Even though Apple and Samsung continue to duke it out in international courts, it looks like Samsung’s handset shipments haven’t been affected in the slightest.
Samsung is having a banner year for handset sales, passing the 300 million mark for the first time in company history. Samsung attributes the far-reaching success of the Galaxy S II smartphone as a major reason for the record-high sales numbers.
“Samsung has a real advantage versus other handset brands due to its very strong tries with the component supply chain,” NPD’s Ross Rubin told Wired.com. Samsung phones typically feature large, bright, high-contrast displays, a very thin form factor and Flash memory. All of these handset attributes are very popular with consumers, Rubin says, and are areas that Samsung has a production advantage with.
The fact that Samsung’s handsets (in the United States) are available on all of the major wireless carriers is another factor that’s contributed to the company’s stellar sales this year. Apple, by contrast, is on three of the four major U.S. wireless carriers (AT&T, Verizon and Sprint), with only T-Mobile’s nationwide network being left out of the loop.
Among Android handset makers, this year Samsung has taken the lead. In late October, Samsung overtook Apple and Nokia in the numbers, having shipped 27.8 million smartphones compared to Apple’s 17.1 million and Nokia’s 16.8 million in the third quarter of 2011. Of that number, over 10 million were Galaxy S IIs. Apple’s sales were somewhat slower around that period, as many people waited for the launch of the company’s handset (which ended up selling 4 million units in its first three days after launch).
Despite Samsung’s success with shipment numbers, Apple is still the one reaping the lion’s share of profits in the mobile phone market. As of Q2 of this year, Apple saw over 66 percent of handset profits, while Samsung only managed 15 percent.
As far as Apple and Samsung’s legal battles go, Samsung’s had a bit of luck lately. An Australian court overturned a ban on Galaxy Tab sales down under, allowing Samsung to sell its Android tablet to customers without fear of copyright infringement reprisal. Although the troubled tablet is still banned in Germany, Samsung is appealing the decision.