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Apple Matched or Surpassed Samsung for Smartphone Shipments in Q4 2019

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Apple matched or overtook Samsung to become the world's biggest smartphone maker in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to new data from market tracking firms.

A new report by Strategy Analytics put Apple's iPhone shipments for the fourth quarter of last year at 70.7 million units, slightly ahead of Samsung's estimated 68.8 million.


Apple grabbed first position with 19 percent global smartphone marketshare, while Samsung claimed second position, staying flat at 18 percent. Huawei dipped to 15 percent share in third place. Full-year smartphone shipments totaled 1.4 billion units in 2019, according to Strategy Analytics.
"Apple iPhone shipments rose 7 percent annually from 65.9 million units worldwide in Q4 2018 to 70.7 million in Q4 2019. This was Apple's best growth performance since 2015. Apple's global smartphone marketshare has lifted from 18 percent to 19 percent in the past year. Apple is recovering, due to cheaper iPhone 11 pricing and healthier demand in Asia and North America."
Research firms are forced to estimate global smartphone sales because Apple stopped providing its own iPhone figures in January 2019, while Samsung gives a total number that includes smartphones and feature phones.

As a result, there are inconsistencies between market researchers' data. For example, IHS Markit have the positions of the two biggest players flipped, with Samsung at 70.7 million and Apple at 67.7 million. As Bloomberg notes, the consensus is that there's essentially no longer any daylight between the two dominant brands in mobile phones.

Apple's approximate tie with Samsung is due to a recent surge in iPhone sales, which brought in $56 billion in revenue for 8 percent growth during the December quarter, according to the company's latest financial results.

The ?iPhone 11? was the top-selling ?iPhone? every week during the quarter, and the three new ?iPhone? models were Apple's most popular iPhones. The company reported $22.2 billion in profit on $91.8 billion revenue, making the last quarter the best in Apple's history in terms of revenue and profit, topping the first fiscal quarter of 2018.

Meanwhile, Samsung this week reported a 38 percent decline in profit. The Korean company saw a boost in its mobile business, but it wasn't enough to offset declines in its component operations, mainly due to falling memory chip prices.

Samsung's mobile business increased 67 percent to $2.13 billion, while its revenue increased 7 percent to $21.1 billion. But soft demand in its display business and sliding LCD prices saw its operating profit slump 57 percent, while revenue dropped 11 percent.

Looking at the broader picture, IHS Markit's figures suggest Samsung shipped significantly more smartphones than Apple over the whole of last year - 295 million in total, compared to Apple's 193 million.

According to Strategy Analytics, so did Huawei - the Chinese manufacturer reportedly shipped around 240 million phones, allowing it to overtake Apple and become the world's second best-selling smartphone manufacturer in 2019.

Article Link: Apple Matched or Surpassed Samsung for Smartphone Shipments in Q4 2019
 
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wbeasley

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Nov 23, 2007
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So Samsung's phone business increased 67% to $2b while Apple's phone business brought in $56b.

Sold similar numbers of phones... but Apple sales value is 28x higher???

Samsung better hope Apple never go after to budget end of the market since it seems to make most of it's volume sales there. (the A30 is a pretty nice non-phone you can put a big SD card in and use for media consumption and wifi browsing instead of phone calls)

Perhaps Samsung should have a Fire Sale... oh they tried once before...
 
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heov

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Aug 16, 2002
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Lol the headline. Why didn't you say Samsung matched or surpassed Apple? Should have just said virtual tie. You saying Apple matched or surpassed makes it sound like Samsung was less than or equal to, but you have data points where one is higher than the other.

Macrumors - you can do better.
 
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mattopotamus

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Jun 12, 2012
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So Samsung's phone business increased 67% to $2b while Apple's phone business brought in $56b.

Sold similar numbers of phones... but Apple sales value is 28x higher???

Samsung better hope Apple never go after to budget end of the market since it seems to make most of it's volume sales there. (the A30 is a pretty nice non-phone you can put a big SD card in and use for media consumption and wifi browsing instead of phone calls)

Perhaps Samsung should have a Fire Sale... oh they tried once before...

I really feel like this rumored "SE2" is going to crush it. A $399 iPhone with updated internals is way more important today than when the original SE was released.
 
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Michael Scrip

macrumors 603
Mar 4, 2011
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I'll start to care when I see what the estimated margin of error is on those estimated shipments.

Exactly.

We've been fed these estimates every three months for a decade. Who knows if they're accurate.

But this is the first time the analysts have shown Samsung and Apple in a virtual tie in a single quarter.

So clearly something's up!
 
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mazz0

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Mar 23, 2011
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I'll start to care when I see what the estimated margin of error is on those estimated shipments.
Why would you care, though?

Lol the headline. Why didn't you say Samsung matched or surpassed Apple? Should have just said virtual tie. You saying Apple matched or surpassed makes it sound like Samsung was less than or equal to, but you have data points where one is higher than the other.
I think it implies Apple was coming from behind and was more or less level, for that quarter.

I really feel like this rumored "SE2" is going to crush it. A $399 iPhone with updated internals is way more important today than when the original SE was released.
You think? I think the getting-rid-of-the-home-button was such a big change that iPhones with home buttons looks really out of date now in a way previous generation designs never had, even years after their release. Of course that's just my taste, dunno how it will affect sales.
 
