Latest Android financials show it's a Samsung game

Latest Android financials show it's a Samsung game

Summary: Two of the biggest OEMs in the Android space are losing sales to Samsung, showing it is the company to beat.

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Android has grown rapidly as a platform due to the number of companies adopting the platform and churning out one device after another. The huge number of Android device activations has allowed the major OEMS, HTC, Samsung, and Motorola, to have good financials for a while. The latest financials from these OEMs indicate that may be slowing down, with HTC and Motorola losing sales to Samsung.

Analysts usually compare Android to iOS in the platform wars, but with a lot of companies using the former it doesn't mean everyone is making good profits. Profit is the name of the game after all, as Apple is clear to remind us at every opportunity.

HTC has been making money the past two years, but its recent financial forecast is slowing down dramatically. It reported quarterly profit dropped a whopping 26 percent, due to slower sales of handsets.

Motorola Mobility, aka Google-to-be, reported that holiday sales were flat (actually down in the quarter) and it only expects "modest profitability". Google is in the process of buying Motorola Mobility, so this can't be good news for the platform maker.

Sales and profitability in Android may be down for those big two OEMs, but Samsung has picked up the slack for them. The company has reported a record quarter, with profits up 22 percent over last quarter. Samsung will post a whopping $4.5 billion in profits this quarter, obviously grabbing sales from both HTC and Motorola Mobility in the process.

It's easy to get caught up in the platform wars, and lump all Android players in the same sales basket, but this is not proper. Each company using Android is in essence competing with the others, in addition to the other platforms.

The big uptick in sales and profitability for Samsung makes it clear why Apple has chosen to make the company the target for its unflagging patent wars. It is obvious Apple viewed Samsung as the Android company to be most concerned with, a strategy that now looks correct.

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Topics: Mobility, Android, Google, Samsung

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33 comments
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  • Not a surprise

    Samsung has great devices on all the major carriers. The others don't.
    They also have a good variety.

    I do a good bit of research before I buy (usually).
    My choice when I switched from an iphone4 was the SGS2.
    Then came the Skyrocket. Got it.

    Have a great thin, high powered, long lasting, screaming, LTE phone that does everything I need. Now my son is bugging me for the Note.
    Chuckle.....
    rhonin
    • Surprisingly....

      @rhonin
      Over the last year, my family has migrated from the iPhone to Android.
      I just realized they are all Samsung.
      SGS2Skyrocket, SGS2, Infuse, Captivate.....

      Wow :O
      rhonin
      • RE: Latest Android financials show it's a Samsung game

        @rhonin
        There are at least two iron boxen in that list. :-)
        Ram U
  • RE: Latest Android financials show it's a Samsung game

    Competition is good.
    symbolset
  • RE: Latest Android financials show it's a Samsung game

    Or, at least, that Samsung is large and diversified enough that it can 'carry' it's Android mobile device business. Any information on how profitable Android mobile devices were for Samsung, relative to HTC and Motorola Mobility? Is this information broken out anywhere within Samsungs total business?
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • RE: Latest Android financials show it's a Samsung game

      @Rabid Howler Monkey Android is hugely profitable for Samsung and making up for disappointments in its other product lines - notably TVs. Much like Moto Mobi and HTC credited Android with saving their profits in 2009 and 2010.
      symbolset
      • RE: Latest Android financials show it's a Samsung game

        @symbolset Am not disagreeing with you, but: Links? ditto for James K.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
    • RE: Latest Android financials show it's a Samsung game

      @Rabid Howler Monkey Only figure is the $4.5 billion in profits, attributed by Samsung to smartphones (not tablets apparently)
      JamesKendrick
      • RE: Latest Android financials show it's a Samsung game

        @JamesKendrick Tablets would have been there as they were taking off in Europe until Apple went running to tell Daddy that Samsung was winning!
        slickjim
      • RE: Latest Android financials show it's a Samsung game

        @JamesKendrick I dug into this a little and discovered that Samsung made 1.5 billion U.S. from the sale of their hard disk business to Seagate. This leaves 3 billion U.S. for high-end TVs and mobile phones, among other things. And mobile phones include both smartphones and feature phones.

        Attributing the entirety of the 4.5 billion U.S. to Android smartphones is nothing but a Linux fanboi fantasy.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
  • RE: Latest Android financials show it's a Samsung game

    And you still think Android=monopoly?
    Lord_of_the_Singhs
  • RE: Latest Android financials show it's a Samsung game

    Hey, it's Saturday, James Kendrick! As a couple earlier comments implied, EXCELLENT article... indeed you make clear points. Thank You!
    mjd@...
  • You bought WHAT?

    Is it too late for The Goog's shareholders to start asking questions about the wisdom of acquiring Motomobile? If the "back out of it now" price is lower than the purchase price, now might be a good time to revisit the decision to buy a handset maker who is -- frankly -- a little too small to run with the big dogs.
    Robert Hahn
    • RE: Latest Android financials show it's a Samsung game

      @Robert Hahn

      I think they just wanted the patents? Personally I think they should've spun off the hardware unit earlier.
      zeth06
      • Problem .... MotoMob's patents are basically worthless

        @zeth06 All they got were about 18 patents (mobile related) ... and none of them will help them defend from infringing on patents, copying and/or stealing from others.

        It is kind of hard to use a patent defense .... when everybody already has a license to use them.
        wackoae
      • RE: Latest Android financials show it's a Samsung game

        @zeth06

        Um the deal hasn't yet been finalised you know...
        Bozzer
      • RE: Latest Android financials show it's a Samsung game

        @Wackoae they got 20k+ patents! A lot more than 17 were mobile and some of those 3G patents won an injunction against Apple that could ban all their 3G devices in the future which could make Apple a one trick pony with only their first 4G device left for sale in all of Europe!
        slickjim
  • Apple reminds us profit is the name of the game

    And how exactly do they do that other than publishing quarterly earnings which they are mandated to do as a public company?
    global.philosopher
  • Why did Apple target Samsung

    Mostly because Samsung is copying Apple whole scale from look and form to touch wiz to advertising to icons to covers to accessories to pricing and so on.
    The others at least try to be a limitless different in some aspect or another.
    global.philosopher
    • RE: Latest Android financials show it's a Samsung game

      @global.philosopher Touchwiz is not a 100% copy of iOS, iOS is retarded compared to Android and Touchwiz!

      Also, the phones have had a look and personality all their own for about 2 years now so it is fraudulent to claim they are whole sale copying them.

      I suppose Apple ripping off all those ideas from people with rejected Apps has never helped their bottom line either huh?
      slickjim