Competition for Sales Grows Among Smartphone Brands

August 11, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. surpass (v.) 
[ser-pas, -pahs– to go further or beyond in terms of level or quality
Example: Thanks to constant practice, the gymnast’s skills surpassed the skills of her competitors.

2. drop (n.) [drop] – a decline or a decrease
Example: Due to the bad economy, the company experienced a drop in sales this year.

3. patent (n.) [pat-nt] –  a temporary legal right that says only a certain person or organization can make, improve or sell a product or invention
Example:   Other companies cannot use this formula for making medicine because one drug company has a patent on it.

4. inspection (n.) [in-spek-shuhn] – the act of carefully checking or examining something
Example: Airport security does an inspection of people’s luggage before they can get on the airplane.

5. redeem (v.) [ri-deem– to get back something (often something that was lost)
Example: The company redeemed its good status in the market through the release of its newest product.

Read the text below.

As smartphone sales keep growing, competition among smartphone makers is also growing stronger. 

Samsung Electronics reported a profit of $5.9 billion from last April to June, its highest quarterly profit since 2008. Earlier this year, Samsung already surpassed Nokia as the world’s biggest maker of mobile phones.

Analysts said Samsung’s sales could still increase from July to September because of its new high-end model Galaxy S III. The company estimated that it would have sold 10 million units of this phone by July.

However, analysts expect a drop in Samsung’s sales at the end of the year because of the release of a newer version of the Apple iPhone.

Aside from competition with Apple’s iPhone, Samsung is also facing some legal disagreement with Apple over patent issues. The two companies accuse each other of copying product designs.

If the legal fight between the two companies continues, the sales of Samsung would likely be affected. The sale of some Samsung’s products in the US was already banned by a US court due to the unfinished legal case.

Meanwhile, in contrast with Samsung’s luck in sales from April to June, phone maker HTC from Taiwan reported a 58% fall in profit. HTC is blaming low sales on the weak economy in Europe. Furthermore, the company’s products are being held up in US ports for inspection, also because of patent issues with Apple.

HTC is now hoping its “One” phone series will redeem market share from Apple and Samsung.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Why do you think the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phone series are very successful?
·         What could be the reason why mobile companies make very similar designs and features?

Discussion B

·         What do you think companies must do when they face a decrease in sales?
·         Can you name a company in your country that experienced a decrease in sales but recovered after some time? What did they do?

August 11, 2012