There’s no getting around it — the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are the best smartphones Samsung has ever produced. Still, the freight train that is the iPhone is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon, a feat made all the more impressive given that the holiday shopping season is behind us and new iPhone models are likely to be introduced in just about four months.
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According to a recent research note from UBS, demand for the iPhone in the current quarter has remained surprisingly strong. So much so that UBS recently raised their quarterly iPhone sales estimate from 43 million units to 48 million units.
UBS’s research found continued strength for the iPhone in China, where Apple has seen considerable growth. By tracking search queries, the data shows 23 percent year over year growth for Apple’s handset globally, while China has seen a 100 percent increase from the same period last year.
What do these numbers mean in context?
Well, if UBS’ 48 million estimate is on target, it would represent sales growth of 36% year over year, with Apple having sold 35.2 million iPhones during their 2014 June quarter. As a point of interest, note that Apple during its 2013 June quarter sold 31.2 million iPhones. The takeaway here is that Apple, in just two years time managed to increase iPhone sales by a whopping 50%. And all the while, there have been no shortage of pundits who have declared that the iPhone’s best days were behind it.
Another strong indicator of robust iPhone sales comes from The Wall Street Journal which reports that Apple’s manufacturing partner Foxconn recently achieved “its highest first-quarter profit growth in a decade”, with earnings growing by an astounding 56%.
What’s more, because the ASP of Apple’s current iPhone lineup (thanks to the iPhone 6 Plus) is higher than it’s been in previous years, Apple is banking more cash, on average, with each iPhone sold than ever before.
On the other side of the coin, recall that Samsung’s mobile division continues to shrink. Most recently, profits from Samsung’s mobile division dropped by over 50%.
While Samsung is banking on the fact that strong demand for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will help boost its bottom line, consumer demand for the iPhone 6 might mean more trouble ahead for Samsung.