Samsung has dialling up success overtaking Nokia as the world’s top mobile phone seller, while sales of its Galaxy smartphones beat out Apple’s iPhone at the high end of the market.
That all added up to a record 3.9 billion euro operating profit in the first three months of the year – 3.36 billion euros net profit.
The South Korean group’s handset division contributed most of that as it shifted more than 20,000 Galaxy phones every hour.
Samsung sold a total of 93.5 million handsets in the quarter, more than one in every four sold, according to Strategy Analytics.
That included 44.5 million smartphones, giving Samsung a 30.6 percent share of the high-end market. Apple’s sales of 35.1 million iPhones gave it a 24.1 percent share.
The figures meant Samsung spokesman Shin Young-Jun had every reason to sound triumphant: “Despite a global economic slowdown and seasonal weakness in demand, we achieved solid revenue and profits with differentiated products and technological leadership.”
Samsung, the world’s top technology firm in terms of revenue, is also beating its Japanese rivals in TVs and memory chips and saw steady sales of its tablets.
By becoming the number one seller of mobile phones, Samsung has unseated Finland’s Nokia, which held that position for 14 years. The Finns lost out to Apple’s iPhone and the South Koreans in the crucially profitable smartphone battle.
There was more bad news for Nokia as its credit rating was cut to “junk” status by ratings agency Standard & Poor’s on Friday.
It was the second downgrade to non-investment grade status this week as the company battles falling sales and doubts over its product strategy.
The rating cut follows a similar move by Fitch Ratings days earlier.
The price of insuring Nokia’s debt against default is now at its highest-ever level, indicating a growing level of investor concerns about the company’s prospects.