall poppy?

    Damn Samsung owners, let's be different from the herd and buy an iPhone.

  7. Ted Treen
    Facepalm

    And...

    Proving what, exactly?

    Ford sells rather more than twice the number of cars that Jaguar or Aston Martin sells.

    Am I supposed to infer therefore that a Fiesta is a better buy than a V12 Vantage?

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: And...

      Depends on whether you want transport, or a status symbol.

      1. Toby 10
        Megaphone

        Re: And...

        Actually you're both wrong. If we're going to do the male every-analogy-is-a-car thing then Samsung make Fords, Peugeots etc, and Apple make VWs, BMWs etc.

        There is a cross-over in price at the top end of Samsung and bottom end of Apple and they generally serve different purposes. Some people just want to get from A to B and occasionally stick a bean-can exhaust on the back, some people will pay more for a different experience.

        When it comes to cars I buy Fords and Peugeots - driving is a functional thing for me. When it comes to tech I want productivity and Apple kit does that for me. In the same way that some people buy high-end Fords, some people buy high-end Samsungs and pay as much for their phones as people do for Apple phones.

        Is there any chance we can one day draw the line under this pseudo-religious arguing and just move on beyond this playground crap?

        1. fandom Silver badge

          Re: And...

          "Samsung make Fords, Peugeots etc, and Apple make VWs, BMWs etc."

          Is more like Samsung is like Toyota, making both Toyotas and Lexus

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And...

            >>"Samsung make Fords, Peugeots etc, and Apple make VWs, BMWs etc."

            >Is more like Samsung is like Toyota, making both Toyotas and Lexus

            Actually Samsung cars are essentially Nissans - although these days it's Renault which owns the bulk of Samsung's Automotive Division.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: And...

              So where do I go to get one of these new Samsung cars? They sound cool.

            2. Silverburn
              Happy

              Re: And...

              Actually Samsung cars are essentially Nissans - although these days it's Renault which owns the bulk of Samsung's Automotive Division.

              Lets see...Automotive company who's products struggle to last 3 years without catastrophic failure partners with technology company who's products struggle to last 3 years without....

              Woohoo! Synergy! Someone better tell the PHB...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And...

            "Apple make VWs, BMWs etc"

            I didn't realize that Apple made anything !

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Phil O'Sophical

        Since when has a Fiesta been a status symbol? I'm assuming you not trying to say it's a better car than an Aston Martin.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Phil O'Sophical

          For that size of car it absolutely is a status symbol, an example of good lightweight efficient design along with its sister car the Mazda 2. Prior to that most cars were getting fatter with each new generation. And probably cost Ford a great deal to develop, they can''t afford to have low-volume style reliability and quality problems when they are making millions of them.

    2. Wang N Staines

      Re: And...

      @Ted

      That's why Jags & Aston are now in non-British hands!!!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And...

      If you swapped the Fiesta for a 2012 Audi S8, and the Aston for a 2009 Prius that might be slighly more accurate.

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