Things are looking a little different at the beginning of 2013 in the world of smartphones with Nokia making a return to profit, Samsung enjoying a dramatic profit surge and Apple revenue struggling to meet expectations. Who’d have thought it, eh!?
In the last 24 hours, three of the industry's biggest players have released their last quarter figures. Nokia has notoriously fallen behind in the smartphone race against major rivals Samsung and Apple in the past few years; but since teaming up with Microsoft and the launch of their Lumia things are starting to look up for the long established brand, which finally made a profit in the last quarter of 2012. Pre-tax profit for the quarter was 375m-euros, compared to a 974m-euro loss last year. Sales of the Lumia have also contributed to a 70% rise in Nokia’s share price in the last few months. Good news for all you old-school, die-hard Nokia lovers – we know you’re out there!
But despite this the Finnish company revealed that things weren’t totally peachy just yet; they have had to cut 20,000 jobs and they recently disclosed that no dividend would be paid – for the first time in 20 years. Nokia’s CEO, Stephen Elop was also keen to keep his feet on the ground by putting into context Nokia’s rekindled success: 4.4m Lumia were sold compared to 48m handsets by Apple. Sales of the new iPhone are not only up from 37m a year earlier but they are also out-pacing the sales of Samsung's Galaxy S3.
Despite trumping Nokia and Samsung in the sales department, Apple is undoubtedly having its problems (however small they look in comparison). Shares in the company hit an 11-month low earlier this month, having fallen 30% since September, as sales of the new iPhone 5 disappoint amongst a niggling fear that the brand might be losing its edge over major competitors.
Apple’s suppliers; which include Samsung, LG and Sharp have reported fallen shares after an apparent cut in orders for the iPhone 5; Samsung’s have gone down 1.7% while LG - which provides displays for Apple products - fell 3.1%, and Hon Hai, which assembles iPhones and iPads, dropped 3.2%.
Unlike Apple and their little trip, the last quarter has been totally positive for Samsung. The brand’s line of Galaxy smartphones and the launch of their new 'phablet', the Galaxy Note, has been driving the company’s profits which surged 76% in the last quarter.
Samsung’s success is also clearly visible in their contribution to smartphone shipments, which reached a record 700m units in 2012. New research released on Thursday shows that Samsung and Apple drove global smartphone shipment growth to a whopping 43% in 2012. Samsung took the record for the most units ever shipped by a smartphone trader in a single year (213m compared to Apple's 135.8m), trumping Nokia's 2010 record of 100.1 million units shipped.
The world is now waiting for the launch of the much anticipated Galaxy S4 in April or May. The S3 has sold more than 40 million units worldwide and we’re all waiting with baited breath, expecting Samsung to have the same success with the new model. But next week could see yet another shift in the market place with the launch of Blackberry 10.
Have you got your eye on either of these? We’re champing at the bit, here. But remember; to help fund your new Galaxy S4 or Blackberry 10 trade in your old handset with us here at OnRecycle for the best price guaranteed!