Perhaps due to the delayed launch of the iPhone 4S, or perhaps the result of flooding the market with handsets, Samsung over the past quarter moved past Apple to become the largest smartphone vendor in the world.
During the third fiscal quarter of 2011, Samsung shipped 27.8 million smartphones, enough to garner it a 23.8% share of the market. Apple meanwhile boasted 17.1 million iPhone shipments in the last quarter, representing 14.6% of the market.
Apple had previously held the vaunted position as the premier smartphone manufacturer only briefly after it surpassed Nokia in early 2011.
“Samsung’s rise has been driven by a blend of elegant hardware designs, popular Android services, memorable sub-brands and extensive global distribution,” Strategy Analytics wrote. “Samsung has demonstrated that it is possible, at least in the short term, to differentiate and grow by using the Android ecosystem.”
Apple and Samsung are currently entangled in litigation across the globe over alleged claims of patent infringement. Steve Jobs said in his biography that he’d spend every last penny of Apple’s billions to destroy Android as he considered it a stolen product. Also playing a factor, we guess, is that Jobs felt that Eric Schmidt backstabbed him much in the same way he felt Bill Gates did decades earlier.
In any event, despite Apple throwing all of their legal muscle at Samsung, don’t expect the Korean-based electronics giant to cave anytime soon. Smartphone sales are at an all-time high and Android is proving to be a cash cow for them.