It appears to be so. The company’s latest sales figures show a significant increase, which should come as a huge relief for the phone maker. Samsung reported an 82 percent increase in operating profit ($6.45 billion for the third quarter of this year), breaking a streak of seven consecutive quarters of declining profits. Despite posting rather flat revenues for its mobile business (the 33 percent increase in this year’s third quarter is not big an improvement over last year’s), the fact that Samsung’s sales margins have finally stopped dropping is still cause for celebration.
Samsung is still considered the biggest vendor of smartphones in the planet right now, but the last couple of years have been a struggle for the South Korean tech giant, particularly in terms of growth in smartphone sales. As its fiercest rival Apple continues to enjoy increasing sales of iPhone devices, Samsung can not say the same for its Galaxy devices in the last few quarters.
Of course, as the world’s number seller and manufacturer of mobile devices, Samsung is not just trying to compete with Apple, but with about everyone else. And it does not help that the South Korean phone maker’s devices mostly are powered by Android, also known as the most widely used mobile operating system in the world, and also a major mobile platform used by just about every phone maker out there, with the clear exception of Apple, who uses its own iOS mobile operating system for its mobile devices.
And as a manufacturer of Android devices, Samsung is not only competing with established names in the mobile industry, like LG, HTC, and Motorola, but also with China based makers of Android mobile devices, such as Huawei and Xiaomi, who continue to threaten Samsung’s market dominance by offering smartphones replete with features but very affordable, especially for consumers looking to buy their first ever smartphone.
Even in the high end market, Samsung can not really relax. Apple has for years been competing with Samsung in offering premium price mobile devices. Samsung has had an edge a few years ago because it offered a lineup of smartphones with large display screens, also called phablets. But in the last couple of years, Apple has begun to introduce iPhones with generous display screen real estate, particularly last year’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and this year’s newest models, the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus. Not for lack of trying, Samsung did counter Apple’s move with the release of the acclaimed Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge devices. The devices did sell, but apparently not enough to reverse Samsung’s decreasing smartphone sales quarter after quarter.
But it appears that things are finally looking up for Samsung. But it better not relax yet -- the holiday season is coming and Apple has been known to post huge sales numbers over the holidays. For Samsung, the battle is not over yet.
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