Later this month every handset manufacturer is going to post their Q4 2011 financial results. We’ll finally find out how many iPhones Apple sold, how many Windows Phones Nokia sold, how deep in shit RIM is, and more. Companies usually don’t give hints as to what sorts of numbers they’re going to reveal, but Samsung is breaking the mold here. They’ve just said that Q4 of last year was a record breaking quarter, with profits reaching between 5.0 trillion Korean won ($4.3 billion) and 5.4 trillion Korean won ($4.6 billion). To put that into some context, in Q4 2010 the company posted a profit of 3.01 trillion Korean won ($2.6 billion). Analysts say that sales of high end smartphones and televisions helped the company perform this well. Lee Ka-keun, an analyst at Hana Daetoo Securities, estimates that Samsung shipped 35 million smartphones during the quarter. That sure is a lot, but you’ve got to remember that Samsung considers Bada to be a smartphone operating system.
We’re starting to wonder, is Samsung the new Nokia? Back in Q4 2010 Nokia’s smartphone sales peaked at 28.3 million, a number that the company is no where near today. Feature phone sales are a different story all together, but we’ve got a strong feeling that feature phones will simply cease to exist by the middle of this decade. But back to smartphones, Apple is also expected to sell around 35 million units in Q4 2011, and they only have 3 models out on the market: the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S. Will that kind of hyper focused product portfolio be something that other companies will emulate? Rumor has it that HTC is going to reduce the number of handsets in their 2012 portfolio, opting to focus on quality instead of variety. We wish that everyone else adopted the same kind of attitude.
Anyway, expect Samsung’s full Q4 2012 results to come out in a couple of weeks.