Samsung Replaces Apple As World’s Biggest Smartphone Maker

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It appears Apple’s reign at the top of the smartphone market was short lived, as Samsung has surpassed the iPhone maker as the new leader in the worldwide smartphone market last quarter, according to a new report.

Samsung Galaxy S II from T-MobileApple took the number one spot from Nokia back in Q3 only to come second this time around to Samsung. With total smartphone shipments topping the 20 million unit mark, a first for the company, Samsung’s Android-powered devices produced the highest volumes of sales, with its Galaxy S II hitting the United States in September. The manufacturer’s bada-powered smartphones also continued to gain popularity among consumers, according to the report from market-research firm IDC, and Samsung is expected to launch a new Windows Phone in 4Q.

Despite losing its top spot to Samsung, Apple experienced double-digit growth year over year, shipping 17.1 million units. Perhaps the iPhone 4S will prove to be the catalyst the Cupertino company needs to unseat Samsung for the number one spot once more.

Nokia maintained its third position with its Symbian phones, most specifically the 5230 and C7, proving the most popular. It will be interesting to see how Nokia fares in the upcoming months as its first batch of Windows Phone handsets begin to hit the market.

HTC passed RIM to become the fourth top selling mobile phone vendor worldwide. With HTC buying a massive stake in Dr. Dre’s audio company Beats, the manufacturer has begun to debut its first line of musically enhanced smartphones, including the HTC Rezound. The Taiwanese company released devices like the multimedia-optimized Sensation XE and the female-oriented Rhyme this past quarter, and expects to ship similar volumes in 4Q11.

Despite launching its new BlackBerry OS 7 smartphones during this most recent quarter, RIM experienced its first quarter of year-on-year decline, shipping only 11.8 million units. As in previous quarters, the company’s volumes were comprised primarily of older, less expensive models.

Despite a slowdown within key mature markets, like the United States and Europe, the worldwide smartphone market grew 42.6% year over year in the third quarter of 2011, with vendors shipping 118.11 million units this quarter compared to 82.8 million units in the 3Q10. IDC expected a growth of 49.1% for the third quarter, counting on the release of Apple’s latest iPhone to boost sales. However, an October launch of the smartphone missed the third quarter mark, resulting in lower than anticipated numbers.




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