Apple Estimated to Retake Title of World's Largest Smartphone Vendor

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Apr 12, 2001
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Research firm Strategy Analytics today announced its estimates of the global smartphone market for the fourth quarter of 2011, finding that Apple narrowly squeezed by Samsung to retake the title of world's largest smartphone vendor as measured by unit shipments. According to Strategy Analytics' numbers, Apple's 37 million iPhones narrowly eclipsed Samsung's quarterly smartphone shipments of 36.5 million units.
Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, "While Apple took the top spot in smartphones on a quarterly basis, Samsung became the market leader in annual terms for the first time with 20 percent global share during 2011. With global smartphone shipments nearing half a billion units in 2011, Samsung is now well positioned alongside Apple in a two-horse race at the forefront of one of the world's largest and most valuable consumer electronics markets."
Strategy Analytics showed Apple first taking the title in the second quarter of 2011 as it passed Nokia and held off a surging Samsung to become the world's largest smartphone vendor. But Apple's reign at the top was short-lived as Samsung easily topped the list in the third quarter on continued growth paired with a pause in iPhone sales ahead of the iPhone 4S launch. With the iPhone 4S launch now fueling Apple's numbers, it was able to retake the lead from Samsung in the fourth quarter, although it was not able to top the charts for full-year 2011.

One caveat for numbers released by Strategy Analytics and other research firms comes from the fact that Samsung no longer reports mobile phone sales numbers, ending the practice in mid-2010 for competitive reasons. Consequently, observers can only estimate Samsung's sales numbers based on the company's financial performance and other evidence.

Article Link: Apple Estimated to Retake Title of World's Largest Smartphone Vendor
 

wickerman1893

macrumors 6502
Dec 16, 2008
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About time...and this may time up perfectly to carry its momentum into the 6th gen launch. This would get all those iPhone 4 people to now switch over.
 

Schtumple

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Jun 13, 2007
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I find it mind blowing that Apple has 3 phones that cumulatively sell this well. How many Android phones does Samsung sell now...?
 

Kaibelf

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Apple has 3 phones, and don't count store shelves as "customers." To wen be close to Samsung's 20-odd phones that are released every quarter is amazing.
 

AidenShaw

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Feb 8, 2003
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I find it mind blowing that Apple has 3 phones that cumulatively sell this well. How many Android phones does Samsung sell now...?
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Apple has 3 phones, and don't count store shelves as "customers." To wen be close to Samsung's 20-odd phones that are released every quarter is amazing.
Why does it matter?

Back when Imacs came in various toxic plastic colors, the Apple fans wanted to count them all together.

Why would they now want to divide Android phones based on minor variations?

Oh wait. I know the answer.
 

*LTD*

macrumors G4
Feb 5, 2009
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And only 2-3 phones, all under one roof, running an unlicensed OS.

Beyond impressive.

Samsung no longer reports mobile phone sales numbers, ending the practice in mid-2010 for competitive reasons.
Uh-huh. Lmao
 

Michael Scrip

macrumors 603
Mar 4, 2011
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Why does it matter?

Back when Imacs came in various toxic plastic colors, the Apple fans wanted to count them all together.

Why would they now want to divide Android phones based on minor variations?

Oh wait. I know the answer.
Apple is at a disadvantage because they only offer one type of phone.

Samsung has all types: slab, qwerty, slider, big, small, etc. Samsung is simply able to cover a wider audience.

And yet Apple still sold more phones than Samsung this quarter...
 

Schtumple

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Jun 13, 2007
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Why does it matter?

Back when Imacs came in various toxic plastic colors, the Apple fans wanted to count them all together.

Why would they now want to divide Android phones based on minor variations?

Oh wait. I know the answer.


That clearly wasn't my point. My point is that Samsung AS A WHOLE sells a myriad of phones that yes, are slightly different, but designed to accommodate virtually every possible design style under the sun.

Apple AS A WHOLE makes 3 phones that are all virtually identical in size and design. But yet they're doing just as well as Samsung. If you don't understand my point then don't worry.


EDIT: Here's my point dumbed down and super simple-
If you can make 3 phones that are as successful as 30... You're clearly doing something better overall.
 
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hobo.hopkins

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Jul 30, 2008
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Why does it matter?

Back when Imacs came in various toxic plastic colors, the Apple fans wanted to count them all together.

