Apple – The iPhone Smashes Samsung

Malcolm is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone is NOT on the ropes as reported by so many newspaper articles. According to the latest Strategy Analytics statistics, not only did the iPhone 5 take first place in world wide smartphone sales, but the iPhone 4s - the one year old model - took second place, beating out the much touted Samsung (NASDAQOTH: SSNLF) Galaxy S3, which came in third. The Samsung model runs Google's Android operating system.

 

Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone Shipments & Market share by Model in Q4 2012  [1]

<table> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p>Global Smartphone Shipments by Model (Millions of Units)</p> </td> <td> <p>Q3 '12</p> </td> <td> <p>Q4 '12</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Apple iPhone 5</p> </td> <td> <p>6.0</p> </td> <td> <p>27.4</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Apple iPhone 4S</p> </td> <td> <p>16.2</p> </td> <td> <p>17.4</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Samsung Galaxy S3</p> </td> <td> <p>18.0</p> </td> <td> <p>15.4</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Others</p> </td> <td> <p>132.6</p> </td> <td> <p>156.8</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Total</p> </td> <td> <p>172.8</p> </td> <td> <p>217.0</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p> </p> </td> <td> <p> </p> </td> <td> <p> </p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Global Smartphone Marketshare by Model (% of Total)</p> </td> <td> <p>Q3 '12</p> </td> <td> <p>Q4 '12</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Apple iPhone 5</p> </td> <td> <p>3.5%</p> </td> <td> <p>12.6%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Apple iPhone 4S</p> </td> <td> <p>9.4%</p> </td> <td> <p>8.0%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Samsung Galaxy S3</p> </td> <td> <p>10.4%</p> </td> <td> <p>7.1%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Others</p> </td> <td> <p>76.7%</p> </td> <td> <p>72.3%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>Total</p> </td> <td> <p>100.0%</p> </td> <td> <p>100.0%</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table>

 

Together the two iPhone models took over 20% market share world wide, and this does not even include the iPhone 4, which is still on sale. Apple reported selling 47.8 million iPhones in the quarter, so these numbers would leave 3 million iPhone 4 units sold. This brings the total worldwide share to 22%.

The report notes:

  • Apple’s iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S together accounted for 1 in 5 of all smartphones shipped worldwide in Q4 2012. This was an impressive performance, given the iPhone portfolio’s premium pricing. 

 

Blackberry's (NASDAQ: BBRY) new BB10 system was not yet introduced, and WP8 by Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) was still very new, so these two systems remain part of the "others" category.

In a related article, I discuss how BlackBerry could make a comeback. Their new Z10 seems to be making a splash in the UK. While some reports question the validity of sell out. Michael Collins presents a compelling argument that it is selling very well. He reports that not only is it selling out, but prices have actually risen in some outlets. In another quarter we will get a better handle on the actual numbers.

As for WP8, While sales figures are still not available, The article "Android Is Dead - Part 7: WP 8 Ratings" notes that Windows Phone OS has met with satisfaction ratings significantly higher than that of Android (though still trailing iOS by an even greater margin).

My series beginning Android is Dead - part 1: Why? Covers a reasonable scenario in which Android market share fades.

This research corroborates the satisfaction data, and indicates that my analysis in other posts may prove correct… that BB10 and WP8 take market share mostly from Android.

 

Conclusion

Whatever the future, all told, the iPhone remains the most popular smartphone on the market.

Perhaps investors should be wary of the anti-hype that frequently surrounds Apple. True, there is reason for serious concern over margins, as this affects the bottom line. The rumors of Apple’s demise, however, seem to be a bit overdone.

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Related Articles:

Analysis- Does Blackberry Have a Chance to Come Back

Android Is Dead, Part 5: Number Of Players

Android Is Dead - Part 6: Nokia Triumphs

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