Samsung Expected to Widen Smartphone Lead Over Apple in Q2

Samsung is expected to take a big lead over Apple in the smartphone market in terms of units sold in the second quarter, according to Reuters. The news service surveyed 41 analysts, and the consensus is that Samsung is going to report sales of 50 million smartphones for the June quarter, while Apple is expected to report sales of 30.5 million iPhones.

The Smartphone Pie

While both sets of numbers are impressive in their own right, it would represent a widening lead for Samsung, most of whose smartphones are Android devices. According to the analysts, it was the release of the Galaxy S2 and Galaxy S3 that helped set sales of Samsung’s devices on fire.

“We are also expecting to see the biggest smartphone volumes ever shipped from one single vendor in one quarter, driven by strong demand of the Galaxy portfolio, particularly the Galaxy S II and S III,” IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo told Reuters.

Samsung and Apple have dominated smartphone sales for the last several quarters, with the two companies claiming almost all of the industry hardware profits. That said, Apple has claimed the lion’s share of those profits, with recent estimates showing Apple with 80 percent of all cellphone industry hardware profits.

The reason for that is tied to the big increase in Samsung’s unit sales: Apple introduces one major iPhone model per year, and addresses the entry level of the market by selling the previous two model years. Samsung, however, sells many different models in order to tap into as many market segments as it can.

Apple also commands the industry’s largest subsidies, which means that its profits per device are orders of magnitude higher than the rest of the industry can hope to earn.

For the June quarter, however, Samsung could see its share of hardware profits increase. Sales of 50 million smartphones should result in a large uptick in Samsung’s overall smartphone profits, making the company’s investment in Android worthwhile.

That said, 30.5 million iPhones would represent a record June quarter in iPhone sales for Apple. This news doesn’t mean that Apple is somehow losing, but rather that Samsung and Apple are continuing to run away with this industry.

Both Apple and Samsung report numbers for the June quarter in July, Apple on July 24th and Samsung on July 27th.

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