Samsung Still Makes Less Money Per Phone Than Apple

  • By Shin Eun-jin

    May 03, 2021 12:04

    Apple accounted for almost half of the total revenues from global smartphone sales in the first quarter of this year even though rival Samsung sold more phones.

    Samsung sold 17 million more phones than Apple, but revenues amounted to just 40 percent of what the U.S. rival achieved.

    According to market researcher Counterpoint Research last Friday, global smartphone revenues totaled US$113 billion in the first three months of this year, surpassing the $100 billion mark for the first time.

    Apple accounted for 42 percent, Samsung for 17.5 percent, OPPO for 8.25 percent, Vivo for eight percent and Xiaomi for 7.6 percent.

    But Samsung had a 21.7 percent market share thanks to the popularity of the Galaxy S21 series and took back the No. 1 spot lost to Apple in the fourth quarter of 2020. Apple ranked second with a market share of 16.8 percent. Samsung sold an estimated 77 million smartphones in the first quarter and Apple 60 million.

    The main reason is that Apple has stuck to its premium strategy while Samsung is moving down market and concentrating on volume.

    Apple's iPhone 12 costs around $100 more than the previous model, and demand for the top-of-the-line Pro Max continued to soar in the U.S. and Europe, resulting in surging revenue. In contrast, Samsung's Galaxy S21 costs around W250,000 less than the previous model, the first time in three years that Samsung has priced a new flagship phone at less than W1 million (US$1=W1,113).

    At the same time, Samsung focused on boosting sales of the low-end Galaxy A series.

    Meanwhile, smaller Chinese players are making up for the vacuum created by Huawei's struggles. Counterpoint Research said, "Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo also clocked record shipments and revenues this quarter, helped by capturing Huawei's share globally and significant 5G uptake in China."

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