In Industry News

In the second part of our Q2 Earnings recap series we examined Apple, Microsoft, Samsung and LinkedIn. Apple continued to dominate the market but failed to exceed analysts’ expectations for even higher profit margins. LinkedIn, however, pleasantly surprised investors by exceeding expectations, despite not being able to yet totally convince the market regarding their mobile execution. Samsung and Microsoft reported losses, pointing to the need for both companies to examine alternate strategies in order to promote future growth. Here at Verto, we examined the findings and added insights and data from the U.S. to provide an even broader view of what is driving these companies. After all, hard measurement data is able to provide the best reflection of the actual execution and competitive positioning of the companies in the market.

Apple Saw Profits But Disappointed in Overall Expectations

Apple did not live up to forecast expectations, even though the company achieved a 38 percent increase in profits. Investors expected even bigger gains, given Apple’s overall dominance, and were disappointed that the company didn’t overachieve when it came to earnings. Our data, along with others, confirmed Apple’s dominance even with worry over iPhone sales from analysts:

  • Both iPhone’s and iPad’s installed base increased in the US during the period from January to June 2015, with iPhones growing from 74.9M to 86.8M devices (16 percent) and iPads growing from 58.7M to 67.4M devices (15 percent).
  • During the same period, the Android smartphone installed base grew from 100.7M to 105.4M devices (five percent), and Android tablets grew from 51.3M to 58.7M device (15 percent).
  • During the same period, the overall smartphones and tablets installed bases grew each by 10 percent, 186.5M to 204.4M and 150.1M to 165.5M respectively.
  • The wearables installed base also witnessed a huge growth, going from 9M to 26.4M devices, with Apple watch taking a share of 4,1M devices in June (16 percent).
  • Mac computers also grew during the same period from 39.9M to 49.3M (24 percent) devices, eating into MS Windows installed base, which shrank from 325.5M to 318.6M (-2 percent).

Microsoft Saw Losses Led by Lackluster Mobile Phone Sales

Losses were notable as Microsoft could not seem to mount a challenge to competitors. This was, in part, due to their poor showing in the mobile phone market. According to our data, Microsoft has seen its ups and downs:

  • Microsoft is number six in the list of top digital publishers, with 204M monthly unique users in the U.S.
  • Microsoft has 166M users using its apps or sites on PCs and 86M people using its apps/sites on mobile.
  • In mobile, Microsoft lags far behind key competitors: only eight percent of Microsoft’s daily audience is mobile-only (vs. 57 percent for Facebook).
  • Bing has 130M monthly users and Microsoft Live has 127M.
  • MS Word has reached 77M monthly U.S. users, Skype 69M, Excel 50M, Outlook 34M, and PowerPoint 16M.
  • Despite having only a one percent market share in smartphones in the U.S., Microsoft has been able to build a significant audience outside of the Windows ecosystem this year with its apps, which are also available on iOS and Android.

Revenue and Profits Both Down at Samsung

Samsung saw disappointing earnings with profits and revenues down. Samsung’s troubles were attributed, in part, to the shortage of its Galaxy 6S smartphone, according to Business Insider. Our data also backed up this finding with Samsung’s smartphone taking a backseat to Apple’s iPhone. It was not all bad news though, with our data showing some gains along with Samsung’s losses:

  • Samsung has a 29 percent market share in smartphones in the U.S. and is behind Apple (which is at 42 percent), but ahead of LG (at seven percent).
  • In tablets, Samsung is number three in the U.S., with a 15 percent market share, behind Apple (43 percent), and Amazon (18 percent).
  • In Smart TVs, Samsung maintains the leading position with a 31 percent market share, ahead of Vizio (which recently announced its plans to go public) with 23 percent market share. LG is number three with a 17 percent market share.
  • Like Apple, Samsung has been able to build a significant audience via its mobile devices. Combining Samsung apps and sites, it is the 39th largest digital publisher in the U.S., with 15M PC users and 59M mobile users (monthly).
  • Mobile users are coming mostly via Samsung’s own apps integrated in Samsung Android devices.

LinkedIn Saw Success with Increased Earnings

As reported by MarketWatch, LinkedIn found success with increased profit and revenue. The company beat analysts’ expectations with 712 M in revenue. Our data showed LinkedIn making gains even while behind some other publishers:

  • In the digital publisher ratings of June 2015, LinkedIn was number 29, with 81M unique users.
  • Compared to Facebook and other social media players, LinkedIn’s mobile presence is still relatively low: there are 34M users out of 81M who use LinkedIn on mobile monthly.
  • In the mobile app space, LinkedIn is still behind many other social media apps, though it is the leader in business-related social media.
  • LinkedIn’s mobile app is ranked 34th in Verto mobile apps ratings for June 2015, with 18.3M unique monthly users. The time spent engaged with the LinkedIn app is not much – only 23 minutes per user per month – vs. flagship Facebook app (918 minutes per user per month).
  • Many of the new LinkedIn properties, e.g. LinkedIn Pulse and LinkedIn Job Search, have only less than 1M unique users a month.
  • LinkedIn’s Slideshare.net has 6M unique users per month, making it the second biggest LinkedIn property after the flagship property.

As the market evolves, we expect to see fluctuation in profits and revenues as consumers’ demands change. Companies interested in generating better profits need to pay constant attention to market trends, their consumers, and the competitive benchmark data driving their prospective sectors to stay ahead of their competitors. At Verto, we monitor these publisher and device giants 24/7 to keep those interested in the market informed of the data and devices driving revenue – now and in the future. We’ll be back in October to take a look at how these companies and others perform over the course of Q3 2015.

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