WSJ: 'Samsung beating Apple' in smartphone sales race

WSJ: 'Samsung beating Apple' in smartphone sales race

Summary: The race for the top smartphone spot continues, as Samsung and Apple battle it out over share statistics. Who is on top: Apple or Samsung? Nobody really knows.


A source speaking to Wall Street Journal this morning claims that Apple is selling fewer of its iPhone handsets than Samsung, as the two companies continue to come to blows over patents in each others' devices.

Unconfirmed figures suggest that Samsung saw between 20 and 30 million shipments of its smartphones in the third quarter, while Apple said earlier this week that it would just over 17 million in the last fiscal quarter, ending September 24th.

Nokia also reported slightly less smartphone sales at 16.8 million in total, but overall sales are expected to be far higher for the Finnish phone giant as its main sales fall within the emerging market.

Granted, on the face of it, Apple has a smaller spread of only three iPhone handsets -- the third-generation iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 4 and the recently announced iPhone 4S -- while Samsung has many more.

But Samsung historically does not disclose publicly its smartphone shipment figures, as the Wall Street Journal notes.
Earlier this year, IDC 'confirmed' that Apple was leading the smartphone race with 19.1 percent of the 106 million smartphones shipped in Q2. Samsung was in second place with 17.3 percent share.

comScore statistics in August showed that one in four phones in the United States was a Samsung smartphone, with Research in Motion's BlackBerry smartphone range and Motorola losing ground.

Having said that, as Apple's iPhone sales continue to grow at a rapid rate from four million sales in the first weekend alone, it is likely that the two could battle it out to the nearest thousand, as the two lead the global marketshare race.

Arguably, however, it is not the phone that matters as such. The real battle falls back down to the mobile operating system, for which the two companies continue to come to blows over. With the Steve Jobs biography out today, the late Apple co-founder declared "thermonuclear war" over the Android operating system, after he claimed it was "stolen" from Apple.


Topics: Enterprise Software, Apple, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Samsung, Smartphones

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  • Shipped vs Sold?

    The Samsung numbers are shipped, and the Apple numbers are sales. Would be nice for a change if we could actually compare apples with apples (pun intended). I realize this is just based on what the companies choose to report, so Samsung should release some sales figures. If they really did sell 20 mil phones then great for them, good job. But then again, if they did sell that many, why not report it? You would think they would be eager to show up Apple any chance they get.
    • RE: WSJ: 'Samsung beating Apple' in smartphone sales race

      @tk_77 No they are not... Apple counts shipped as sold so it is impossible to say how many actually sold... I don't know why this is so hard to understand for you guys.

      Believe me, I am no fan of samsung and I honestly think their phones are garbage. I think if they are not careful they are going to get hit for dumping again.
      • RE: WSJ: 'Samsung beating Apple' in smartphone sales race

        +1. Agreed. But most of the times Apple's Shipped numbers lead closely to sold numbers, and normally their inventory will be out in the first few weeks of launch and after that it slows down, and settles.
        Ram U
      • this is true but Apple gives numbers for weeks of stock in the channel..

        @Peter Perry which is approx. 2-3.. Samsung doesn't give such numbers which makes those shipped number pretty much useless...
      • RE: WSJ: 'Samsung beating Apple' in smartphone sales race

        @Peter Perry
        that's BS! Samsung wins due to the power of the OSS.
        The Linux Geek
      • RE: WSJ: 'Samsung beating Apple' in smartphone sales race

        @doctorSpoc they don't give those numbers because they are not as closely tied to any retail channel... Apple can estimate based on how many their stores sold.
      • RE: WSJ: 'Samsung beating Apple' in smartphone sales race

        @Peter Perry 'Samsung historically does not disclose publicly its smartphone shipment'

        Zachary, is this ignorance or prejudice? Why repeat obviously false information?

        Samsung disclosed their sales of smartphones to the very last quarter, when Samsung announced that they will be not disclosing smartphone sales any more.

