By all accounts, Samsung's smartphone business is booming. The company reported record-setting profits on Friday, thanks in large part to strong smartphone sales. And although their exact figures differed, numerous market research firms agreed that the Korean manufacturer continues to dominate the global smartphone market.
InformationWeek's Eric Zeman reported, "Samsung reported its fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 earnings Friday, and the news was good. In the fourth quarter, Samsung's business generated $52.45 billion in revenue and $8.27 billion in profits. Those numbers are up 10% over the third quarter of 2012 and nearly 90% over the year-ago quarter. Samsung ended 2012 with $188.15 billion in total revenue and $27.2 billion in earnings. Samsung's results exceeded expectations. Sales of mobile devices, including cellphones, smartphones and tablets, generated about $25 billion, nearly half of Samsung's revenue for the quarter. By way of comparison, its LCD business generated about $4.58 billion in revenue and its semiconductor business generated about $7.16 billion."
The Wall Street Journal's Min-Jeong Lee observed, "Samsung Electronics Co. on Friday said its fourth-quarter profit rose 76% to a record high on strong smartphone sales and higher margins in its chip business. But while Samsung remained the largest seller of cellphones and smartphones in the quarter, according to analysts' estimates, it showed signs of being affected by the same leveling of growth in the business as seen in the results of Apple Inc. on Thursday."
Computerworld's John Ribeiro noted, "Samsung led both the smartphone and overall handsets market in the fourth quarter, though analysts' estimates of shipments and market share varied. The South Korean company shipped 106 million handsets in the fourth quarter of which 60 million were smartphones, ABI Research said Thursday. Samsung had a 31 percent share of smartphone shipments in comparison to Apple's 24.5 percent share, the research firm said."
ZDNet's Zack Whittaker added, "Latest IDC figures show that the global mobile market grew by nearly 2 percent in the past year, raising the number of available smartphones to nearly the same level as feature phones.... Korean giant Samsung remained in the lead with a new record of smartphones shipped in a single quarter and year, taking 29 percent of the overall mobile market. The company had 76 percent year-over-year growth, compared to Apple, which had only 29 percent growth. Apple took just shy of 22 percent of the market with 47.8 million shipments."