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Samsung Passes Nokia As Biggest Handset Manufacturer 133

Posted by Soulskill
from the changing-of-the-guard dept.
rtfa-troll writes "Tomi Ahonen reports that Samsung has become the largest manufacturer of smartphones (overtaking Apple) and of mobile phones (overtaking Nokia). During the first quarter of 2012 Samsung sold 93.5 million phones, with 44.5 million (48%) of those being smartphones. Apple would still lead on 'smart mobile devices' with 52 million sales including iPads, but not iPods. The last time the lead in mobile phone sales changed was in 14 years ago, in 1998, when Nokia overtook Ericsson. Ericsson never recovered and began leaving the mobile phone market three years later, creating Sony Ericsson, later Sony Mobile. It looks like the mobile phone market is going to be brutal, with Apple and Samsung crushing everybody else except possibly HTC, which is still rising, and Motorola (which has Google to look after it)."
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Samsung Passes Nokia As Biggest Handset Manufacturer

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27, 2012 @02:59PM (#39825507)

    thanks to the microshit idiot in charge, nokia will fail and microshit will pick up the remains for pennies on the dollar.

    • by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Friday April 27, 2012 @03:09PM (#39825673)

      thanks to the microshit idiot in charge, nokia will fail and microshit will pick up the remains for pennies on the dollar.

      That would be a repeat of Microsoft's Sendo strategy [theregister.co.uk] and would make sense. Sendo seems to have ended in court with a loss / really expensive settlement though; I'm just wondering how Eliop got a worse deal than that past the Nokia board and lawyers though?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27, 2012 @03:06PM (#39825639)

    Just the beginning of the end. Nokia was doomed the moment Microsoft was whispered in the head office. Any company to work that closely with MS always gets burned.

    Right now the mole is just tanking the company, making it cheaper for the inevitable buy out.

    I'm dead serious about all of this. You'll mod me down now, but I'll be laughing when it happens 8-18 months from now.

    • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Friday April 27, 2012 @03:24PM (#39825869)

      > Any company to work that closely with MS always gets burned.

      Lets see, Intel,AMD, Nvidia, HTC(who started out as a only-Windows Mobile OEM), Dell, HP, Sony, ASUS, Acer, Samsung, Lenovo... all of these got burnt and didn't make lots of profits because of their partnership with MS right?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:20PM (#39826633)
        Microsoft's new "strategic partnership" with Nokia is not its first. For a decade the software company has courted and consummated relationships with a variety of companies in mobile and telecom. Here are the ones I can remember:

        LG. In February 2009 Microsoft Corp. signed a multiyear agreement for Windows Mobile to be included on devices from LG Electronics Inc. LG would use Windows Mobile as its "primary platform"for smartphones and produce about 50 models running the software.

        What happened? LG made a few Windows Mobile devices but with WinMo uncompetitive, they abandoned the platform and moved to Android losing years of market presence and all their profits.

        Motorola. In September 2003, Motorola and Microsoft announced an alliance. "Starting with the introduction of the new Motorola MPx200 mobile phone with Microsoft Windows Mobile software, the companies will collaborate on a series of Smartphone and Pocket PC wireless devices designed to create a virtual "remote control" for the Web-centric, work-centric, always-on-the-go mobile professional." In addition, the alliance includes cooperation on joint marketing and wireless developer programs.

        What happened? Motorola launched a series of Windows Mobile phones culminating in the Motorola Q "Blackberry killer". As Motorola hit the rocks in profitability new management reached for the Android liferaft. The company now relies exclusively on the Droid franchise.

        Palm. In September 2005 Palm and Microsoft announced a strategic alliance to "accelerate the Smartphone market segment with a new device for mobile professionals and businesses. Palm has licensed the Microsoft Windows Mobile operating system for an expanded line of Treo Smartphones, the first of which will be available on Verizon Wirelessâ(TM) national wireless broadband network."

        What happened? Palm shipped a few Windows Mobile, famously dismissing Appleâ(TM)s potential entry as something "PC guys" could never achieve. A new CEO, a private placement and an acquisition later the company is a division of HP making its own operating system.

        Nortel. When Steve Ballmer was famously laughing at the iPhone and saying that he likes the Windows Mobile strategy "a lot" he was sitting next to the then-CEO of Nortel (Mike Zafirovski formerly of Motorola) with whom the company had just closed a strategic deal. "an alliance between Microsoft and Nortel announced in July 2006 ⦠includes three new joint solutions to dramatically improve business communications by breaking down the barriers between voice, e-mail, instant messaging, multimedia conferencing and other forms of communication".