        So now ???sources??? can freely go to media and claim Samsung sold gazillion of smartphones.
      • RE: WSJ: 'Samsung beating Apple' in smartphone sales race

        @Peter Perry Regardless of the topic your comment on how you feel about Samsung is pretty meaningless since your hatred for Apple will overshadow any feelings about any other company/product being discussed.
    • RE: WSJ: 'Samsung beating Apple' in smartphone sales race


      Apple's 4 million sales in the first week are from the fanatics that think the product is gold!
      • RE: WSJ: 'Samsung beating Apple' in smartphone sales race They were mostly upgrades... Apple is #1 in repeat sales.
      • RE: WSJ: 'Samsung beating Apple' in smartphone sales race If that were true do you think that any other company wouldn't be extremely happy to have that many fanatics?

        @Peter Perry And that is the goal of ALL companies so your point is?
    • RE: WSJ: 'Samsung beating Apple' in smartphone sales race

      @the Linux geek Android is Great, Samsung Hardware, not so reliable in my opinion.
  • RE: WSJ: 'Samsung beating Apple' in smartphone sales race

    It's already been proven that Samsung will exaggerate their sales figures - anyone else remember how Samsung claimed "shipped" Galaxy Tab tablets as "sold"? I'm not saying Apple does or does not do this - Samsung was caught at it.

    I'm also interested in seeing sales figures of each and comparing them - sold not shipped.
    • RE: WSJ: 'Samsung beating Apple' in smartphone sales race

      @Pete "athynz" Athens There's no catching them at it, this is fully Disclosed and investors jump on board when you switch to this model because it always means higher returns in the next quarters financials.
  • RE: WSJ: 'Samsung beating Apple' in smartphone sales race

    Who cares who sells how many of which phone? People act like they have some personal vested interest in this... are you a shareholder? Buy the phone that works best for you, it is as simple as that. Really, do you have to hate the other company's products? It's just silly.
  • Nice to know

    As a headline nice to see there is decent competition between Apple and Samsung for phones.
    Other than that....

    I like them both.
  • dsgdsfg
  • RE: WSJ: 'Samsung beating Apple' in smartphone sales race

    Nokia was third?!? What decent phone does Nokia even HAVE anymore?? Where is HTC... seems, beside Samsung (and Apple, of course), that's the ONLY nameplate I actually see on the devices people are carrying around in the real world nowadays.
    • RE: WSJ: 'Samsung beating Apple' in smartphone sales race

      @csteinola Nokia's current phones look like iPhones or Androids from two years ago, mostly. The N-series isn't horrible, but more like last year's models.

      However, keep in mind that only a few years back, Nokia held 60% of the Smartphone market, mostly SymbianOS. And the main reason they're falling off a cliff is that in February, Nokia announced that they would end both SymbianOS and Linux (Mameo, MeeGo, whatever) support and go all Windows 7 Phone. So many customers are fleeing, but I suppose SymbianOS fans may be grabbing up the last models available.

      Either way, they've done an amazing job of destroying their market lead, and don't seem to be changing that tune. RIM's much the same. I mean, it was one thing to be blindsided by the iPhone. Even the rise of Android. But it's been long enough, and these guys are still making phones that simply don't compete anymore. That's why we tech geeks watch every iPhone introduction, most of the top Android device intros, but probably didn't even know that Nokia announced their first two Windows 7 Phone models just recently...
  • Enough with the shipped vs sold nonsense

    Its nearly impossible for anyone to calculate the # of units sold unless the product is only being sold by a single outlet. If you shipped 10 iphones to that mom and pop electronic store, there is no way for you to know if all 10 were sold unless you contact them directly and hope they reply with a correct answer. Thats just not practical and nobody is going to go through that exercise. Nielsen ratings are based on a sampling because nielsen is not going to call up every home in america and ask them "did you watch dancing with the stars last night".

    The estimate is an "estimate". Thats as good as you're going to get. But as history has soon, its a pretty good estimate and rarely proven wrong. So just deal with it.