Samsung, Apple dominate world smartphone markets by over 50%

By Park Hyong-ki, The Korea Herald/Asia News Network

The Korea Herald/Asia News Network –Samsung Electronics and its close rival Apple are dominating the global smartphone markets, accounting for more than a half of the share. The number of smartphones that hit the markets totaled 145 million in the first half of this year, according to data by ABI Research, a tech research firm. This is an increase of 41 percent from the same period a year ago. The Korean tech manufacturing giant enjoyed sales of 43 million Galaxy series phones in the first quarter, becoming the number one in the sector.

Apple, the innovator of iPhones that ignited the smartphone boom worldwide, came in a close second with sales of 35 million iPhone4S phones. Samsung and Apple together account for 55 percent of the market share, while taking about 90 percent of their global operating profit from sales of smartphones, the researcher noted. Nokia, which used to be the leader in 2G mobile handsets, had only about 12 million smartphones sold in the global market, ending up the third-biggest player. Research In Motion, the creator of niche BlackBerry for businesspeople, is closely gaining behind Nokia with about 11 million sales. The U.S.-based research firm predicts that RIM will most likely to overtake Nokia going forward as RIM fared better than the Finnish phone maker in the first quarter. LG Electronics, a latecomer to the smartphone market, made a full turnaround in its mobile communications division, which oversees smartphone and other mobile device businesses, in the first quarter. The division had operating profit of some 39 billion won as of the end of March this year, from a loss of 100 billion won a year ago, according to financial statements. Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics has decided to postpone the pre-order of its new flagship Galaxy S3 in Canada due to “unprecedented demand,” which has exceeded 9 million handsets, media reports said. It plans to push back the release of the new phone to June 27, initially from June 20 in the region. The tech giant has been touring the world promoting its Galaxy S3, which comes in white and blue with active-matrix organic light-emitting diode displays. The company released its new phones in 28 markets in Europe and the Middle East in late May, and plans to introduce them in 145 more markets by July. Korea was one of its last destinations for the release of Galaxy 3S.