Samsung vs. Apple: battle of the billions


Samsung says first quarter profit surged 42% to a record $6.4 billion, as the company’s smartphones, tablets, and telecom equipment continued to win market share from rivals. Mobile devices and telecom equipment contributed three quarters of Samsung’s profit during the first quarter. The Korean conglomerate says its TV business is slowing down in developed markets.

Revenue for the quarter was $47.6 billion. In comparison, Apple’s calendar first quarter revenue was $43.6 billion and net profit was $9.5 billion, more than $3 billion higher than Samsung’s profit for the same period.

Unlike Apple, Samsung does not disclose the number of devices shipped each quarter, but analysts estimate that the company shipped just under 70 million smartphones last quarter. That compares to 37 million iPhones shipped by Apple during the same period. Samsung, of course, sells many different smartphone models. Its current flagship is the Galaxy S4, which is slowly making its way to U.S. customers this month.

Samsung is not only the world’s leading vendor of smartphones now, but it also leads in shipments of all handsets. Last year it supplanted Nokia as the world’s top seller of feature phones.

In the context of Samsung’s quarterly sales of $47.6 billion, the money the firm has been ordered to pay Apple as a penalty for patent infringement seems like a small cost of doing business. Last summer a California judge ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1 billion, but that amount has since been reduced to $600 million.

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Martha DeGrasse

Wireless Martha DeGrasse has been creating content for RCR Wireless News since 2011. Recent feature reports include Building Tomorrow's Neworks, Outdoor DAS and Small Cell Case Studies, Wireless Infrastructure Service Company Review, and Investing in HetNets. (All of these can be found by clicking on Reports at the top of this page.) At RCR, Martha also developed the 5 Things to Know Today series and the Mobile Minute. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York. Martha left Dow Jones to move to Austin, Texas, where she managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Follow her on Twitter @mdegrasseRCR