Millions more Samsung phones being snapped up...
Having leapfrogged Nokia to become the number two smartphone seller in the second quarter of this year, Samsung has now snatched the number one spot from Apple.
In the third quarter of this year, Samsung shipped 27.8 million smartphones globally. Over the same period Apple shifted 17.1 million, according to figures published this week by research company Strategy Analytics.
It's a reversal of fortune for the two mobile makers: in Q2 of 2010, Apple's shipments reached 14.1 million, compared to Samsung's 7.1 million.
Samsung now has a 23.8 per cent share of the global smartphone market, ahead of Apple on 14.6 per cent.
According to Alex Spektor, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, there are a number of factors behind Samsung's performance.
"Samsung's rise has been driven by a blend of elegant hardware designs, popular Android services, memorable sub-brands and extensive global distribution. Samsung has demonstrated that it is possible, at least in the short term, to differentiate and grow by using the Android ecosystem," he said in a statement.
However, whether the distance between the two device manufacturers will stay the same over the coming quarter remains to be seen: Apple's latest handset, the iPhone 4S, hadn't been released when the Q3 numbers were tallied.
"Apple's global smartphone growth rate slowed to just 21 per cent annually in Q3 2011, its lowest level for two years. 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, volatile economic conditions in several key countries, and tougher competition from Samsung's popular Galaxy S2 model," Neil Mawston, director at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement.
Some 117 million smartphones were shipped across the world Strategy Analytics said – showing year-on-year growth of 44 per cent.