Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Samsung claims it's more profitable than Apple; it's true for now

It's CES, and thus time for announcements, even if they are slightly early. Samsung announced its estimated earnings for Q4 2012 on Tuesday, and the company can now claim that it is -- at least for now -- making more money than Apple.

That is, of course, assuming these estimates pan out, but there's not much reason to believe they will not. Samsung wouldn't release the estimates if it didn't feel they were solid. Samsung is currently the world's largest manufacturer of both smartphones and cell phones, although the iPhone now sits atop U.S. smartphone sales.

The South Korean electronics manufacturer estimated that it will make $8.3 billion in profits on $52.7 billion in revenue. Notably, that's just a tad bit more than Apple's record high profit of $8.2 billion on just $32 billion for its Q4 fiscal year 2012 results. However, to be clear, those Apple results were for calendar year Q3 2012, which means Apple could top them for last quarter, which is what Samsung was reporting on.

Song Myung-sub, an analyst at HI Investment and Securities, sounds as though he isn't so sure that Apple will top Samsung. He said:
The [Galaxy] Note [II] was selling well, boosting fourth-quarter profit, while iPhone 5 sales were less than expected.
As many others have warned, he said that Samsung's Q1 2013 profit will drop, but he also added that the company will still hold sway over Apple:
Samsung's profit will drop in the current quarter because of decreased phone profits. It will launch the Galaxy S IV only in March or April so, without new models, phone sales prices will fall this quarter. For the whole year, Samsung will launch new models faster than Apple and have the upper hand in the smartphone market.
Samsung, with a much broader electronics footprint than Apple, is showing off a number of new items at CES, which Apple typically eschews, including a new 85-inch UHD TV (with a 110-inch version coming later). It also announced the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet on the Verizon network, on Monday.

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