Samsung Dethrones Apple As The Largest Smartphone Manufacturer in Q3 2011


According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple has been dethroned by Samsung one quarter after the company became the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world. As a person familiar with the situation said, Samsung shipped over 20 million smartphones in third quarter, beating Apple as well as the largest cellphone manufacturer Nokia.

Samsung benefited from expanding in the high end market segment, because demand is strong for phones that allow users to send email, watch videos and download movies. Samsung is also taking advantage of the high demand for Google’s Android OS and increasing production of phones in Europe using Microsoft’s and its own software.

Earlier this year Samsung refused to disclose its smartphone sales figures so observers relied on industry analysis and unofficial sources. Some observers have noted that Samsung’s sales numbers refer to shipments and Apple’s numbers refer to sales. But two metrics can not be significantly different, because Apple’s numbers in fact refer to sales into distribution network rather than to end users.

Unlike the tablet market, smartphone market is more established and channel inventories are stable enough, so sell-through and sell-in numbers should be relatively close to each other.

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