Apple has reportedly been overtaken by Samsung as the leading smartphone vendor, according to the Wall Street Journal. It seems Apple’s longer than normal gap between iPhone releases had a big impact on sales, as incessant speculation and countless rumors no doubt lead to consumer unease.
A person familiar with the situation claimed Samsung shipped more than 20 million smartphones in the quarter ended September 30, while Apple sold 17.1 million in its fourth fiscal quarter. Samsung has made a huge push this year in the high end smartphone market, offering a number of phones running Google’s Android.
Samsung’s impressive smartphone growth has been driven by its attractive hardware designs, advanced features, a compelling Android ecosystem and an extensive global distribution network, said Neil Mawston, an analyst with Strategy Analytics, who noted that market expectations are for Samsung to have shipped between 20 million and 30 million smartphones worldwide during the third quarter.
Samsung has steadily climbed the ranks in the smartphone market, first overtaking Nokia earlier this year, and now Apple. The final stretch heading into the new year could turn into a different story, however, as Apple has reportedly sold more than four million iPhone 4S units since its release last week. With huge interest in Apple’s new Siri software, iPhone 4S sales could climb even more over the holiday season especially since it’s available on America’s three largest carriers. Concurrently, Samsung recently unveiled their next flagship device, the Galaxy Nexus, which will run Google’s new and much anticipated Android 4.0 OS.
It will be interesting to see how this all pans for both companies amidst their ongoing legal battles. Apple endured a sixteen month gap between new iPhone models, but still managed a respectable 17.1 million in sales. Meanwhile, Samsung took advantage of this lull by releasing a number of fantastic Android devices, shipping more than 20 million units even in a saturated market. With the holiday season oh-so-close, the next few months are going to be quite the dogfight between the two juggernauts.
What are your thoughts on Samsung’s rise to the top?