Unofficially, Samsung shipped 20 million smartphone units in the third quarter and that beat out Apple's 17.1 million sales of the Apple iPhone, a figure the company announced during its latest earnings report. Nokia shipped 16.8 million smartphones during the same time period. Until Samsung confirms the number of units sold in its next earnings report due next week, it holds a provisional spot as the largest vendor of smartphones on the planet.In terms of revenue, Apple has been at the top since the beginning of this year. And when it comes to profits, the Apple iPhone is said to account for more than half of the industry's black ink.
On Tuesday, Apple executives blamed the decline in sales on the longer than normal 16 month wait between the Apple iPhone 4 and the Apple iPhone 4S. Instead of introducing the latest and greatest version of its touchscreen smartphone at the WWDC in June as usual, the tech giant waited until October to announce the new iteration of the device. This resulted in a slowdown in sales of the Apple iPhone 4 last month as rumors started to take off about the new Apple iPhone.