        What happened? Nortel declared bankruptcy two years later.

        Verizon. In January 2009 "Verizon Wireless has selected Microsoft Corp. to provide portal, local and Internet search as well as mobile advertising services to customers on its devices. The five-year agreement will go into effect in the first half of 2009 when Microsoft Live Search is targeted to be available on new Verizon Wireless feature phones and smartphones." The deal would ensure Bing distribution to all of Verizonâ(TM)s smartphone customers.

        What happened? Bing did ship on some devices but in October 2009 Droid came to Verizon.

        Ericsson. In September 2000, "Ericsson and Microsoft Corp. today launched Ericsson Microsoft Mobile Venture AB. This previously announced joint company will drive the mobile Internet by developing and marketing mobile e-mail solutions for operators. The first solutions are expected to be on the market by the end of the year. The company is part of a broader strategic alliance between Ericsson and Microsoft"

        What happened? Ericsson divested itself of the mobile division forming a joint venture which would go on and make more strategic alliances with Microsoft over Windows Mobile culminating in a loss of profits and eventual flight to Android. Sendo. In February 2001, Microsoft announced a partnership, in which Microsoft bought $12m of Sendo shares an

    • by 1s44c (552956) on Friday April 27, 2012 @03:24PM (#39825875)

      I 100% agree right up to the bit where you mention laughing. This isn't a laughing matter, it's a tragic commercial suicide. They could have been winning, instead they stabbed themselves in the gut with the Microsoft deal and limped around the marketplace dripping their lifeblood on the floor.

      An iphone like Nokia Linux phone would have been 100% win!

      • An iphone like Nokia Linux phone would have been 100% win!

        You mean the N9?

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          Yeah, but it would have had to been out 2-4 years ago. While nokia was still dicking around with symbian. They fiddled while their Rome burned and now they hope that this sale of the company to MS marketing will pay off better than just closing up shop. They have chosen a slow death over a quick one.

        • by 1s44c (552956)

          An iphone like Nokia Linux phone would have been 100% win!

          You mean the N9?

          I don't know. They don't market that thing and it's not in any of the shops near where I live.

    • by Jeppe Salvesen (101622) on Friday April 27, 2012 @03:27PM (#39825905)

      Nokia was doomed several years ago. They ridiculed Apple while they failed to streamline Symbian app development, while they failed to research and develop touch-screen mobiles, while they failed to build a proper app store that was easy to use, while they failed to build.

      Making a deal with Microsoft was just an act of desperation. They were already bleeding profusely from the consequences of all their dumb-ass decisions made around 2005-2007 when mobile internet was beginning to take off. The Ovi store could have been launched in 2005-2006 with over-the-air app downloads. Had Nokia remained on the leading edge and focused on making their products better from a consumer-point-of-view, then Apple would have had a much harder job in invading the mobile phone market.

      But Nokia was not focused. Apple and Google had them for lunch.

  • by RocketRabbit (830691) on Friday April 27, 2012 @03:10PM (#39825677)

    Copying Apple was the best plan Samsung even devised. Not only is it a really cute move, but it has paid off in the market. The only problem is that Samsung makes about a nickel on each phone it sells.

    • To quote the actual article; which even the Microsoft trolls should have had a chance to study in advance

      And we hear the profits are very strong in the Samsung handsets unit, so this is done with a healthy business, won fair and square, not in slashing prices and buying market share. Excellent job Samsung, excellent

      I think you will find plenty more evidence that Samsung's profit isn't too bad [google.com]. Having the dominant position in Mobile phones in terms of numbers also tended to lead to very high long term

    • by Hope Thelps (322083) on Friday April 27, 2012 @03:24PM (#39825871)

      The only problem is that Samsung makes about a nickel on each phone it sells.

      Okay, doing a quick search on "samsung ,mobile phone profits". I see things like:

      "reported its highest quarterly profits since 2008, with net profit almost doubling to 5.05 trillion won ($4.5 billion) for the three months to March 31." (http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/120427/samsung-profits-jump-mobile-phone-sales-outstrip-apple-and-nokia)

      and

      "Samsung’s quarterly handset division profits nearly tripled to 4.27 trillion won ($3.8 billion U.S.), accounting for 73 per cent of total profit" (http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1169494--galaxy-phone-powers-samsung-to-record-profit)

      Now, maybe those reports are wrong. And very possibly Apple makes much much more on their phones (I haven't checke but I believe it) BUT I really doubt Samsung are crying over results like that. This looks like a very very succesful business for them.

      • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:36PM (#39826821)
        At 44.5 million phones and $3.8B, Samsung is making $85 profit per smartphone. Apple sold 35.1M iPhones with revenue of $22.7B. At a modest 30% margin, that is $6.81B or $194 per smartphone. The margin might be higher on the iPhone though so Apple is killing on profit.
        • by horza (87255)

          You are mixing revenue and profits. Samsung sold 44.5 million phones generating $37.3bn in revenue, $16.7bn from the mobile division, and $5.1bn profit of which $3.8bn is from the mobile division.

          Apple sold 35.1 million phones and made $11.6bn profit in total, but this includes 11.8M iPads as well as its iPods, PCs, OSX, and iTunes. If the iPhone made up 50% of Apple's profits (a guess as random as your 30% margin) this would make Apple around 25% more profitable than Samsung with the same profits for 3/4 o

          • You are mixing revenue and profits.

            Read my post again. Samsung reported $3.8B in profit on 44.5M phones. Apple reported $22.7 in revenue on 35.1M phones. Apple does not report margin or profit on individual product lines. For a decent product, 30% margin is a reasonable number. If we assume 30% then Apple made $6.7B profit for an average of $194 per phone. I suspect Apple make more because Apple does report overall gross margin which as 47.4%

            Apple sold 35.1 million phones and made $11.6bn profit in total, but this includes 11.8M iPads as well as its iPods, PCs, OSX, and iTunes. If the iPhone made up 50% of Apple's profits (a guess as random as your 30% margin) this would make Apple around 25% more profitable than Samsung with the same profits for 3/4 of the handsets.

            No. Read Apple's Q2 results [apple.com]. iPhone does not include anything other than iPhone related finance

      • by ArsonSmith (13997)

        At about a nickle profit they must have sold 76 billion phones. That means everyone on earth bought 10 phones each.

    • You're absolutely right. Who could get behind a company that sells devices without obscenely high markups on their prices?
    • by Asic Eng (193332)

      Samsung copied the device shape of the iPhone (which wasn't terribly original to start with) - but the real technology, like the breakthrough touchscreen displays is developed by them. Which is the reason why Apple buys those from them - they'd go elsewhere if another manufacturer could make that.

    • by MrHanky (141717)

      Wow, you fanbois are really great at supporting each other. A positive mod for this?

    • by hkmwbz (531650)
      How did Samsung copy Apple?
  • Motorola, Nokia (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dynamoo (527749) on Friday April 27, 2012 @03:10PM (#39825679) Homepage
    Two things.. one, don't assume that Google gives a shit about Motorola, except for the patents. Once the patents have been stripped away, I would expect it to be sold on again.

    Secondly.. Nokia is in a mess, but it isn't Stephen Elop (the CEO) who created it. He inherited the mess from the previous CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, who basically doomed the company after borking the launch of the N900 and the Maemo platform. Elop sent out his now famous "burning platform" memo and chose to leap off the platform into Microsoft's lifeboat rather than the Android one. Why? Well, Nokia has much more influence over Windows than it would do with Android and has a chance of building a decent ecosystem.

    Honestly though.. if Nokia made a decent Android handset, then I would probably go and buy it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by binarylarry (1338699)

      With Windows Phone Nokia has to do whatever Microsoft wants. They have very little wiggle room.

      With Android they can go to any extreme, from working directly with Google to forking the whole thing like Amazon.

      Using a poor platform like Windows Phone was a huge mistake for Nokia and it's probably going to be a fatal one.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by mystikkman (1487801)

        >With Windows Phone Nokia has to do whatever Microsoft wants. They have very little wiggle room.

        Nokia negotiated the right to change any part of the WP OS.

        >With Android they can go to any extreme, from working directly with Google to forking the whole thing like Amazon.

        You mean the same Google that also owns Motorola? Or the same Google that gave preferential access of new releases to Samsung first for the latest two major revisions?

        http://androidandme.com/2012/04/smartphones-2/google-picks-samsung-fo [androidandme.com]

        • Say what you will about MS, but they never played favorites with or bought OEMs.

          Nokia certainly like to claim that they got a favoured position due to their (at the time) market strength. Are you saying they didn't?

        • Nokia negotiated the right to change any part of the WP OS.

          This is untrue.

    • by wiedzmin (1269816)

      Two things.. one, don't assume that Google gives a shit about Motorola, except for the patents. Once the patents have been stripped away, I would expect it to be sold on again.

      And rightfully so. I will never buy a Motorola product ever again.

