Samsung Quarterly Profit Rises as Galaxy Phones Lure Consumers From Apple

Jun Yang, Bloomberg:

Mobile-phone sales surpassed a record 300 million units last year as Galaxy smartphones helped win consumers amid competition with Apple Inc.’s iPhone.

This is how I’m reading this: In the Galaxy versus iPhone competition Samsung took away customers from Apple. I am sure there were some folks who considered buying an iPhone but ended up buying a Galaxy-branded smartphone instead. But in a 1:1 duel I’m also sure the iPhone kicked the Galaxy’s butt out to space. MG Siegler:

Does the article offer any proof that Samsung is doing well because they stole customers from Apple? No. Is there any proof? I doubt it. Unless you believe that the 30+ million iPhones sold last quarter (yet to be announced) should have been more like 40 million […]

Yang:

“The mobile business is generating a huge chunk of profit now,” James Song, a Seoul-based analyst at Daewoo Securities Co., said by telephone. “It may be getting harder for Apple to catch up because they only have a limited number of models.”

Hmm. The most important metric for a company is not unit-based market share; it is profits. Samsung makes hundreds of phones, most of them junk; Apple makes three, all of them game changers and generating lots of profits, more profits than Samsung. And I am certain Apple isn’t interested in catching up to Samsung in terms of mobile phone unit market share because that’s a meaningless performance metric.

John Gruber:

What proof is there that a multitude of models is more profitable? There seems to be plenty of proof — in the form of Apple’s financial results — that the opposite is true. With fewer models, combined with huge volume and a marketing strategy wherein Apple keeps selling and producing years-old models at lower price points, Apple achieves an economy of scale that none of its competitors can match.

None so far anyway.