Q2 earnings: Apple, Samsung up; LG, RIM down
Overall demand for tablets seem to have risen quite steadily since global tablet shipments has reached a total of 24.9 million units last quarter — up by 67 percent compared to last year’s 14.9 million.
According to Strategy Analytics, Apple Inc. still deserves the crown since it has shipped a total of 17 million iPads in Q2 of this year and as a result, the Cupertino-based company’s previous [and healthy] 62 percent global market share in tablet computers has increased by an additional 6.3 percent — totaling to an impressive 68.3 percent.
Sadly, Android is still trailing quietly behind… well, more like it stayed where Apple has left it.
As you can see above, Android’s Q2 tablet share didn’t budge even after a year. It’s still stuck at 29.3 percent which isn’t so bad given the competition but knowing that a lot of powerful OEMs such as Samsung, Asus and Motorola are contributing to the production of Android tablets that cater to different market segments; it’s quite ironic that they are all being beaten single-handedly by Apple.
It’s worth noting that Google has just released the $199 Nexus 7 which serves as the company’s catalyst to accelerate Android’s growth in the tablet business so surely we will be seeing its ‘metabolic’ effect in the succeeding quarters, also, one of the key players within the 7-inch category is Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook tablet, both of which are running customized versions of the Android OS and have already gained quite a sizable user base.
Apple doesnâ€™t like being left behind and is rumored to be developing a [cheaper] 7 inch contender as too which comes to no surprise since it’s a relatively logical solution to secure its tablet computing dominance given that Google has already dropped the bomb if affordable pricing is put into consideration.
Star players aside, Microsoft was able to secure a measly 1 percent of the global tablet share in Q2 and is set to launch its Windows 8 operating system in the later months of this year. Its Surface tablet has been receiving quite a lot of attention lately which is great; this means that the public is warming up to the software juggernaut’s ‘super tablet’ although we’re not sure what cards Microsoft is planning on dropping against Apple and Google here since both companies have already captured a total of 97.6 percent of the pie which leaves very little room for ‘newbies’. This can only mean that Microsoft will have to fight its way into the VIP club and the only way to do this is — of course — by pricing the Surface tab as competitive as possible regardless of how â€˜feature richâ€™ it can be.
Now, let’s talk about smartphonesâ€¦
Despite the Galaxy Tab ban in Europe and continuous patent wars against its arch enemy, Apple, the Korean giant Samsung was still able to pull off an impressive $5.86 billion worth of earnings as revealed in its Q2 financial report â€“ a 79% growth compared to last year’s.
The boosts in numbers are largely attributed to the increase in smartphone sales, Samsung did highlight the continuous demand for the Galaxy Note and Galaxy S3 and has so far sold about 10 million S3 phones and is expected to sell 15-20 million more by September. The company has also overtaken Apple as the world’s top handset maker to date.
According to IDC, Apple usually undergo sales decline in the first two quarters due to the company’s once-a-year release cycle, it is expected to reclaim the top spot once it introduces their latest iteration of the iPhone.
Nokia might have suffered from massive net loss, but the Finnish company was still able to stay in third place [same as last year] despite the decline in Symbian and Meego phone sales thanks to the doubled Lumia smartphone shipments. Nokia has shipped about four million Lumia phones last quarter and is poised to introduce brand new Lumia handsets with Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone 8 operating system in the next few months.
HTC on the other hand was able to take Research in Motion’s (RIM) spot largely due to its revamped smartphone portfolio which includes the â€˜Oneâ€™ series, strong demand for HTC smartphones within the Asia/Pacific territories is also the main contributing factor for the company’s big come back. Trailing behind the Taiwanese smartphone maker is China’s ZTE which was able to make it to the top 5 due to its low-cost, entry level smartphone shipments globally and, of course, in the North American territory under different brands.
LG’s mobile division has been experiencing a difficult struggle in smartphone sales and last period clearly wasnâ€™t better. The company has posted a 28.5% drop in its mobile division’s profit compared to last year but was luckily able to rake in about $138 million in net profits thanks to the rise in demand for premium home entertainment products and a 13% quarter-on-quarter growth in sales of home appliances. The company has already made it clear they will no longer pay attention to tablets but concentrate on smartphones instead. Hopefully the Optimus 4X HD and upcoming smartphones will let them regain what they have lost.
Research in Motion’s Blackberry smartphones has experienced a continuous downward trajectory in market share and has since then been overtaken by other smartphone vendors, the Canadian company is looking to launch the first Blackberry 10 phone earlier next year.
In a nutshell, Google is rumored to launch five different Nexus phones from five different OEMs â€“ all of which will, of course, feature stock/Vanilla Android OS and will all be sold directly from the Play Store to commemorate Android’s 5th birthday. If the rumors are indeed true, the phones are expected to launch in November 5th this year.
As of Q1 this year, IDC has reported that Android owns about 36.7% of the global mobile OS market with Symbian in tow at 26%. Apple’s iOS is at the third place accounting to about 18.3% of the pie while Blackberry and Microsoft’s Windows Phone OSes trailing behind at 13.6 and 2.6% respectively.