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Apple reclaimed top smartphone maker title in Q4, but Samsung still finished ahead for 2011

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Apple reclaimed top smartphone maker title in Q4, but Samsung still finished ahead for 2011
Apple sold about 17 million handsets in Q3 last year, while Samsung moved 20 million, occupying the world's top smartphone maker spot for the first time. In the last quarter of 2011 these roles have allegedly reversed, and Apple said it has made and sold 37.04 million iPhones, whereas Samsung is estimated to have sold 36.5 million. 

It is not a large difference, and Samsung's quarter was a week shorter than Apple's, plus the Koreans stopped reporting hard sales numbers last year, so it is really hard to gauge who won, but these are the Strategy Analytics analysts' ballpark estimates below, based on Samsung's disclaimer that it sold 30% more smartphones than in Q3.

The thing is that Samsung's portfolio there spans from the lowly Galaxy Y, to the monster Samsung Galaxy S II HD, with short trips to Windows Phones, like the Samsung Focus Flash, and bada handsets like the Wave 3. Whereas Apple sells only iPhones, and the last two iterations can hardly be told apart externally - this focus on the high-end brought Apple the amazing profit margins it is currently enjoying, and most other companies also mentioned that they plan to make fewer, but quality devices this year. 

Apple reclaimed top smartphone maker title in Q4, but Samsung still finished ahead for 2011
Apple reclaimed top smartphone maker title in Q4, but Samsung still finished ahead for 2011
The iPhone's last stellar quarter brought it the highest ever for Apple 8.3% market share from all phones sold in Q4, although for the full year Cupertino holds 6% of the world's cell phone market, behind Nokia, Samsung, LG, and ZTE.

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posted on 27 Jan 2012, 05:12 2

1. som (Posts: 768; Member since: 10 Nov 2009)


Apple is a top phone vendor and Samsung is a top phone maker.

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 15:37

10. SleepingOz (unregistered)


WTF?! Use your brain next time you comment!

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 20:45 1

13. -box- (Posts: 3821; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


Actually that makes sense

Apple doesn't make anything they sell (other than software, since they're a software company). All their physical products are made by a third-party company or companies, who then stick the apple logo and software on an otherwise ordinary unexciting piece of electronics. Apple then ships it, tacks on $500 or more to the actual manufacturing price, and makes a profit. Hence, they are a vendor, and, based on profit margins, a "top" one.

Samsung actually makes their own phones, hence is a phone maker. They also make their own chipsets, memory, and other consumer electronics. Based on market penetration and volume, they are definitely a "top" maker

posted on 28 Jan 2012, 06:24

14. SleepingOz (unregistered)


Does Samsung only produce phones? So what do they do with the phones they produced? Aren't they suppose to sell them, thus making them the top VENDOR as seen in the article above. This study isn't based on profit but units sold!
You too should make a better use of your brain next time you comment.

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 05:35 8

2. 9_HeLLs_oF_DrOid (Posts: 124; Member since: 02 Jan 2012)


Apple knows how to fool while Samsung knows how to make better devices!

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 06:08 4

3. rf1975 (Posts: 247; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)


Correction. Apple knows how to make business and Samsung knows how to make funny TV add.

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 07:37 7

4. ivanko34 (Posts: 617; Member since: 04 Sep 2011)


Correction. Apple knows to exploit human weaknesses. Samsung knows to please their customers with top technology phones

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 14:47 1

7. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


Correction. Apple knows how to introduce revolutionary devices, while Samsung knows how to copy :)

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 15:24

9. Sackboy117 (Posts: 178; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Correction. Apple makes apples and Samsung makes washing machines

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 15:39 3

11. SleepingOz (unregistered)


I wonder what's so revolutionary about apple's products.. 9" ipod touch? Woah magical..

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 16:21

12. ivanko34 (Posts: 617; Member since: 04 Sep 2011)


Hello Taco
Nice to see you back under another name

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 08:42 4

5. shelley.bevacqua (Posts: 76; Member since: 27 Aug 2011)


Gotta love Samsung. I do. The Galaxy Nexus is such a fine piece of art.

.

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 09:31 4

6. remixfa (Posts: 13935; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


go sammy go.

I dont understand the connotation in the article though. The vast majority of Samsung's smartphone sales come from the SGS1 and SGS2. There are 3 iphones on sale now, the 3gs, 4 and 4s which all span that free-middle-high playing field.

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 14:49 2

8. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


@remix. Are you saying that you still haven't read that article that the ip4s is pretty much responsible for majority of iphone sales? That's odd. You're on every Apple article, yet you act like you don't know :)

posted on 28 Jan 2012, 11:46

15. ghost__uwi (Posts: 175; Member since: 28 Nov 2011)


I actually glad that phone makers will now have one phone. I mean Sheesh you by a phone today and tmw they release the better one.

At least one benefit of iPhone was you had the "latest" tech for 1 year until the next best thing. I really hope developers start focusing on quality rather than quantity.

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