Analyst: Samsung passes Nokia, claims No. 2 global smartphone spot in Q2

Samsung Electronics saw its overall handset and smartphone sales jump in the second quarter, and while the South Korean electronics conglomerate decided not to reveal its shipment numbers, research firm Strategy Analytics claimed that Samsung took the No. 2 worldwide smartphone spot, right behind Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).

Click here for key figures from Samsung's second quarter.

Click here for key figures from Samsung's second quarter.

On a company-wide basis, Samsung's net profit for the quarter fell 18 percent to $3.3 billion, down from $4.05 billion in the year-ago period. The drop was largely due to failures in Samsung's panel TV displays, but was offset by success in Samsung's mobile unit.

Samsung said operating profit in its telecommunications unit, of which mobile phones make up the vast majority of sales and profit, more than doubled from the year-ago period to $1.58 billion, up from $597.4 million. The strong showing was driven by rising sales in its mobile unit, and in smartphones in particular, where sales jumped 45 percent year-over-year to $11.08 billion.

Strangely, Samsung declined to say how many handsets it shipped in the quarter, the first time the company has not provided shipment figures since it started reporting quarterly performance a decade ago. Samsung said it will no longer provide handset sales and forecast numbers due to increased business risks. "As competition intensifies, there are increased risks that the information we provide may adversely affect our own businesses," Robert Yi, Samsung's chief of investor relations, said on the company's earnings call. He declined a request to elaborate, according to the Wall Street Journal.

However, Strategy Analytics estimated that Samsung shipped 74 million total phones in the quarter, up 16 percent from the 63.8 million it shipped in the year-ago period. The figure means Samsung is closing the gap on volume leader Nokia (NYSE:NOK), which shipped 88.5 million phones in the quarter. 

Strategy Analytics estimated that Samsung shipped 19.2 million smartphones in the period, just short of Apple's industry-leading 20.3 million but ahead of Nokia's 16.7 million. Samsung said it saw strong smartphone growth in developed markets through strengthened lineups in the mid- and high-end segments. Samsung said it expects handset demand to increase in the high single digit percentage range in the third quarter, with demand picking up further toward the end of the year. 

"Although Apple's 142 percent year-on-year growth placed it as No. 1 this quarter, Samsung's 500 percent year-on-year growth shows that going forward, the top smartphone OEM position is Samsung's to lose," said ABI Research analyst Michael Morgan.

For more:
- see this release
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this seprate WSJ blog post (sub. req.)
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Strategy Analytics release

Special Report: Wireless in the second quarter of 2011

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