Taking another bite out of Apple, Samsung Electronics announced today that it is expecting its profits to leap 79% in its second quarter results, thanks largely to massive growth in its share of the smartphone market. It is forecasting profits of £3.8bn for Q2, a figure that will be higher than at any time since 2008.
The battle lines in the smartphone (and convergent tablet PC) market are bloody ones, with Samsung and Apple at each other’s throats in lawsuits all over the world, both arguing that the other has infringed various patents. Only last week, Samsung was banned from selling its Galaxy Nexus phone in California by a US judge until the court decides on the patent dispute with Apple. The war is also partly between the two manufacturers’ operating systems, Android (made by Google) and Apple’s iOS. The latter may well overtake again when it releases its rumoured iPhone 5 in the autumn this year.
But despite these patent-related difficulties, Samsung is still the clear winner: it overtook Nokia as the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer earlier in 2012, and it is thought that profits may climb even further as the smartphone market continues to grow. In fact, it’s new Galaxy S III phone launched only in May, and Samsung expects to shift around 10 million of the blighters by the end of July. That would make it the fastest selling consumer electronics device in history. Wowza.
For the time being, sales will no doubt be dampened by the ongoing disputes – everyone knows the US is a key market in the consumer electronics industry. But don’t expect a resolution to the smartphone wars any time soon: there are literally dozens of cases open in countries across the globe.
Weirdly, Samsung actually manufactures the Retina displays used on Apple’s iPad (and profits handsomely from that deal, too), so they must get on reasonably well. Perhaps legal and design departments are not communicating very well…