Why would they now want to divide Android phones based on minor variations?

Oh wait. I know the answer.
I'm sure Apple fans from the 1990's are the same as MacRumors users today. Valid comparison there.

On a more on topic note, this is impressive. It doesn't take loyalty towards any given company to see that.
 

macrumorsuser10

macrumors 6502
Nov 18, 2010
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Please stop providing Strategy Analytics any limelight. It's a hack organization that only spreads meaningless numbers on shipments, not sales. What is the point?
 

rickdollar

macrumors 6502
Mar 12, 2007
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And yet Apple still sold more phones than Samsung this quarter...
And zero phones on T-mobile and a free phone only on one network in the U.S.
That would have pushed the iPhone numbers at least a little higher. And as Cook said in the earnings call, if they could have kept up with demand in certain markets.
It will be interesting to see how things are in a few years with a bigger push from MS and what ultimately happens with Google/Motorola.
 

erzhik

macrumors 6502
Dec 2, 2010
486
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Apple is at a disadvantage because they only offer one type of phone.

Samsung has all types: slab, qwerty, slider, big, small, etc. Samsung is simply able to cover a wider audience.

And yet Apple still sold more phones than Samsung this quarter...
This estimation is of smartphones only. Samsung doesn't have as many smartphones as you think. and while Apple does outsell Samsung, I don't see why so many people brag about it even though they don't even have stock in those companies. Who cares? As long as there is a healthy competition.
 

macduke

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Jun 27, 2007
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Who cares about marketshare when you can just buy every Android device manufacturer out there? Even though that would never happen it would be extremely hilarious if that's why they’re hoarding all the cash!!

100 billion dollars can buy a whole lot of innovation. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple starts throwing it down a bit more in terms of radical new tech and design. I feel like they’re due to leapfrog the competition by another 5 years. What if they released another iPhone 1 type device? Something so incredible and beyond what everyone else is doing? I can only dream for now…
 

BiigBiscuit

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Aug 23, 2011
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macduke said:
Who cares about marketshare when you can just buy every Android device manufacturer out there? Even though that would never happen it would be extremely hilarious if that's why they’re hoarding all the cash!!

100 billion dollars can buy a whole lot of innovation. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple starts throwing it down a bit more in terms of radical new tech and design. I feel like they’re due to leapfrog the competition by another 5 years. What if they released another iPhone 1 type device? Something so incredible and beyond what everyone else is doing? I can only dream for now…
Unfortunately, for Apple, that would be antitrust.
 

Rodimus Prime

macrumors G4
Oct 9, 2006
10,136
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Who cares about marketshare when you can just buy every Android device manufacturer out there? Even though that would never happen it would be extremely hilarious if that's why they’re hoarding all the cash!!

100 billion dollars can buy a whole lot of innovation. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple starts throwing it down a bit more in terms of radical new tech and design. I feel like they’re due to leapfrog the competition by another 5 years. What if they released another iPhone 1 type device? Something so incredible and beyond what everyone else is doing? I can only dream for now…
that would require Apple putting the money at innovation instead of wasting it suing with crapents.
 

BC2009

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2009
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These numbers are as meaningless now as they were the last two quarters. Since Samsung does not report their numbers the margin for error here is huge. I guess Strategy Analytics has to do something to pay the bills. Samsung just reported their earnings in Korea which with currency conversion came to like $4B. Apple's profits were more than three times that.

Most reports touting Samsung smartphone sales talk about the "Galaxy Line" of phones. Keep in mind that these phones sold less volume than the iPhone 3GS which represented only a small fraction of iPhone sales. This means that if Samsung is selling almost as many smartphones that it is spread across many models besides the Galaxy phones. Folks like to say that the Galaxy S II is giving Apple some competition, but no matter how many commercials Samsung makes, the truth is that their best phone is not outselling Apple's 30-month old phone. Which is only selling at a fraction of Apple's latest model. I believe the Galaxy Nexus is a great phone, but sales-wise from what I understand it has yet to reach the 1M mark after three months on the market. Even with all their models I find it hard to believe that they sold 36M smartphones last quarter.

