Samsung Reports Stellar Q4 2012 Earnings: Is It The New Apple?

By Surojit Chatterjee email: | Jan 25, 2013 12:39 PM EST

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Samsung is looking to upstage Apple in 2013 not only in terms of smartphone sales but also in terms of earnings.

On Friday, Samsung said its profit for Q4 2012 jumped 76 percent to $6.6 billion (7.04 trillion Won) even as its revenues increased 18 percent year-on-year. The company did not announce how many smartphones it sold in the last quarter of 2012 but analysts estimate it sold at least 63 million units, boosted by sales of Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2.

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Samsung's earnings report comes close on the heels of Apple reporting a record quarterly revenue of $55 billion (or roughly a couple of billion dollars more than Samsung's Q4 2012 revenue). However, concerns over sales of iPhone 5, Apple's reluctance to compete in the entry-level smartphone and tablet markets, and lack of offerings, made Apple shares slip 12 percent on Thursday.

Is Samsung the new Apple? We won't be surprised if tech pundits and consumers think that way, because according to a recent report, the South Korean electronics giant is even mulling 10 million units of Galaxy S4 per month after its launch. Yes, you read that right. Ten millions per month. There was a time when only Apple could dare to dream or speak of such lofty numbers, but it seems Samsung is now treading into Apple's domain.

However, we're not surprised to see Samsung having such ambitious plans and we'll not be surprised if Samsung can achieve it. Why? Because the company's telecom business accounted for 62 percent of its operating profit in the last quarter and if the sales figures of Galaxy S2 and Galaxy S3 are anything to go by, hitting 10 million sales per month won't be too difficult for Galaxy S4.

Galaxy S4 has been the only device to generate as much excitement among tech analysts and consumers alike, as the launch of a new iPhone generally does. Samsung's flagship smartphone of 2013 is likely to be powered by the newly unveiled Exynos 5 Octa processor (which reportedly will clock at 1.8GHz), making it the first of the smartphones in 2013 to run on an 8-core chip. Other speculated Galaxy S4 specs that are certain to put iPhone 5 to shame, include 5-inch full HD Super AMOLED display (with 440ppi), a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and wireless charging capabilities. Rumors are also making rounds that Galaxy S4 could possibly feature the flexible YOUM display which Samsung showed off at CES 2013.

Galaxy S4 is likely to launch in the first or second quarter of 2013 but it's not the only device that could make Apple go scurrying back to the drawing boards. Samsung is also expected to launch the successor of Galaxy Note 2, dubbed Galaxy Note 3, in the second half of the year. And, if the sales of Galaxy Note 2 are anything to go by, Apple's got big trouble in its hands this year, or should we say, two big troubles?

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