Samsung and Apple have been sparring over the mobile market for years, but it looks like the South Korean company may have finally taken the lead in Q2 2013. Strategy Analytics reports that the Galaxy-maker became the world’s most profitable smartphone vendor this year, while Cupertino slipped to second place.
The study, which combines all smartphone and feature phone sales, estimates that Samsung’s operating profit for Q2 2013 was an impressive $5.2 billion while Apple reported an operating profit of $4.6 billion from iPhone sales. Strategy Analytics points to Samsung’s product volume and pricing as the reasons for its new-found lead, adding that Apple suffered from slipping iPhone 5 sales and tough competition in China.
Apple has dominated the market for close to four years, starting in Q3 2009 when it first become the most profitable handset vendor. The rise of Android, which currently boasts an 80 percent OS market share, as well as competition from Samsung and a number of quickly growing Chinese companies, now have Apple on the defensive. However, the latest results come at the end of the company’s product cycle, and it will be interesting to see whether Samsung maintains its lead over Cupertino in Q3, during which Apple introduced the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c, while Samsung began selling the Galaxy Note 3.