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iPhone 5 is expected to take the top spot in Q4

Research firm Strategy Analytics has announced its smartphone market share numbers for Q3 2012. The numbers show that Samsung Galaxy S III overtook the Apple iPhone 4S to become the world's best selling smartphone for Q3.

Samsung shipped 18 million Galaxy S III smartphones during Q3 of 2012. The quantity of units shipped gave Samsung's smart phone 11% of the smartphone market globally. Strategy Analytics attributes the Galaxy S III's large touchscreen and extensive distribution around the world along with generous operator subsidies as the main reasons for the smartphones success.

Apple shipped 16.2 million iPhone 4S smartphones, giving it second place in the global smartphone market. Much of the reason that the iPhone slipped from the top spot was because consumers were holding off to purchase the anticipated iPhone 5 at the end of Q3. Apple shipped 6 million units of the iPhone 5 in Q3 of 2012 with very little time on market.
The total number of smartphones shipped in Q3 of 2012 added up to 167.8 million.

The Samsung Galaxy S III grew its market share significantly between Q2 of 2012 and Q3 growing from 3.5% to 10.7% of the global market. Comparatively, the iPhone 4S slipped from 12.7% of the market in Q2 of 2012 to 9.7%. The brand-new iPhone 5 grabbed 3.6% of the market.
However, the research firm expects the win for Samsung to be very short-lived. Strategy Analytics says that it expects the iPhone 5 to out ship the Galaxy S III in Q4 2012 allowing the iPhone to regain the title as the world's most popular smartphone.

Source: Strategy Analytics

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By Solandri on 11/9/2012 7:30:52 PM , Rating: 2
Why? Their stock price is based entirely on revenue.

Apple is #18 based on revenue. They're #7 based on profit.

APPL's current price is based on current earnings (basically profit per share). However, unlike the other companies in the top-10 (mostly oil companies and banks), they're not selling a consumable commodity. With a consumable, as long as people keep driving cars or spending/making/borrowing money, your profits are safe. And with a commodity, you do not have to improve the product year to year.

Apple is selling durable goods. A bit towards the soft end (lifespan of a few years vs. 10+ years for a washing machine), but still durable goods. That means in order to maintain that stock valuation, they have to keep designing new products and people have to want those new products as much as they wanted the old ones. Any misstep and their profit (and stock valuation) plummets.

If Apple is smart, they will diversify now. Take that huge cash reserve and start up mini Apple divisions making all sorts of different products. Some will fail, some will succeed. The key is to broaden their revenue and profit base to insulate themselves from a slip-up in their bread and butter products (current iPhone and iPad).

If they pull inward and decide they want to concentrate only on a few products like they did in the Mac days, then they're going to end up a bit player like they did in the Mac days. I was already seeing signs of this - Jobs insisting that he'd only make a 9.7" tablet and a 3.5" phone. If he had stayed alive, 5-10 years from now Apple would've been the little company which made the best 9.7" tablet and a 3.5" phone, but too bad only 5% of the market bought those exact sizes.

The iPhone 5 and iPad Mini are good steps to stave this off. So is designing the A6 SoC in-house instead of buying it from another manufacturer (if your retina displays are made by Samsung, there is nothing stopping your competitors from putting it in their products). But they need to diversify more. Expecting the market to bend its desires to fit your concept of the single best product is not a good strategy for long-term success. The market determines the product it wants, not you.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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