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Canaccord Genuity Technology Analyst Michael Walkley’s U.S. April channel checks indicated continued leading sell through trends for Apple and Samsung, but his checks also indicated initial solid sales for Nokia’s Lumia 900 Windows smartphone at AT&T (T). Also, T-Mobile store managers provided strong reviews for the first HTC One smartphone, the One S, launched in late April. His monthly handset channel checks and recent earnings reports from the leading global handset/smartphone OEMs indicated seasonally soft Q1/12 global handset sales with weak feature phone sales somewhat offset by a growing mix of iPhone and Samsung Android smartphone sales.
While Apple maintained 23% smartphone market share consistent with its record December quarter results, Samsung reclaimed top smartphone market share during Q1, 2012 through its breadth of products across multiple price tiers. In fact, Samsung gained a remarkable 650bps of smartphone market share to 29.1% share of smartphone sales during Q1/12, representing an astounding 1670bps of smartphone share growth year over year. With strong iPhone market share during Q1, 2012 combined with Samsung’s strong smartphone share gains including increased sales of higher margin products such as Galaxy Note, Walkley estimates Apple and Samsung captured a remarkable 99% of Q1, 2012 handset industry profits. In fact, Apple generated 73% share of estimated handset industry operating profits with only 9% global handset market share.
With its significant share gains and increased margins, Samsung’s share of industry profits increased from roughly 15% in Q4, 2011 to 26% in Q1, 2012. With RIM (RIMM), Nokia, HTC, and Sony (SNE) all in the midst of product transitions and Motorola Mobility (MMI) merging with Google (GOOG), Walkley believes Apple and Samsung will maintain their dominant positions throughout 2012.
Apple (AAPL: NASDAQ: US$585.36), Net Change: 3.23, % Change: 0.55%, Volume: 14,518,811 Nokia (NOK: NYSE: US$3.58), Net Change: -0.10, % Change: -2.72%, Volume: 39,582,930