Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Is Samsung now the world’s largest smartphone vendor? Prepare for the boasts.

With the release of calendar Q3 2011 results, we now know that Apple shipped 17.1 million iPhones during the quarter. This compares to 14.1 million during the same quarter a year ago and is down from 20.3 million iPhones shipped last quarter. While this is not the first sequential volume decline for the iPhone, it is by far the largest. (During Q2 2010, iPhones sales dipped to 8.4 million from 8.8 during the previous quarter.)

So now we can speculate whether Samsung is now the global smartphone volume leader for the first time. It looks likely given strong sales of the Galaxy S II and other Android-based phones. Samsung probably sold in the neighborhood of 19 million smartphones during Q3, meaning bragging rights for the top smartphone spot (volume) will now come out of Korea. If it’s a close call, Samsung will do whatever it takes to make the numbers work.

As amazing as Apple’s numbers have been over the past years, it should be acknowledged that Samsung’s smartphone surge is just as amazing: during Q3 2009, the vendor shipped 1.2 million smartphones, and a year ago Samsung shipped less than 8 million smartphones.

As I write this, Samsung is launching the Galaxy Nexus, a device that will probably be considered the world’s flagship Android smartphone, running Android 4.0 -- Ice Cream Sandwich.

Samsung isn't cooling off.

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