Samsung has made some very funny commercials with the folks standing in line at the Apple Store, but if iPhone sales keep increasing each year at the same rate, Samsung is going to need to hire more actors to stand in that iPhone line for their next round of commercials.
 

thekev

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Aug 5, 2010
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Who cares about marketshare when you can just buy every Android device manufacturer out there? Even though that would never happen it would be extremely hilarious if that's why they’re hoarding all the cash!!

100 billion dollars can buy a whole lot of innovation. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple starts throwing it down a bit more in terms of radical new tech and design. I feel like they’re due to leapfrog the competition by another 5 years. What if they released another iPhone 1 type device? Something so incredible and beyond what everyone else is doing? I can only dream for now…
I'm wondering if you actually believe any of that even in a mildly sarcastic sense or I've just been successfully trolled. Apple like other large companies has gotten big enough to where they must purchase much of their innovation, but they are quite good at doing this. They're always looking at new cool companies, but any company of that size depends on others for some of the legwork. Why does everyone on here seem to feel Apple must conquer everyone else to be deemed successful?
 

the8thark

macrumors 68040
Apr 18, 2011
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Apple IS the worlds largest smartphone vendor by total company market capitalisation

Apple IS the worlds largest smartphone vendor by profit per smartphone sold.

Apple IS the worlds largest smartphone vendor by customer satisfaction ratings

Apple IS the worlds largest smartphone vendor by average number sold per smartphone model.

Apple IS the worlds largest smartphone vendor by current enterprise adoption rates.

Apple IS the worlds largest smartphone vendor by number and quality of smart phone apps on it's system.

etc etc.

The only thing Apple is not the worlds largest smartphone vendor by is total shipped smartphones by smartphone OS type. Heck by number of smartphones actually sold through to the final consumer Apple could be the largest too.

That's why information though true only tells a tiny part of the picture and is always totally biased to fit the article author's intent. That's why I take these kind of MacRumor articles with a grain of salt.
 

pgiguere1

macrumors 68020
May 28, 2009
2,157
1,081
Montreal, Canada

Why does it matter?

Back when Imacs came in various toxic plastic colors, the Apple fans wanted to count them all together.

Why would they now want to divide Android phones based on minor variations?

Oh wait. I know the answer.


Apple fans do this? No, it's how everybody count units sold. Color variations have never been counted as different models, whether it's an iPhone or a Galaxy, we don't care if it's black or white, we'll just say the number of iPhone 4S or Galaxy SII sold.

I don't know what you mean by "minor variations". Nobody has major variations nowadays. There's not a thousand ways to make a touchscreen-based smartphone designed to run Android. The difference is that all the handsets Samsung make appeal to different demographics because of their price and functionality, whereas Apple only offers 3 different iterations of the same phone. Also, every carrier offer at least some Samsung phones whereas the iPhone is still not offered by a lot of carriers worldwide. The iPhone has a more limited choice of qualifying plans in order to pay the subsidized price. Samsung offers a lot of models that don't require a data plan in order to sign a contract, and the fact that the iPhone does is often the deal breaker for a lot of people who would ideally have it instead of an Android.
 

waloshin

macrumors 68040
Oct 9, 2008
3,182
68
iPhones are just fashion accessories/statements.

When the average iphone user uses there phone to send text messages and surf facebook what a waste.
 

bonelyfish

macrumors newbie
Jul 27, 2011
4
0
What's the meaning?

I am pretty confidence that the bottleneck with iPhone is manufacturing and will be rather surprised if an iPhone put on shelf was not sold in two weeks.

On the other side, Samsung's problem is selling. They can build as many as they needed to take the title but they need to sell it. Some of their devices are discounted even in the first two months (at least here).

Comparing who-shipped-most is an orange-to-apple. Good for stirring up noise but meaning so little.
 

mijail

macrumors 6502a
Oct 31, 2010
532
118
Back when Imacs came in various toxic plastic colors, the Apple fans wanted to count them all together.

Why would they now want to divide Android phones based on minor variations?

Oh wait. I know the answer.
Do you mean that non-Apple fans said something like "Look, the Flower Power iMac is selling less than the Dalmation iMac, therefore Windows is winning!"?

That'd be so torturedly hilarious that I guess I'd remember it. Can you point to some example?

Or are you trying to say that those dozens Android phones are only differing on their colors? 'cause, man, that would be an awful lot of color shades. A PARTY IN YOU RETINA!!1!

(uh, sorry, I hope I am not discriminating against your religion or something. I'd hate that)