Company overtakes Apple in China battle
FRESH from results which showed a 47pc surge in overall profit but slowing growth in smartphone profits, Samsung looks set to extend its battle with Apple into the heart of China, where it is already pulverising its Californian nemesis.
So far, the Korean manufacturer has grabbed 20pc of sales in the €70bn Chinese phone market, now the world's biggest, compared with Apple's 10pc.
Apple's results on Wednesday saw its revenue in China fall 14pc compared with the same time last year.
"It's not totally clear why that occurred," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. The iPhone manufacturer has 11 Apple retail stores in China, just a third of the number run by Samsung, and will not rush to open more, said Mr Cook.
Globally, Samsung has widened the gap between it and Apple in smartphone sales. Research firm Strategy Analytics said that Samsung sold 76 million smartphones to take 33.1pc of the market, widening the gap with second-ranked Apple which saw its share shrink to 13.6pc.
Analysts say that the company is beating Apple because of the variety of handsets on offer, the availability of cheaper models and tie-ins with country-specific social networking services such as photo-sharing site Poco.cn.
However, Apple may not be Samsung's biggest rival in the Chinese market. Local manufacturers Huawei and ZTE are eating up the fiercely-contested entry-level and mid-range smartphone sectors, which make up two-thirds of the Chinese market.
Huawei, which just announced revenues of €14bn for the first six months of 2013, recently launched new smartphone models into the Irish market, combining modestly-priced handsets with high-end features.
The company is best known for the dongles that Irish operators supply as part of their mobile broadband services for laptops. (Additional reporting from Reuters)