Samsung Electronics posted its highest quarterly profit ever in the third quarter, partly due to its success in handsets--the global No. 2 handset manufacturer shipped a record 60.2 million phones in the quarter.
On a company-wide basis, Samsung's profit tripled to $3.14 billion, up from $1.02 billion in the year-ago quarter. Samsung's handset shipments in the quarter were up 16 percent from the year-ago quarter, when it shipped 51.8 million units, and up 15 percent from the second quarter, when it shipped 52 million units. The average selling price of Samsung's phones declined slightly to around $120 per unit. However, the profit margin in Samsung's handset division rose to 7.7 percent, up from 7.2 percent in the year-ago period (the company set a goal of finishing the year with a double-digit operating margin for its handset division).
Samsung's global handset market share stood at 20.8 percent in the quarter--putting it between No. 1 Nokia and No. 3 LG.
In the coming quarters, Samsung said it intends to focus on both the high end and the low end of the handset market. The company said it expects steady sales growth from its AMOLED touchscreen phones and smartphones.
"Driving growth was a combination of touchscreen-enabled and Qwerty messaging devices going into developed markets as well as key models within emerging markets," wrote research firm IDC on Samsung's results. "Looking to the fourth quarter of 2009, Samsung is poised to launch strategic converged mobile devices running on Android and Linux."
"This was the first time a vendor other than Nokia has shipped more than one-fifth of the world's handsets since Motorola's Razr-heyday performance of 2006," wrote research firm Strategy Analytics in analyzing Samsung's numbers. "The key to Samsung's growth has been an attractive portfolio of touchphones and an expanding retail presence across multiple regions."
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