Samsung "Star Performer" (But Who's The REAL Smartphone King)?
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Its official: Samsung now tops the phone league – outrunning Nokia. But WHO is the real smartphone king?

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Thats according to Strategy Analytics, who crowned Samsung as the phone industry’s “star performer” after it floged a staggering 93.5 million handsets during Q1 2012, according to estimates.

That over 30 million Galaxy Android smartphones, including S II, S II 4G and Ace, as well as other ‘dumb’ low end mobiles.

“Samsung was the star performer during the quarter, capturing a record 25 percent marketshare to become the world’s number one handset vendor for the first time ever,” Alexander Spektor, Strategy’s analyst said.

“Five years after it captured the number-two spot from Motorola, Samsung has finally become the world’s largest handset vendor in volume terms.”

And the smartphone league table looks like this:

Samsung No. 1 with 93.5m phone shipments, Nokia still hanging in there with 82.5m followed by Apple’s 35.1m figure, which at just one third of arch rival Samung figure looks like small cakes, by comparison.

But lets not forget Apple does not sell dumb mobiles, so on the smartphone score Samsung’s dominance is questionable as we will see further on.

The Galaxy maker this week said its handset division accounted for 73% of its company’s total profit figure, and noted “steady” sales of the existing flagship Galaxy S, Ace, Y, and sales expansion of high-end “strategic” models including phablet Galaxy Note, and S II LTE,

According to Strategy, global handset shipments grew by a “modest” 3% annually to 368 million in the first three months of 2012.

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But as Samsung soars, it was to the detriment of Finnish maker Nokia, whose global handset shipments declined a disappointing 24% – meaning it has finally lost the top spot after 14 year reign.


This was due to low-end feature phone shipments in emerging markets stalling and its newly released Windows Lumia smartphone unable to offset the rapid decline of its Symbian business.

Apple shipped a “healthy” 35.1 million handsets worldwide in Q1 2012, nearly double the figure a year ago – its highest ever marketshare in the overall handset category, noted Tom Kang, Strategy Analytics Director.

This was driven by strong demand for the new iPhone 4S in the US and Japan, and recent launch in China, which saw almost riots at Apple Stores there.

However, this 10% marketshare looks like to rise once again next quarter, say analysts, although could be stopped in its tracks by the new Galaxy S3.

However, although Samsung is the clear king of phones, who is the real smartphone king?

Analysts are at odds over the precise number of Samsung smarties shifted, as the giant does not release exact sales figures, unlike Apple.

And Samsung’s 93.5 million figure includes ‘dumb’ phones or low end basic mobiles, so it is far from clear whether the Gaalxy S II maker is the smartphone leader.

Analysts are estimating the S II maker flogged anything between 32-44 million devices. If the lower end of these estimates are correct then Apple iPhone is the leader.

So, it looks like The Great War between Samsung and Apple continues – this time its Galaxy S 3 V iPhone 4S/5.

“We expect Apple to grow further in the second quarter of the year, but the upcoming launch of Samsung’s new Galaxy S3 flagship model could slow iPhone’s growth in some regions if it is well received by operators and consumers.”

Read: Galaxy Soar: Samsung Jumps 81% On Mobile