Thursday, December 27, 2012

Samsung expects to sell over half a billion handsets in 2013

Apple sold 26.9 million iPhones in its fiscal Q4 2012 (or calendar year Q3 2012). The street consensus for the current quarter is somewhere between 46 and 48 million iPhones, based on strong demand for the new iPhone 5. What then, can be made of Samsung's predicted sales figures for 2013: 510 million -- over a half billion -- handsets.

Add Apple's last two quarters together and you come to perhaps 75 million iPhones. Add in the prior two quarters (26 million for calendar year Q2 and 35.1 million quarters in calendar year Q1) and you come to a total of around 126 million iPhones. Compare that to Samsung's predicted number for 2013 and the Korean giant's number is startling.

Perhaps it's not so startling if one considers that it is estimated that Samsung will ship 420 million handsets in 2012. To be clear, however, that 510 million handset figure includes some 120 million feature phones, meaning only 390 million will be smartphones such as the (anticipated) Galaxy Note III and Galaxy S IV.

Even the number for 2012 shows that Samsung is in little danger of losing its overall cell phone crown to anyone, much less Apple. It also shows -- perhaps -- why Apple was willing to make a deal with HTC, but seems unwilling to do so with Samsung. Samsung is far more of a threat to Apple than HTC.

Notably, recently released estimates say that more than 50 percent of smartphone sales across a 12-week moving window were iPhones. However, as everyone likes to note, this is a globalized economy, and Samsung's presence in the world is far outstripping Apple.

It seems that nothing can halt the Samsung juggernaut, at least not on a global basis. As we've said before, the multiple form factor approach to Android is working well against the iPhone's mostly identical handsets (no one can deny the iPhone 4, 4S, and 5 are pretty much identical, form factor-wise).

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