    • by Asic Eng (193332)

      Nokia is in a mess, but it isn't Stephen Elop (the CEO) who created it.

      No, but he made it worse. Nokia had a decent strategy, but failed to deliver in time. That cost them dearly, but they still had a chance to recover. Now they swiched to another strategy putting all their eggs in one basket.

      It sounded crazy to me from the start, but fair enough: you don't really know before you tried. They did try though, and they do know now. The only reason they are hanging on to the Windows-only strategy is becaus

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I find the current state of the smarphone market less than appealing. I'm not interested in iPhone (too restrictive, dumbed down, etc), and not so much Android (you basically have marry Google to make good use of it). Symbian was great for its time, but with Nokia as the sole user and distributor, have been too slow with updates and appealing user interfaces. Even Belle (which I find more appealing overall than either iOS or Android) suffers from slow update cycles and bug fixes.

    So I had great hopes

    • by Dishevel (1105119)

      Why do you need to marry Google to get good use out of an Android phone?
      It quickly sets up not only Gmail but Corporate Emails, Yahoo, Hotmail and pretty much just about anything.
      You can make one account to use the Google marketplace (Play) or you can forgo that and use Amazons market.
      If you choose you can have it linked to a Hotmail account and get apps from Amazon. No Google needed.
      How exactly is that any worse than any other smartphone platform? Better than some.

      • Google Calendar.
        Contacts.
        Not everybody has a corporate Active Directory server to hook into.

        When I was looking to get out of upgrading to Lion, I looked at the Android system (I have an iPhone currently) - the only way to get a contacts / calendar / email system that you could sync with other devices was to fall into the Google machine.

        I upgraded to Lion.....

        • by Dishevel (1105119)

          Umm.
          First you can get separate calendaring apps.
          Second you can put contacts directly into your phone.
          Thrd with iPhone you are locked in.

  • Lessee.... Nokia bets heavily on Windows 7, a few months later Samsung overtakes Nokia. Coincidence?

  • by Emetophobe (878584) on Friday April 27, 2012 @03:31PM (#39825965)

    There are better sources at BBC News [bbc.co.uk] or Bloomberg [bloomberg.com].

  • That 's it.

    Every time I read something about Nokia I miss my beloved n900.

    And I miss the GREAT Nokia6120 too.

  • Huawei should not be ignored. They're going to come onto the world market in a big way this year. For instance, I am truly looking forward to their new flagship [gsmarena.com] coming later this year -- 1.5GHz, 1280x720 and 2500mAH without crazy Android customization that every big manufacturer seems to be in love with. Samsung may make nice displays but they focus more on a diaspora of handsets rather than making exceptional ones.

    • I'd prefer that only a relatively small part of my phone's price were used to finance the people's republic of china. Better yet, not at all (too bad that's no longer possible).

      Call me paranoid, xenophobic, fascist or whatever, but I do not trust them.

      Also, past experience with carrier-branded phones made by them has been pretty bad, so it's not just paranoia.

      • China would have to work VERY hard to make me trust them less than I trust the USA, my friend.

        • At least we all know more or less what the US wants. China? They could be after cash (no big deal), world domination (big deal) or just have no plan at all (depends on what happens).

          • by Compaqt (1758360)

            If world domination means economic power commensurate with their population (1 billion +) I fail to understand how you can deny the Chinese people their due.

            If, on the other hand, you have nightmares of the Han people imposing race-based slavery on the rest of the peoples of the world, with non-Han toiling in factories and mines while the Chinese "design" stuff in offices, that's quite paranoid and ridiculous. Not to mention the irony in who actually toils in mines and factories today vs. "designing" stuff.

    • by RodBee (2607323)

      Samsung may make nice displays but they focus more on a diaspora of handsets rather than making exceptional ones.

      I believe you meant "plethora", but I'm not really sure.

  • by Iamthecheese (1264298) on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:58PM (#39827095)
    Walmart StraightTalk uses Samsung phones. Walmart was one of the the first to offer unlimited talk and text without a contract for a decent price. A direct result was the sale of a huge number of Samsung phones.
  • Puh-leez. Why should we care about who manufactures the biggest handsets?

  • Apple just needs to make the iPad into a phone and they will easily be the biggest handset manufacturer.

  • I won't be buying a Nokia product again.
    Piss the wrong customer off and they'll rail on you for life, I will not only never buy your products, I will tell people never to buy your products. Nokia and Gigabyte will never, ever see a dollar from me again. Ever. Remember this companies, remember it.

  • The Galaxy II S is retarded large. Man purse large.

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