Samsung's Q3 blowout: Gains in tablets, smartphones and feature phones

As expected, Samsung announced a massive third quarter, showing strong gains in its handset and networks business that helped offset weakness in the company's chips and flat panels.

samsung third quarter

Click here for key slides from Samsung's third quarter earnings presentation.

Samsung reported a 3 percent year-over-year increase in companywide sales during the third quarter but a 5 percent drop in gross profit. In the company's telecommunications business, which houses both its handset and network operations, Samsung posted a 37 percent year-over-year jump in sales and a 6.2 percent rise in operating profit.

Though Samsung no longer reports smartphone or handset shipments, Strategy Analytics estimated Samsung shipped 88 million handsets in the quarter, giving the company a global handset market share of 22.6 percent--putting Samsung just behind global leader Nokia (NYSE:NOK), which claimed 27.3 percent of the global handset market in the third quarter. In smartphones, Strategy Analytics estimated Samsung shipped a whopping 27.8 million units, far outstripping Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) 17.1 million iPhone shipments (Apple was the world's largest smartphone vendor in the second quarter) and putting Samsung at the top of the heap in terms of smartphone shipments and market share.

Interestingly, Samsung also said it enjoyed a "volume increase" on its Galaxy Tab-branded tablets, an indication the company is managing to maintain pace with market leader Apple and its smash-hit iPad. Samsung did not disclose tablet shipment numbers.

Perhaps more importantly, Samsung predicted the good times will continue into the fourth quarter. The company said it expects strong shipments of high-end smartphones, including LTE smartphones. In tablets, Samsung also said it expects "new mass-market models to increase amid strong demand [and] growth in developed markets."

However, Samsung predicted increased competition on the feature phone front. During Samsung's third quarter, the company enjoyed a 10 percent quarter-over-quarter boost in feature phone sales on the strength of its touchscreen models. But in the fourth quarter, Samsung said it expects competition to intensify, with strong year-end demand.

For more:
- see this Samsung release
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Bloomberg article

Special Report: Wireless in the third quarter of 2011

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