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Samsung's Q1 smartphone sales estimated to reach new record high, profits to slightly dip
Everybody knows by now that Samsung had a sensational 2012 from a financial standpoint, boosting sales and profits fiscal quarter after quarter. But surely the company’s rise has to lag a little in the first three months of 2013, right?
After all, nobody sells more after the holidays than during the “season to be jolly”. Even the company’s officials predicted smartphone and tablet demand to decrease “due to weak seasonality” back when they posted those stunning Q4 2012 numbers.
And yet, if we are to trust analysts from the Hong Kong-based market research firm Counterpoint Research, Sammy will see quarterly smartphone sales reach an all-time high. Again. Specifically, the Koreans are said to have sold an estimated 25 million smartphones each month this year, bringing the grand total for Q1 to at least 70 mil.
Wait, what? 70 million smartphones in a fiscal quarter that’s notorious for slow sales? And with the Galaxy S3 already around for a good seven months? And with the Galaxy S4 not yet unveiled, let alone launched? That is huge!
For comparison, Sammy is thought to have shipped a little over 200 million smartphones during the whole year of 2012, a number that can be easily topped by the end of Q3 2013 if these projections prove accurate. In Q4 2012, Samsung sold 64.5 million smartphones, and, while that number is only up 8% right now, that’s a big, big rise considering all the above.
Oddly, Counterpoint Research says the operating profit of the Galaxy makers during Q1 2013 should “only” reach $7.7 billion, which would be down from $8.27 billion in the last three months of last year. We can assume the dip will be caused either by one of Samsung’s other divisions or by price cuts operated all-around to keep sales at peaks.
Meanwhile, the smartphone market share is expected to rise from 32 to 35%, consolidating Samsung’s leadership position. Apple will remain second, with 21% (up from 17), while ZTE, Huawei and LG will be battling it toe-to-toe for bronze. ZTE’s share is predicted to reach 4.6%, Huawei will come behind at 4.4 and LG will breathe down the two’s necks with 4.3% (up from 4%).
Getting back to Samsung’s numbers for a moment, we have to look at the glass half-empty part of this report too. 70 million is a big number for Q1, but it’s starting to become unlikely that total sales for 2013 will reach 390 million, as some projected a while ago.
Galaxy S4’s demand is booming, no doubt about that, but enough to bring total smartphone sales up to 320 million units in nine months? Unlikely. Or is it?