Friday, January 4, 2013
Samsung Will Widen the Smartphone Sales Gap with Apple
Apple Inc is expected to fall further behind Samsung Electronics Co Ltd in global smartphone sales in 2013, with Samsung expecting 35 percent growth, helped by a broad new line of products lineup.
Apple is not going to be just sitting still.
It is rumored that Apple might roll out a smaller, cheaper "iPhone Mini" in 2014 in order to grab market share by targeting lower-end smartphones users.
"We expect Samsung to slightly extend its lead over Apple this year because of its larger multitier product portfolio," Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, said in an e-mail interview with Reuters.
Global smartphone shipments will jump 27 percent to 875 million this year, slowing from last year's torrid 41 percent pace as growth is easing in many key markets such as North America, China, the developed economies of Asia, and Western Europe, Mawston said.
Samsung is forecast to sell 290 million smartphones in 2013, up from a projected 215 million in 2012 - this according to Strategy Analytics.
By comparison, Apple's smartphone sales are projected to reach 180 million this year, up 33 percent from last year, slightly trailing Samsung's 35 percent increase.
This will give Samsung a 33 percent share of the 2013 smartphone market, up from last year's estimated 31 percent, while Apple will hold 21 percent, versus last year's 20 percent.
In the 1970's we had the 'Oil Gap', but in 2013 the gap everyone is talking about is the 'Smartphone Sales Gap'.
SLICING UP THE PIE
Samsung Electronics is the largest and most valuable company in Asia, and Apple is the world's most valuable technology company - have been battleing fiercely in the global mobile device market, which both companies dominate. In a twist of humor though, Samsung is also a supplier to Apple.
In April, Samsung may launch the Galaxy S IV, a new version of its flagship smartphone, as well as the Galaxy Note III phablet (phone tablet) and a series of other new smartphones over the course of 2013.
"Samsung plays in more segments and this should enable it to capture more volume than Apple (assuming Apple does not launch an 'iPhone Mini' this year)," Mawston said.
Brian J. White, a researcher at Topeka Capital Markets, on Wednesday raised the possibility that Apple may launch a smaller and lower-priced iPhone - the iPhone Mini - to further penetrate markets such as China and India.
"Apple will launch the next iPhone, the iPhone 5S, in May or June, and offer more options in screen sizes. This would eventually open up the possibility for the iPhone Mini", he said.
But Mawston said the iPhone Mini was not expected to hit the market until after this year.
"We think Apple will have to launch an 'iPhone Mini' at some point over the next three years to address the hundreds of millions of prepaid users worldwide that cannot afford the current iPhone," he said.
"The iPhone 5 is growing fast and profitably right now, so there is little incentive for Apple to launch an 'iPhone Mini' this year.
"We expect the iPhone Mini to be more likely next year, in 2014 when ... Apple will be forced to discover fresh growth streams," he said.
Samsung Electronics, once a distant second place in the smartphone market, has quickly surpassed Apple as the world's largest smartphone maker.