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Cosmosent

macrumors 68000
Apr 20, 2016
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Apple sold 55M iPhones during its Q1 FY2020, exact same as Q1 FY2019.

The "true" iPhone Revenue # for both Quarters is $52B USD.

Analysts have NOT yet figured-out that Apple records the full list price, regardless as to whether a sale included a Trade In OR NOT.

That throws off their calcs !

Should ONLY be a couple of more days before it becomes common knowledge.
 
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Abazigal

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Jul 18, 2011
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Pretty incredible. Sell the same amount of phones for $71B more in revenue. Samsung needs to rethink their strategy, but I am not sure where they go. Focus on the low end and revenue dips even further, focus on the high end and Apple is your main competition. It's a lose lose.

It’s ironic really. Many years ago, people claimed that the iphone would be commoditised by cheaper android phones. Turns out it’s Samsung being sandwiched between Apple at the high end and cheaper Chinese OEMs at the low end.

I don’t see a way out for them. Samsung lacks a cohesive software and service portfolio to adequately differentiate their product offerings and pumping hardware specs only gets you so far.

Samsung is better off selling smartphone components to Apple than trying to compete with them head on.
 
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[AUT] Thomas

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Mar 13, 2016
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The ‌‌iPhone 11‌‌ was the top-selling ‌‌iPhone‌‌ every week during the quarter
Not surprising. The normal 11 is quite easy to get FOC with a medium priced 24M contract. I strongly doubt that Apple sells the 11 to the providers anywhere near list price.
 
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Winni

macrumors 68040
Oct 15, 2008
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Pretty incredible. Sell the same amount of phones for $71B more in revenue. Samsung needs to rethink their strategy, but I am not sure where they go. Focus on the low end and revenue dips even further, focus on the high end and Apple is your main competition. It's a lose lose.

Ah, you know, it's rather Apple that should rethink its strategy. When you only sell so-called high-end products, there are 7+ billion people on the planet that will never ever be able to afford your products. So Apple is milking the people who have the money to spare, but there is a natural limit to that sales strategy as well. Unless everything capitalists want to believe and unlike everything they teach people in business schools, you just cannot grow forever. Resources - and markets - are limited.

Being able to reach a billion+ active devices with super expensive products is quite an achievement, and obviously a relevant market share in first world countries. But... "The rest of us" is buying something else that doesn't run iOS, and we are the larger community. Maybe not by budget, but by sheer amount of people. Even though people like to look at a Porsche and even though Porsche gets a lot of press coverage, most people on this planet will never ever buy or drive one, and most of what you see on the streets are cheaper low-end cars. But unlike an iPhone, a Porsche at least still is a real status symbol...

In the grand scheme of things, though, none of this really matters. These things are just cars and phones and civilization won't crumble if they go away over night.
 
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gsurf123

macrumors regular
Jun 1, 2017
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Ah, you know, it's rather Apple that should rethink its strategy. When you only sell so-called high-end products, there are 7+ billion people on the planet that will never ever be able to afford your products. So Apple is milking the people who have the money to spare, but there is a natural limit to that sales strategy as well. Unless everything capitalists want to believe and unlike everything they teach people in business schools, you just cannot grow forever. Resources - and markets - are limited.

Being able to reach a billion+ active devices with super expensive products is quite an achievement, and obviously a relevant market share in first world countries. But... "The rest of us" is buying something else that doesn't run iOS, and we are the larger community. Maybe not by budget, but by sheer amount of people. Even though people like to look at a Porsche and even though Porsche gets a lot of press coverage, most people on this planet will never ever buy or drive one, and most of what you see on the streets are cheaper low-end cars. But unlike an iPhone, a Porsche at least still is a real status symbol...

In the grand scheme of things, though, none of this really matters. These things are just cars and phones and civilization won't crumble if they go away over night.

Apple is not targeting you as a customer. The race to the bottom in terms of price is not a business, but a recipe for lesser quality products. If they were to release a $99 phone it would most certainly sell and sell in huge volumes, but that would cut into the margins on the high end products as prices would have to ease on those. Additionally the margin on a $1000 phone is probably more 30 or 40 cheap phones.

As it stands people aspire to get an iPhone or for that matter any of their products. They are obtainable by just about anyone. In reality it may be the only status symbol product they can get besides a pair of shoes or a purse.
 
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ani4ani

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May 4, 2012
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So Samsung's phone business increased 67% to $2b while Apple's phone business brought in $56b.

Sold similar numbers of phones... but Apple sales value is 28x higher???

Samsung better hope Apple never go after to budget end of the market since it seems to make most of it's volume sales there. (the A30 is a pretty nice non-phone you can put a big SD card in and use for media consumption and wifi browsing instead of phone calls)

Perhaps Samsung should have a Fire Sale... oh they tried once before...

Perhaps you should read the article again, Samsungs profits climbed to $2.13B on $21.1B of mobile revenue...in fact their mobile profits were up 67% y-on-y. They also profit on Apple's mobile business, though that is not tagged to Samsung mobile.
[automerge]1580397639[/automerge]
Pretty incredible. Sell the same amount of phones for $71B more in revenue. Samsung needs to rethink their strategy, but I am not sure where they go. Focus on the low end and revenue dips even further, focus on the high end and Apple is your main competition. It's a lose lose.

The $91B of Apples sales were for everything they do...$56B was iPhone v $21B Samsung Mobile
 
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