This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Mobile Hardware Market Heats Up

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Third-quarter smartphone sales data may be signaling disruption in the mobile hardware market.

Samsung's Galaxy S III overtook Apple's (APPL) iPhone 4S, which has dominated the market for the last two years, to become the world's best-selling smartphone model in the third quarter of 2012, said Strategy Analytics last week. The technology research firm estimated that Samsung sold 18 million S III models during the quarter, compared to 16.2 million iPhone 4S sales.

The news from Strategy Analytics was reminiscent of a discussion at the Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Convergence Summit hosted by SNR Denton in Menlo Park, Calif. last month:

"Is Apple the undisputed winner in mobile hardware?," a moderator asked a panel addressing the latest trends in the rapidly-changing mobile marketplace. Three out of five panelists, comprised of notable investors and entrepreneurs, responded with a resounding no.

There is "a teetering house of cards when you look at the hardware sector because 90 percent of the industry profits come from Apple," said panelist and Co-Managing Partner of Relay Ventures, Kevin Talbot. "That means all other handset manufacturers, and I'm not talking about operating systems, just hardware, are 10 percent of the profits. And that's not sustainable."

Apple may be vying for the number one position of smartphone hardware providers, but it's a distant second in the operating system market. Android, which powers Samsung's Galaxy S III, has been leading that market since it was introduced in 2008.

About 136 million Google Android devices were sold in the third quarter of 2012, capturing 75% of the mobile operating system market, according to a report released by tech research firm IDC last week. During the same period, 26.9 million Apple iOS devices were sold, comprising 14.9% of the market.

The majority of the audience at the mobile hardware panel admitted to owning an iPhone, but Warren Packard, another panelist and founder and CEO of a sports viewing platform called Thuuz, pointed out that the 250 tech-savvy attendees - including senior executives from Zynga (ZNGA), American Express (AXP), Sony (SNE), Brocade Communications (BRCD), NBC Universal and Blackstone Group (BX) - were not representative of the global mobile market. In fact, Packard said, two-thirds, if not more, of Thuuz's customers use Google's (GOOG) Android devices.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
AAPL $124.48 0.19%
GOOG $555.17 0.00%
FB $83.61 0.72%
TSLA $190.40 0.00%
YHOO $45.20 1.60%


DOW 17,678.23 -40.31 -0.23%
S&P 500 2,056.15 -4.90 -0.24%
NASDAQ 4,863.3620 -13.1570 -0.27%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs