These days the battle of the big smartphone producers wane and ebb, and what today is the leading company may be tomorrow’s loser.
Samsung is today’s winner and has since last year been the largest mobile phone producer in the world. They expect a net profit of 9.5 billion Won [approx. 11 million NZ$] in the June quarter, some 47% up on last year’s and 8% better than the quarter before. You’d think that would be enough, but the shares in Samsung went down by 4% because the result wasn’t up to the analysts’ expectations.
sales have grown by 20% for the year thanks to the smartphones. The latest smartphone model Galaxy S4, Samsung’s flagship, sold 10 million in just one month, their earlier model Galaxy S3 took nearly 7 weeks to reach the same volume.
One might be forgiven for thinking that there can’t be that many people left without a phone considering that Samsung’s sales of mobile phones for the 2nd quarter was 74 millions, and that was 2 million less than anticipated. But up to now mobile phone users have been ready to swap their older model with the newer ones, that, however, may be where the sales is starting to see a bit of a downturn with owners less willing to fork out for the latest model.
The nearest competitor is still Apple, but they too are feeling the pressure from a saturated market and some markets in the USA and Europe already have smartphones representing up to 90% of their mobile market.
All of the manufactures hope that their latest models will appeal the most, but like Nokia which suffered badly, though still in business, may find that the time has come to tighten the belt. In the case of Samsung, which is the most profitable, their business in computing devices/phones and cameras is expected to fall from 75% of their revenue in the first quarter of this year to just 60% in the next quarter.
Of course not only is their phone and computer division only one part of the this enormous conglomerate, but they still intend to invest in new development and research facilities, in this case in Nokia’s backyard, and not just in Finland but in the same town as Nokia’s headquarter [pictured] at Espoo just out of Helsinki, the capital.
They are not alone though, Huawei [from China, which manufactures mobile equipment, phones etc.] and Intel [from the USA, chip manufacturers] also has facilities in Finland, no doubt syphoning off many of Nokia’s highly skilled engineers and developers. Nokia meanwhile is planning to sell off their Espoo buildings to a Finnish company for 170million Euros whilst leasing back part of the headquarters and will continue to operate from there.
So we can confidently look forward to a continuing battle of the smartphones, to the advantage of the consumer, and with new ideas brought to market, so one of these days the phones will not only know who you want to talk to but make the call without you doing anything other than thinking about it, heck, they’ll even know what to say without your help.