Samsung has increased its operating profit by more than 50 percent during the first quarter, taking in 8.78 trillion won ($7.9 billion) before the company's biggest smartphones were even released.
Riding high on the success of older models (such as the Galaxy S III or the more recently released Galaxy Note II), Samsung has begun to extend the sales longevity of its devices.
The South Korean tech giant will release the Galaxy S IV -- the successor to its flagship phone -- sometime during the second quarter.
Despite the impressive earnings, Samsung was unable to top its Cupertino, California-based competitor. While Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) revenue of $43.6 billion was a few billion dollars lower than Samsung's revenue of $47.6 billion, the iPhone maker earned a net profit of $9.5 billion, topping Samsung's net profit of $6.45 billion.
Take a closer look, however, and investors will see that Samsung may be in the better position right now.
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In addition to raising revenue, Samsung's net profit increased slightly over the year-ago period, at which time the company earned $6.3 billion on revenues of $40.7 billion.
Apple, on the other hand, has watched its profits fall from $11.6 billion on revenues of $39.2 billion during the fiscal 2012 second quarter to just $9.5 billion on revenues of $43.6 billion during the fiscal 2013 second quarter.
Samsung's expenses are going down while Apple's are on the rise. The iPhone's margins are very healthy, but the latest model is said to be one of the most expensive and the most complex smartphones ever produced.
Apple did not improve its situation by rejecting as many as eight million imperfect iPhones produced by Foxconn. While this decision may have saved the company billions of dollars in the long run, the initial hit could be responsible for reducing Apple's revenue -- especially if the rejection was spread across no more than one or two quarters.
While analysts may be giving Apple a hard time, some fund managers have come to the firm's defense, arguing that Apple is a strong long-term play that should not be sold on the results of any particular quarter.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ
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