Which Device Is Behind Samsung’s Massive $8.3B in Revenue for Q4?

In today’s mobile news roundup: Samsung reports $8.3 billion revenue in previous quarter; Sony officially announces Xperia Z; Verizon to sell Samsung Windows Phone 8 device soon; 40 billion apps have been downloaded from Apple’s App Store.

Samsung reports $8.3 billion revenue last quarter

Samsung has trumped numerous competitors as they continue to sell millions of devices globally.  According to Samsung, they likely earned a quarterly profit of $8.3 billion, selling close to 500 units per minute.  The numbers aren’t official, as the full earnings report won’t be released until January 25.

Samsung’s huge profit is attributed to the success of their high-end Galaxy phones, such as the Galaxy SIII and the Galaxy Note II.  Samsung managed to release 37 variants of their Galaxy devices in various markets, all tweaked for regional and consumer tastes. The strategy worked in 2012, compared to Apple’s single release of the iPhone 5, HTC’s 18 models, LG’s 24, and Nokia, who previously held the throne for the biggest phone maker, only released 9 devices.

Sony officially announces Xperia Z

At CES 2013, Sony officially unveiled what they deem as the “best of Sony in a premium smartphone.”  The Xperia Z features a full 1080p HD ‘Reality’ display that measures five inches diagonally, and has been fitted with the Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2 that delivers extra brightness and clarity.  It also sports the “OmniBalance design,” which gives it the rounded edges and smooth reflective surfaces on all sides.  The Xperia Z also features a 1.5Ghz Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor with 2GB RAM, 4G LTE connectivity, 13MP rear camera, 2.1MP front-facing camera, NFC-enabled, and running Android 4.1 but can be upgraded to 4.2.

Sony also revealed the SideView app for Android devices that lets it pair with other media devices such as Bravia TVs, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes to provide a second screen.  The app allows users to browse and find content associated with what they are currently watching, search other channels and services for related programming, and learn more about what is happening or who is acting on screen. It also facilitates social media interactions, and the app lets your mobile device be used as a remote for Sony TVs and Blu-ray players.

Verizon to sell Samsung Windows Phone 8 device soon

Verizon and Microsoft announced that “in the coming weeks” consumers can expect the Samsung ATIV Odyssey, a Windows Phone 8 device, to go on sale.  The ATIV Odyssey features a 4-inch 800×480 Super AMOLED display, 5-megapixel rear camera with full 1080p recording and playback capability, 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 2100mAh battery, 8GB of storage that can be upgraded to up to 64GB via microSD and designed to work on Verizon’s 4G LTE network.

It also features Samsung apps such as the Photo Editor, Mini Diary and Now – an app that delivers real-time weather, news, stock, and currency info.  Aside from Verizon, Sprint has also announced that they also will be releasing two new Windows Phone 8 devices this year, one from Samsung, the other from HTC but specs of the said devices hasn’t been revealed.

40 billion apps have been downloaded from Apple’s App Store

Apple announced that more than 40 billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store, with nearly 20 billion apps downloaded in 2012 alone.  In a statement, the company claims that they have 500 million active users, and had a record-breaking December 2012 when they logged over two billion downloads.

“It has been an incredible year for the iOS developer community,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “Developers have made over seven billion dollars on the App Store, and we continue to invest in providing them with the best ecosystem so they can create the most innovative apps in the world.”