Apple grabbed Q4 global smartphone lead, Samsung wins 2011

While the late release of the iPhone 4S likely hampered Apple's record for the year, Samsung soared overall because of its strategy to offer more smartphones with varying price points and operating systems.

Apple has retaken the top of the leader board of the global smartphone market share, according to new research from IHS iSuppli.

Concurring with Apple executives' remarks on Tuesday during the investors conference call, IHS senior analyst Wayne Lam explained in the report that Apple's first fiscal quarter success rested on the release of the iPhone 4S:

Apple’s introduction of the 4S in the fourth quarter unleashed tremendous pent-up demand for the iPhone as consumers awaited the arrival of the latest model. This caused the company’s smartphone shipments to surge, allowing it to retake market leadership by a slight margin. However, Apple and Samsung continue to run neck and neck in global smartphone shipments, setting up a tight battle for leadership that will continue throughout 2012.

Apple reported on Tuesday that it sold a record 37.5 million iPhones last quarter.

Nevertheless, Samsung still won the war that was 2011, with a total of approximately 95 million smartphones shipped. That's a 278 percent increase from 25 million in 2010.

While the late release of the iPhone 4S likely hampered Apple's record for the year, Lam pointed out that Samsung soared overall because of its strategy to offer a "complete line of smartphone products, spanning a variety of price points, features and operating systems."

It's also important to note that iSuppli also did publish a correction specifying that the table includes results from smartphone manufacturers that have already report their results. It lacks the results of companies that have not done so yet.

iSuppli also recently reported that Android owned the majority of the smartphone operating system market share in 2011, and will likely do so through 2015. However, iSuppli also predicted that Windows Phone OS will climb to a more competitive percentage within the next three years.

Table via iSuppli

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