Gartner, a research firm, claims that in Q4 of 2014 Apple slightly edged out Samsung as the world’s number one smartphone distributor with 74.83 million sold as opposed to Samsung’s 73.03 million. It is also noteworthy that this is the first time Apple has been atop of Samsung since 2011 and Gartner correlates that with Apple’s success with the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. While Samsung still outsold Apple for the entire year of 2014, the drop in Q4 is still a cause of concern for the company according to a Gartner rep:
Google just released its Q4 earnings report today, and some investors may be a little less than pleased.
IDC’s latest numbers are in, and 2013 was a pretty big year for smartphones. For the first time ever, smartphone shipments passed 1 billion total phones, which is an incredible achievement. Android smartphones accounted for just shy of 800 million devices. Android and iOS were (obviously) the two major forces behind driving this growth, as both operating systems accounted for 93.8% of smartphone shipments total last year.
For the fourth quarter, we saw some pretty positive growth, too. Android shipments grew 40.3% year-over year, second only to Windows Phone. However, in terms of pure numbers, Android shipping an incredible 226.1 million devices compared to Windows Phone’s 8.8 million. iOS actually saw some pretty slow growth year-over-year, coming in at around 6.7%.
LG announced their financial results for the fourth quarter of 2013, and it looks like they did pretty well! The South Korean company announced that they made an overall revenue of $14.03 billion, making their end of year total $53.10 billion. Their profit margins increased from $1.08 billion in 2012 to $1.17 billion in 2013.
There are a number of reasons LG was able to have such a great year, with a major factor being their booming smartphone business. They reportedly shipped 13.2 million smartphones in Q4 alone, helping them bring in $3.38 billion revenue, which is an 18% increase from Q3.
Jeffries analyst Hyunwoo Doh has lowered his operating earnings estimate for Samsung in the fourth quarter, mainly due to slowing smartphone sales. According to Doh there is a slower growth in high-end smartphones, leading to lower operating earnings for the Korean company.
Slowing smartphone sales aren’t the only problem for Samsung. Another problem is the fact that there is a lower dollar versus the Korean Won, so for every dollar Samsung makes in the US, they are receiving fewer Won than last year.
According to @evleaks, the Moto X will drop its price to $99 on-contract come Q4 2013 (which begins at the end of September), and will offer up 4 new wooden-grained backs to choose from. The one catch is that the wooden-back options will cost an extra $50, but the overall cost is still less than it is right now, so it might be a good idea to wait a bit until the price drops. They look very nice from the images— it makes sense that Moto will go the extra mile with this one.
Moto X price drop to $100 coming in Q4, along with wooden back configurations (for $50) pic.twitter.com/wpIdgYLjHO
— @evleaks (@evleaks) August 31, 2013
We’ve already seen some of the numbers for smartphones that were shipped in Q4 2012, but now we get a peek at the numbers that show just how dominant Android really was last year. According to Strategy Analytics, Google’s Android was running on a whopping 70.1% of smartphones shipped over the holiday quarter. That totals out to about 152 million phones, up from 80 million a year ago. Apple’s iOS came in second place with a measly 22%. Year-over-year, there was a 38% growth in smartphone sales in Q4, and a growth of 42.7% over the entire year. And in case you think that Android market grab was a fluke because of the holidays, 68.4% of all devices all year were running Android. which is more than triple of what its fruity nemesis sold. I think it’s safe to say our favorite little robot has achieved global domination, right?
source: Strategy Analytics
Get ready for the most obvious statement of the year: smartphones are a big deal. Some of us want a concrete number behind that, though. Now that we’ve got all the major earnings reports for the year out of the way, we’ve got that concrete number. Over 200 million phones were shipped in Q4, and the annual total for smartphones in 2012 was 671 million. That’s a pretty huge number, and shows a 42% growth year-over-year. An interesting statistic out of that is that Samsung shipped 63 million smartphones in the last quarter, which accounts for about 30% of phones in that quarter. 1 out of every 3 phones sold over the holidays was a Samsung device. That’s something to be proud of if you’re Samsung.
source: Juniper Research
AT&T’s posted their Q4 earnings, and they had a pretty impressive year. They posted a 3.9 billion dollar loss for Q4, but a 7.3 billion dollar profit for the fiscal year. Worthwhile tradeoff? I doubt you’ll hear AT&T complaining too much either way. They also activated 10.2 million smartphones last quarter, a number they’re claiming is “record setting.” AT&T’s biggest competitor, Verizon, only did 9.8 million smartphones, so that gives the claim quite a bit of credibility. Those 10.2 million smartphones accounted for 89% of AT&T’s total postpaid sales, as well. They’ve also added 1.1 million new customers, 780,000 of which were postpaid users. Overall, there’s room for improvement, but it wasn’t a bad year for AT&T by any stretch.
The start of the year means financial reports for many companies. Sometimes we’re a little surprised, sometimes things are about where they should be, and in Samsung’s case, they blew expectations out of the water. Samsung even outdid their own estimates. That’s how successful it was. The early reports had Samsung pulling in about 8 billion in profit for Q4, so everyone had pretty high expectations for the tech giant to begin with. At the end of the year, Samsung managed to bring in about 27.2 billion dollars in profit, and they did about 188.15 billion dollars in total revenue. Needless to say, a huge chunk of that came from Samsung’s smartphone division, with the record-breaking sales of the Galaxy S III pushing that. It’s safe to say that Samsung had a pretty successful year in 2012, and they’ll continue to keep that momentum in 2013. Hit the source if you want to read more of the gritty details about Samsung’s fiscal year.