Finnish company Nokia is now no more the largest manufacturer of mobile phones in the world, as that position has been taken by Korean company Samsung. Figures released today show that the Korean firm is now the largest manufacturer of mobile phones, surpassing Nokia by nearly 10 million units.
According to figures released by Strategy Analytics, the first quarter of 2012 saw Samsung reach prime position in cell phone manufacturing and market share, shipping 93.5 million units compared to Nokia’s 82.7 million with Apple in third with only 35.1 million units sold. As to market share, Samsung charged ahead, capturing 25.4 percent of the market with Nokia in close second with 22.5 percent and Apple with 9.5 per cent.
Samsung has posted its highest profits since 2008, with net profits amounting to $4.5 billion, up by nearly 81 percent from the previous year.
BBC reports that commenting upon this, Robert Yi, head of investor relations for Samsung, said, "We cautiously expect our earnings momentum to continue going forward, as competitiveness in our major businesses is enhanced.”
Of course, this upswing for the company stems from its predominance in the smartphone market, effectively being the only player along with rival Apple. Says Lee Sei-Cheol of Meritz Securities, "The smartphone market has almost only two players, Samsung and Apple,” according to the same report of BBC.
Even though it is still leading the market on feature phones, Nokia appears to be unable to compete in the smartphone market, effectively letting Samsung and Apple dominate this market. And the market in itself is quite cutthroat, as it is seen that the two rivals are going at a breakneck pace to try and outdo one another, upping the ante with their respective releases. Samsung will be releasing its new range of best-selling Galaxy smartphones in May - which will certainly boost sales, as Lee Sei-Cheol adds, "Since its Galaxy3 phone is being unveiled in May, Samsung will keep enjoying sales growth in its mobile phone division."
But analysts have cautioned that while the new Galaxy phones will sell, they’ll face stiff competition from Apple, which will be releasing its iPhone 5 soon with Brian Park of Tong Yang Securities saying, "Samsung's handset earnings may weaken in the latter half of this year, with the possible launch of Apple's iPhone 5."
Another possible concern that Samsung may have this year is the weakening demand for its DRAM chips, of which it is the largest manufacturer in the world. As these are largely used in PCs, it is seen that with the shift towards tablet computers, demand for the DRAMs is declining.