Samsung claims top spot in global smartphone shipments for Q3 2011, Apple slips to number two

On this edition of As The Smartphone World Turns..., we've got Samsung violently snatching victory from the jaws of Apple, claiming its spot at the top of global smartphone vendors once more. Dramatics aside, the latest shipment figures tallied up by Strategy Analytics are showing that worldwide smartphone shipments are up 44 percent year-over-year, reaching a staggering 117 million units in Q3 2011. Digging into that a bit, we're told that Samsung has overtaken Apple from a units-shipped standpoint, with Sammy moving 28 million smartphones and claiming 24 percent of the market share. If you'll recall, Apple briefly grabbed hold of numero uno last quarter, but has now fallen a rung with 15 percent of the global pie. Of course, things could be dramatically different when we see Q4 2011 figures roll out -- remember, Q3 2011 was the last quarter in a long string with the aging iPhone 4 as Apple's "newest" device. Stranger still, Nokia is slotted third with just 14 percent of the global share, representing a precipitous drop from 33 percent a year ago. Similarly, Nokia's fortunes are apt to change with both the N9 finally out and its spate of Windows Phone devices heading out in short order. Hop on past the break for the full breakdown.

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Strategy Analytics: Samsung Becomes World's Number One Smartphone Vendor in Q3 2011

BOSTON, Oct 27, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments grew 44 percent annually to reach a record 117 million units in the third quarter of 2011. Samsung overtook Apple to claim top spot as the world's number one smartphone vendor.

Alex Spektor, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, "Global smartphone shipments grew 44 percent annually to reach a record 117 million units in Q3 2011. Samsung shipped 28 million smartphones and overtook Apple to become the world's largest smartphone vendor by volume with 24 percent market share. Samsung's rise has been driven by a blend of elegant hardware designs, popular Android services, memorable sub-brands and extensive global distribution. Samsung has demonstrated that it is possible, at least in the short term, to differentiate and grow by using the Android ecosystem."

Neil Mawston, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, "After just one quarter in the top spot, Apple slipped behind Samsung to second position and captured 15 percent share. Apple's global smartphone growth rate slowed to just 21 percent annually in Q3 2011, its lowest level for two years. We believe Apple's growth during the third quarter was affected by consumers and operators awaiting the launch of the new iPhone 4S in the fourth quarter, volatile economic conditions in several key countries, and tougher competition from Samsung's popular Galaxy S2 model."

Tom Kang, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, "Nokia reached 14 percent global smartphone share in Q3 2011, more than halving from 33 percent in Q3 2010. The transition from Symbian to Microsoft as Nokia's main smartphone platform has clearly been a very challenging process this year. The recent launch of the new Microsoft Lumia portfolio has helped to raise Nokia's profile, and Nokia will be hoping the partnership with Microsoft can drive at least an L-shaped recovery in its global smartphone market share over the next few months."

Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone Vendor Shipments and Market Share in Q3 2011 (1)

Global Smartphone Vendor Shipments (Millions of Units) Q3 '10 Q3 '11
------------------------------------------------------ ------ ------
Samsung 7.5 27.8
Apple 14.1 17.1
Nokia 26.5 16.8
Others 32.9 55.3
------------------------------------------------------ ------ ------
Total 81.0 117.0
====================================================== ====== ======
Global Smartphone Vendor Marketshare % Q3 '10 Q3 '11
------------------------------------------------------ ------ ------
Samsung 9.3% 23.8%
Apple 17.4% 14.6%
Nokia 32.7% 14.4%
Others 40.6% 47.3%
------------------------------------------------------ ------ ------
Total 100.0% 100.0%
====================================================== ====== ======
Total Growth Year-over-Year % 86.5% 44.4%

The full report, Samsung Becomes World's No.1 Smartphone Vendor in Q3 2011, is published by the Strategy Analytics Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, details of which can be found here: .