South Korean handset maker Samsung has become the world's most profitable mobile handset vendor in the second quarter of current year overtaking its rival Apple, said a report by Strategy Analytics.
"Samsung became the world's most profitable handset vendor in Q2, 2013. Apple slipped into second position, as margins have been hit by lacklustre iPhone 5 volumes and tougher competition in China," the report said.
Apple was the world's most profitable handset vendor for almost four years, from third quarter of 2009 to first quarter of 2013, it added.
"We estimate Samsung's operating profit for its handset division stood at US $5.2 billion in the second quarter of 2013. Samsung overtook Apple for the first time, which recorded an estimated iPhone operating profit of US $4.6 billion," the report said.
Market analyst and research firm Strategy Analytics attributed growth of Samsung to strong volumes, high wholesale prices and tight cost controls, "Apple's profit margin for its handset division has been fading recently due to lacklustre iPhone 5 volumes and tougher competition from rivals. Samsung is performing well in the US market, while Huawei, ZTE and other local brands are growing vigorously in China," the report said.
Apple is now under intense pressure to launch more iPhone models at cheaper price-points or with larger screens to fend off the surging competition and recapture lost profits in the second half of 2013, it said.
According to Strategy Analytics, 386 million units of mobile phones were shipped globally in the second quarter. Samsung occupied the top slot even in terms of units that were shipped.
The Korean major led global shipments of 107 million units accounting for 27.7 per cent share, followed by Nokia with 61.1 million units and 15.8 per cent share, Apple 31.2 million units, LG 17.8 million, Chinese firm ZTE with 17.6 million unit in second quarter of 2013.