Has Samsung beaten Apple and Nokia in smartphone sales?

By any standards, the growth of Samsung’s presence in the smartphone arena has been quite remarkable, fuelled considerably by its expansive range of Android handsets. Such has been the demand for these devices that it now appears the South Korean giant may be poised to announce that it’s not only beaten Nokia in smartphone sales over the last quarter, but also sales of Apple’s iPhone 4.

The official numbers haven’t yet been announced by the company, but Bloomberg cites figures from US research outfit Strategy Analytics, who believes that Samsung’s smartphone sales from April to June totaled between 18 and 21 million units. This may seem like a wide margin for error, but considering that Nokia sold 16.7 million smartphones over the same period, with Apple selling 20.3m iPhones, it brings into play the tantalizing possibility that Samsung may well have outsold them both.

Samsung has previously signaled its intentions to more than double sales of high-end devices in 2011, and with the company’s vast range of Galaxy handsets filling just about every niche, and selling well in most markets, it seems to be on track to meet its target. Neil Mawston, from Strategy Analytics, explained that the company “stands a reasonable chance of capturing the top spot on a quarterly basis if it can continue expanding its Android portfolio across high-growth markets like China and Brazil.”

A cornerstone of Samsung’s recent explosive expansion has been the well-received Galaxy S II, which generated an impressive three million sales in under two months, reportedly enabling Samsung to more than double operating profit in its mobile handset division. The S II is expected to launch in the US within a matter of weeks, one of the latest new markets for the handset in a rollout extending to 140 operators in 120 countries.  

Like Nokia, Samsung also makes feature phones (or “dumb phones”), and when estimates for these handsets are included, it is expected to hold 20% global market share this year, versus a 26% share for Nokia. Evidently unsatisfied with these figures, Samsung plans further aggressive expansion at the lower-end of the market through new cheaper handsets based on its own Bada operating system.

The figures discussed here – while currently unconfirmed – still reflect a trend that must concern Nokia, which is still working on its first Windows Phone handset, after announcing plans to abandon its own in-house smartphone platforms earlier this year. The rate of growth for both Samsung’s hardware and Google’s Android operating system will surely represent a further challenge for Nokia’s efforts to reassert itself in the smartphone space.  

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21 Comments

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Yeah and when Galaxy S II launches in the US it will be a great success like in Europe and the others will suffer even more.

I'm ashamed to say I clicked on this news post half-expecting to see charts and graphs and was a little disappointing to just see text. I'm actually happy to see all the content though with good information, but just wondering if I'm the only guy out there who was looking for visual things too. Caught me off guard, I'll be honest. Great post though!

Tarrant64 said,
I'm ashamed to say I clicked on this news post half-expecting to see charts and graphs and was a little disappointing to just see text. I'm actually happy to see all the content though with good information, but just wondering if I'm the only guy out there who was looking for visual things too. Caught me off guard, I'll be honest. Great post though!

I have to agree. Some stories just need graphs... lol

I picked up a Galaxy 2 today, which is replacing an old iPhone 3G. So far it seems good. It will probably take a bit of getting used to, but it is nice to have a responsive phone again!

If it weren't for WP7, Mango and that I bought my LG Optimus 7 earlier this year, I would for a a Galaxy S II in a heartbeat. Samsung is doing very well with their smartphones. Hopefully there is some truth to the rumors which say they will be releasing a Galaxy S II (perhaps with other name) with Windows Phone 7 Mango...

JSYOUNG571 said,
For a company that does so well with releasing new phones, why is is so hard for them to release system updates.
I think you answered your own question...they're too busy looking ahead to care unfortunately.

JSYOUNG571 said,
For a company that does so well with releasing new phones, why is is so hard for them to release system updates.

Looking at Samsung updates, I think it's one of the best companies in that aspect.

Almost all Galaxy series has been updated to 2.3.3 and start updating to 2.3.4.

My "old" galaxy S started with 2.1, go to 2.2, then to 2.2.1, then to 2.3.3, and teorically, in one or two months to 2.3.4.

Is a 13 month old phone, right now with 2.3.3 (Feb-11), and soon with May-11 revision.


KingCrimson said,
The Galaxy S II is very enticing IF they put Windows Phone 7 on it!

With Mango will be a good phone, right now will be a ultra-powered useless Phone.

not yet, at least in the US... here in latin america its all about BB because of good price. I epect samsung to improve its presence and expand but it will take time before they can take over nokia o rim

TL;DR: Estimated sales between 18 and 21 million phones, we won't know if they have beaten the other two (Nokia and Apple) until they release official numbers

/Posted because you can bet that there will be plenty of people who did not read the article

Sraf said,
TL;DR: Estimated sales between 18 and 21 million phones, we won't know if they have beaten the other two (Nokia and Apple) until they release official numbers

/Posted because you can bet that there will be plenty of people who did not read the article

Thanks, long articles without an immediate appeal to me rarely get read and need a tl;dr summary.

Sraf said,
TL;DR: Estimated sales between 18 and 21 million phones, we won't know if they have beaten the other two (Nokia and Apple) until they release official numbers

/Posted because you can bet that there will be plenty of people who did not read the article

Thanks a lot! haha