SEOUL, Nov. 27 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co. narrowed the gap with Apple Inc. in terms of profit shares in the third quarter, with a more than 30 percent share, a report showed Friday.
The South Korean tech giant accounted for a 32.6 percent share of profits worldwide generated from the smartphone segment in the third quarter, up from a 18.8 percent share a year earlier, according to market researcher Strategy Analytics.
The latest figure was the largest for Samsung since the second quarter of 2014, when it took 37.9 percent of global smartphone profits.
Apple defended its status as the world's most profitable smartphone vendor with a dominant 60.5 percent share in the third quarter. But its market share was down from 66.9 percent from a year ago.
Strategy Analytics said the late release of the iPhone 12 dragged down Apple's operating margin to 21 percent in the third quarter, which was down from 23 percent a year earlier.
In contrast, Samsung saw its third-quarter operating margin increase to 14 percent from 11 percent a year ago, thanks to its enhanced product mix covering both premium and midrange smartphones.
Samsung also narrowed the gap with Apple in terms of revenue in the third quarter.
Samsung took a 22.6 percent revenue share in the third quarter, which was 6.9 percentage points fewer than Apple.
In the third quarter of last year, Samsung's revenue share stood at 20.2 percent, while that of Apple reached 33.8 percent.
By shipment, Samsung was the leader in the third-quarter global smartphone market with a 21.9 percent share, followed by Chinese brands Huawei Technologies Co. with 14.1 percent and Xiaomi Corp. with 12.7 percent. Apple took the fourth spot with a 11.9 percent share.
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