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Is Samsung the New Global Smartphone Leader?

When Samsung reported its 3rd quarter earnings towards the end of October this year, they showed a very healthy growth in retail sales for their smartphone units. A 44% increase, in fact, based on their 2nd quarter figures, and a whopping quadruple growth in sales from 7 million the previous year, to 28 million around the world this year. Not bad, huh?

These numbers now place Samsung ahead of both Apple and Nokia as far as sold units are concerned, placing Samsung’s mobile division at the forefront compared to Apple in terms of revenue. Although Apple’s smartphone sales also showed growth as compared to its 2010 financial statements, with only 17.1 million handsets sold in the 3rd quarter of 2011, only a 3 million improvement based on last year’s sales.

Analysts and experts around the world are attributing this new development to the powerful combination of Samsung’s Galaxy line with Google’s Android OS, with its open source policy that allows users to download more applications for their use and enjoyment, which is one of the reasons why many prefer Android to other operating systems. Likewise, recent updates to their system has allowed for better battery management. Another factor that needs to be considered however, is the fact that the surge in Samsung smartphone sales may also be a result of consumers waiting on the iPhone 4S release, which was set for a June release, but was held back by unforeseen delays. Was the rumour spread by Apple itself to make sure consumers would remain interested in its upcoming iPhone 4S? That we can not say.

Nevertheless, even if the speculation that the delay in the iPhone 4S was the factor that tipped the scales for Samsung, the fact is that Samsung still does have good items on offer. And on the price point alone, Samsung has a definite edge over Apple, particularly in the low-cost to the mid-range markets. On another note, Samsung and Apple have been locked in ongoing court battles across multiple markets in several countries on the subject of patent infringements. Should Apple successfully defend their case, this will ensure that they take back the top spot, and hold on to it indefinitely.

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