Samsung became the world's most profitable mobile phone handset vendor in the second quarter of 2013, a quarter which saw smartphone unit shipments increase 46.7 percent year-over-year, according to market analysis company Strategy Analytics.
Samsung's mobile phone division made operational profits of $5.2 billion in the quarter. Apple dropped to second place, making profits from iPhone sales of about $4.6 billion, according to Strategy Analytics' estimates. Strategy Analytics said that Apple's sales of the iPhone 5 had been "lackluster" and that its margins had been reducing due to tougher competition from rivals, particularly in China.
Apple had been the most profitable handset vendor from the third quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of 2013, according to Strategy Analytics.
Global smartphone vendor shipments and market share in 2Q13.
Source: Strategy Analytics, July 2013.
The smartphone sector grew in the second quarter of 2013 to 229.6 million units, up 47 percent from the same quarter a year before, according to the research firm. Samsung sold 73 million units to capture 33.1 percent of the global smartphone market, while Apple sold 31.2 million units to achieve 13.6 percent market share.
"The current iPhone portfolio is under-performing and Apple is at risk of being trapped in a pincer movement between rival 3-inch Android models at the low-end and 5-inch Android models at the high-end," said Neil Mawston, a director of research at Strategy Analytics, in a blog posting.