Samsung passes competition in smartphone shipments and market share

CNET reports that new data released by IDC on Thursday shows that Samsung's smartphone shipments and market share exploded in Q3 2011, jumping past competitors like Apple, Nokia and RIM. Samsung shipped 23.6 million units in Q3 11, while its market share increased year-over-year from 8.8 percent to 20 percent.

This is the first time in Samsung's history that it shipped over 20 million units. These numbers put Samsung at the top of the smartphone competition, ahead of Apple, which slipped to second place this quarter though it increased its shipment numbers from 14.1 million units in Q3 last year to 17.1 million units this quarter. Apple's market share dropped from 17 percent to 14.5 percent this quarter.

An analyst at IDC credited Samsung's gains to its aggressive expansion and a refreshed selection of its product line following the launch of the first Galaxy device last year. Samsung's Android phone lineup led the charge, while its Bada smartphones also gained traction.

The big loser this year is Nokia, the market share leader last year at 32 percent, now down to 16.8 percent this quarter. This places Nokia in third behind Samsung and Apple. Demand for Nokia's Symbian phones have kept it in third place, and analysts expect the company to regain market share as it transitions to Microsoft's Windows Phone platform.

The overall global smartphone market increased 42.6 percent since last year with shipments growing to 118.1 million units compared to 82.8 million units a year ago, despite a slowing demand in some key markets. The growth rate failed to meet IDC's forecast of 49.1 percent, and is lower than the 66.7 percent gains seen in the second quarter.

[Credit: IDC]

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