Apple And Samsung Tell All

Includes: AAPL, SSNLF
by: Stephen Rosenman

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) sold 26 million iPhones last quarter, far fewer than expected as consumers waited for the rumored iPhone 5.

Cupertino apparently isn't the only smartphone vendor seeing a drop in orders.

Look at Samsung (OTC:SSNLF), Apple's main competition. The Korean electronics company doesn't typically disclose the number of mobile devices shipped leaving everyone guessing. Samsung is nowhere near as transparent as Apple: Unit sales are a closely guarded secret. That changed this week courtesy of the Apple-Samsung court battle in San Jose. Samsung and Apple are revealing detailed information on their U.S. sales.

Samsung last quarter sold 2 million smart phones here in the U.S., less than half the number sold year-ago quarter. The drop-off might be due to the delayed U.S. Galaxy S3 launch. Samsung reportedly sold 50 million smart phones that quarter worldwide per research firm estimates (Samsung doesn't give the numbers out) from year-ago quarter's 18 to 21 million. Could the 50 million global estimates be too high given the paltry U.S. actual sales numbers?

Samsung's U.S. numbers make Apple's iPhone performance look robust: Apple's U.S. numbers: 8.3 million vs 5.7 million year-ago quarter. Thanks to Apple's transparency, we can trust iPhone numbers: 26 million (worldwide) vs 20 million year-ago quarter.

Click to enlarge

(Table courtesy of Ina Fried.)

Moreover, per Samsung's disclosure, Galaxy average unit revenue is well-under Apple. Samsung sold its smartphones last quarter for an average $339. Its Epic sold at a high $429. In contrast, Apple got $616 apiece for its iPhone. For now, advantage Apple here in the U.S.

Apple has a week's worth of witnesses left. I'm betting we'll hear more juicy information. Got to love the trial: Good data on Samsung is so hard to get!

Samsung is Apple's most formidable competitor. Yet Samsung's U.S. data is far from spectacular. Since the June 2010, Samsung sold 21 million smart phones. Apple sold 19 million iPhones in the last 2 quarters alone.

Apple's competition isn't up to the task despite the alleged theft of the iPhone and iPad design. Apple remains a strong buy.

Disclosure: I am long AAPL.

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