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Samsung Bests Apple in Worldwide Smartphone Sales

Posted by J Powers at 8:05 AM on October 28, 2011

Samsung Electronics overtook Apple in Q3 in smartphone sales worldwide. Shipping 27.8 million smartphones, Samsung took 23.8 percent of the market. This is a report by Milton Keynes, a UK based strategy analyst reported.

This was a large overtaking, as Apple shipped 17.1 million smartphones (14.6 percent). But this is not surprising. As Apple says, they are in it for quality, not quantity. With Samsung smartphones, you have a bigger choice:

  • Samsung Galaxy S

    Samsung Galaxy S

    Samsung Stratosphere (Verizon [CDMA/LTE], 1 GHz processor, Android 2.3, 5 MP rear, 1.3 MP front camera) $149 with contract

  • Samsung Galaxy S II Epic (Sprint [CDMA/WiMax] or AT&T [GSM] , Android 2.3.4, 1.2GHz dual-core, 8 MP read, 2 MP front face camera) $199 with contract
  • Samsung Fascinate (Verizon [CDMA], Android 2.1, 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor, 5 MP camera) free with contract
  • Samsung 4G Android (T-Mobile, 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird, 5MP rear, VGA front facing camera) $99
  • Samsung Captivate (AT&T [GSM Quad Band, UMTS Tri-band], 1GHz Cortex A8 hummingbird, Android 2.2,  5 MP camera) 0.01 cent
  • Samsung Vibrant (T-Mobile [GSM & AWS Dualband], Android 2.2,  1 GHz Cortex, 5 MP camera)
  • Samsung Mesmerize i599 (US Cellular, Android 2.1, 5MP camera) $49
  • Samsung Showcase (C-Spire, Galaxy S series, CDMA, Android 2.2,  5 MP camera, Super AMOLED display) $99
  • Samsung Galaxy Prevail (Boost Mobile, Android 2.2, 2MP camera, microSD), under $200
  • Samsung Showcase i500 (C-Spire, Android 2.2, 5MP camera) $99

It shows which carrier in the US carries each phone. Carriers on other continents will have these phones tailored to their networks. Since the majority of the world works in a GSM / LTE standard, you can guess which phones you might get in your area.

Although Apple just introduced the 4S, with CDMA and GSM support, it’s still a limited flavor phone. The lower end model 3GS only comes in GSM. You still have a limitation on CDMA with Voice and Data at the same time.

So with that all said, you can see how Samsung can overtake Apple. More choices with more carriers. The C-Spire carrier is in Greenland.

In the end, an Apple iPhone might still have quality, but we are in a world where phones are disposable. People can switch their smartphone every year – I even know people that get a new phone every 4-5 months. They just can’t keep a phone for longer.

5 Comments

  1. From John Knights at 11:03 am on October 28, 2011

    It’s an irrelevant metric when you are comparing premium devices with (a few) premium devices and a whole bunch of junk being given away for free or sold very cheaply.

    I do feel pretty bad for people buying into Android not realising there are so many different versions, capabilities and big variations on what software will work correctly on each with very little prospect of upgrading.

  2. From Andrew at 12:33 pm on October 28, 2011

    It’s not an irrelevant metric if you are selling something via smartphones. If I want to make sure that as many smartphone users as possible see what I selling, then I’m going to start choosing Android users over iOS users. I’d even start choosing Samsung Android users over HTC users if I had to.

  3. From John Knights at 1:58 pm on October 29, 2011

    That’s a fair point if you skim the surface but let’s start to break those demographics down.

    For the Android OS how many variations are you prepared to support, how many devices with different specs, screen resolutions that sort of thing are you going to ensure your software works well on?

    What are Android users prepared to pay when generally they paid very little for the handset?

    How many people are actually going to pay for your software when the whole eco-system runs like the wild-west?

    It’s a fair point but I don’t think it’s anything like as straightforward as you make out.

  4. From Andrew at 10:33 am on October 30, 2011

    Of course it’s not straightforward but no software development ever is. Whether the choice is Android, iOS or Windows Mobile, each ecosystem will have its pros and cons. Right now, I don’t think there is much to choose between iOS and Android in terms of functionality so much of the choosing will come down to these other factors, such as market share, ease of development, marketplace costs, user spend, as you point out.
    Frankly, if you were a smart marketer you’d probably do both.

  5. From Andrew at 5:25 pm on October 30, 2011

    Business Insider article covering similar ground.
    http://www.businessinsider.com/samsung-apple-smartphone-market-share-2011-10?op=1