Samsung global leader in smartphone shipments, Android up to 50% share: Gartner

Daniel Bader

November 15, 2011 9:03am

We know there are always analysts saying something about Android vs. iOS, but hear us out, because this is kind of significant: for the first time ever, Samsung shipped more smartphones than Nokia or Apple in the previous quarter, Q3 ’11. While Nokia still sold more phones — 105m to 78m — Samsung not only increased their sales numbers overall but sold 24 million smartphones to Apple’s 17 million.

Indeed, it appears that Samsung and its Galaxy powerhouse is stealing marketshare from pretty much everyone. Year over year Nokia’s sales were down some 6% while Samsung’s were up slightly, but smartphone sales tripled — those higher prices account for a large portion of their windfall.

According to Gartner, “Samsung became the No. 1 smartphone manufacturer worldwide as sales to end users tripled year over year to reach 24 million … Samsung was the No. 1 smartphone manufacturer for the first time, ahead of Nokia in Western Europe and Asia. Gartner attributes this to the strong performance of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones, which now cover a broad range of prices, and a weaker competitive market. Analysts expect more competition in the fourth quarter of 2011, not least because sales of the iPhone 4S, 4 and 3GS will capture share from Android manufacturers.”

Some of the increase has been attributed to the lack of an iPhone in Q3, which is traditionally when Apple releases their upgraded product. The real test will be to see whether these gains can be sustained in Q4 ’11 as the iPhone 4S is distributed into multiple channels worldwide. “Gartner believes Apple will bounce back in the fourth quarter because of its strongest ever preorders for the iPhone 4S in the first weekend after its announcement.”

Perhaps the more significant news is that Android as a platform is up to 52.5% market share worldwide. Though this is attributable to low-cost solutions flooding the market, it also gives a good indication that OEMs and carriers both love the OS and its flexibility. While we’re not fans of low-end Android devices and tend to think the platform performs rather poorly on meagre hardware, being able to sell cheap “smartphones” to consumers across the world has brought Android into the forefront of marketshare and, to some extent, mindshare.

“Android benefited from more mass-market offerings, a weaker competitive environment and the lack of exciting new products on alternative operating systems such as Windows Phone 7 and RIM. Apple’s iOS market share suffered from delayed purchases as consumers waited for the new iPhone. Continued pressure is impacting RIM’s performance, and its smartphone share reached its lowest point so far in the U.S. market, where it dropped to 10 percent.”

Source: Gartner
Via: Engadget 

  • Kid_Canada

    How is symbian topping RIM and IOS? Something tells me this isn’t legit…

    • bob

      I think symbian is still popular outside north america

      Canada is much more RIM and iOS than the rest of the world.

    • Labrat

      Yeah, it’s called the rest of the world.

      We have so little Nokia/Symbian exposure that we tend to forget how big Nokia is/was.

  • AllanVS

    Also … uh, it’s Nokia that is #1 … Nokia has 23.9%, while Samsung has 17.8%. Me thinks you had too much to drink last night ‘reporter’.

    • StephenBB81

      Nokia has 23.9% of Mobile phones, but Samsung has the greatest % of Smartphones

      it’s a reports using numbers to support their headline even though they are not the clearest numbers

  • Brad F

    Really, an entire line of phones is beating a single phone, you say? Why, that simply sounds outrageous! How could a company’s entire line comprised of dozens of models be beating another company’s single model? It’s preposterous!


    • Daniel Leibowitz

      Its not Samsung’s fault that Apple can’t produce more than one different phone every 1.5 years 😛

    • Nicholas

      Even sarcastically, this claim isn’t really true anymore.
      With the 3GS, 4 and 4S, Apple has more than one phone.
      Yes, Sammy has about a dozen or so, but Apple doesn’t have just one anymore…

  • Rio

    Good observation Nicholas. Apple has 3 phones now not 1! Lol still a big difference.

    Not to mention, these are shipped numbers not sold numbers.

    Not bashing Samsung or anything, they are a great company with a good line of phones.

  • Slype

    While Apple has one phone, they usually only support / push two phones and quickly take the other ones off. I would too if 1 of my 3 phones I had to offer was 2.5 years old.

    Apple is getting good business lesson about competitive markets and how they will always beat insulated ones in terms of offerings to consumers.

    Methinks they are going to need that 80 billion cash to start create multiple design teams and start cranking out iPhones every 6 months in order to keep up with Android in terms of hardware. Software wise, I think Apple is doing pretty well. Siri was a great move on their part and despite its limitations, it is a good step in the right direction.

  • Dalex

    How is Apple only having one phone an excuse exactly anyway? Whose decision do you think it is to have one only one phone?

    This shouldn’t be even close, but due to all the sheep in the world its an unfortunate reality. Samsung offers a range of smartphones for different budgets and different wants that their customers may have. The have the best phone of 2011 in the Galaxy S2, but they also have lower priced handsets for people that prefer them.

    It’s called listening to what customers want in a smartphone and offering different models to accomodate everyone. Quite the opposite from telling people what a smartphone should be and they that should be conforming to that idea.

  • Dread

    Apple owns the high end market. And it looks like Android is growing by leaps and bounds in the lower mid market.

    However, despite pretty more marketing, Samsung has done a solid job in Mobile. This presents every a stronger case for RIM to get off their butt and come out with a SERIOUS BBX models that set the tone for the marketplace.