Samsung overtakes Apple as world's most profitable phone maker

Apple held on to the top spot for four years before finally giving way to Samsung and its handsets in the second quarter.

CNET

Apple has lost another battle in its ongoing war with Samsung.

Research firm Strategy Analytics proclaimed Friday that for the first time in four years, Apple is no longer the most profitable handset maker in the world. That honor now belongs to Samsung.

During the second quarter, Samsung's global handset operating profits hit $5.2 billion, according to Strategy Analytics. Apple's operating profit stood at $4.6 billion. Samsung's mobile division posted a $5.6 billion operating profit in the second quarter, according to the company. The difference between the two figures apparently comes from non-handsets.

According to the research firm, Samsung's success has been due mainly to its "strong volumes, high wholesale prices, and tight cost controls." Apple, meanwhile, is facing increased competition around the world that might require it to change strategy, Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston believes.

"Apple is now under intense pressure to launch more iPhone models at cheaper price-points or with larger screens to fend off the surging competition and recapture lost profits in the second half of 2013," he said.

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