Samsung Electronics posted a record $5.2bn (£3.2bn) quarterly profit as it shifted over 20,000 Galaxy smartphones an hour in January-March, outselling Apple's iPhone in a duel for the lucrative high end of the mobile industry.
Chairman Lee Kun-hee's South Korean group, whose $190bn market value is 11 times that of Japanese rival Sony, sold 93.5m handsets in the first quarter - more than one in every four sold around the world - according to Strategy Analytics. That included 44.5m smartphones, giving it a 30.6 per cent share of the high-end market. Apple's sales of 35.1m iPhones gave it a 24.1 per cent share.
"Samsung and Apple are out-competing most major rivals and the smartphone market is at risk of becoming a two-horse race," said Neil Mawston, an analyst at Strategy Analytics.
The near duopoly in high-end smartphones is not expected to change much this year or next, according to Bernstein analysts, and Samsung will look to keep that momentum going next week with the launch in London of a third generation of the flagship Galaxy S, hoping to boost sales ahead of the summer Olympics, where the group is among the leading sponsors.
City A.M. Reporter