At 400k units, sales of the iPhone 5 have quite spectacularly missed target in South Korea, home of Samsung, where Apple had hoped it would have shipped up to 2M units by now. In a smart phone market worth $5.5bn per year this is a big disappointment for the much hyped handset a blow to Apple, whose recent handset has failed to meet expectations in some other markets as well, maily due to strong sales of Samsung's Galaxy S III.
There were serious questions raised about why Apple delayed the release of the iPhone 5 in South Korea to Dec 7 2012, two and a half months after the US release date of Sep 21. If it was a gamble to capitalize on Christmas shoppers, the gamble clearly didn’t pay off.
Some interesting questions have been posed for 2013, though, with potential for expansion of Apple’s product range, and therefore market opportunities. If Apple’s iphone mini is release ahead of expectation (IE as soon as possible) they could see market share clawed back from Samsung as early as 2013, by gaining share in new markets, particularly India and China which have the most growth potential in the next year and beyond. Samsung could also start losing out to Google’s new handsets, the result of Google’s purchase of old dog, Motorola in mid 2012.
Globally, in 2012, Apple (33%) saw slightly less growth than their Korean rival (Samsung at 35%). And in global market share Apple (22%) still lags behind Samsung’s 26%. Apple still holds sway in terms of profit, by a large margin, but Samsung’s 2012 figure of $12bn is expected to grow to around $20bn this year.
For now, Samsung will be having a bit of a gloat about Apple’s recent poor showing in Korea, and will be looking forward to the next match any time soon.