KOREAN HARDWARE GIANT Samsung has leap-frogged Apple to gain the top smartphone vendor spot.
Based on global smartphone shipments in the third quarter, Samsung is the new leader. It has taken the top spot from Apple by shipping a total of 27.8 million units for 23.8 per cent market share.
This is according to research reported by Strategy Analytics, which said the industry has seen year-on-year growth of 44 per cent in smartphone shipments to a record high of 117 million units.
Samsung has its Galaxy S II handset to thank for the most part, as it one of the biggest rivals to the cappuccino company's Iphone. Shipments of Samsung's smartphones increased almost four times compared to the same quarter last year, which saw shipments of 7.5 million units.
Apple saw a small increase of 3 million shipments to 17.1 million units, but it's important to note that the latest Iphone 4S wasn't launched until the fourth quarter, so many customers might have been holding out for that. Apple has said it sold 4 million Iphone 4S units in its first weekend on sale.
Neil Mawston, director at Strategy Analytics said, "After just one quarter in the top spot, Apple slipped behind Samsung to second position and captured 15 percent share."
"We believe Apple's growth during the third quarter was affected by consumers and operators awaiting the launch of the new iPhone 4S in the fourth quarter," he added.
A year ago, Nokia was still very much in the front seat with 26.5 million units shipped and a market share of 32.7 per cent. A year later its shipments have fallen by 9.7 million units and it lost 18.3 per cent market share.
Like Apple, Nokia has also waited until the fourth quarter to announce its latest flagship Windows Phone 7.5 handset, the Lumia 800, and a more budget version in the Lumia 710. It will be hoping to make a comeback with these devices starting this quarter.
Tom Kang, director at Strategy Analytics said, "The recent launch of the new Microsoft Lumia portfolio has helped to raise Nokia's profile, and Nokia will be hoping the partnership with Microsoft can drive at least an L-shaped recovery in its global smartphone market share over the next few months." µ
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