Mobile

That was fast: Samsung topples Apple as top smartphone maker

Samsung has now become the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer, leaping past Apple, which held the title for just one quarter.

Samsung shipped 27.8 million smartphones last quarter, accounting for 23.8 percent of the smartphone market, compared to Apple’s 17.1 million units shipped, according to the research firm Strategy Analytics.

For Samsung, success not only came from Android, but also from Bada, its platform for inexpensive smartphones. In August, Bada appeared to be selling better than Windows Phone worldwide. Those numbers will only continue to rise for Samsung.

In July, we reported that Apple’s smartphone sales surpassed those of Nokia, the former leader, making it the No. 1 smartphone maker for several months. But Apple’s lead slipped due to the delayed launch of the iPhone 4S and the introduction of strong Samsung entries like the Galaxy S II.

Overall, global smartphone shipments grew 44 percent over last year to reach 117 million units. Samsung saw the biggest growth over the past year — it only shipped 7.5 million smartphones last year — while Nokia, unsurprisingly, fell the most, from 26.5 million smartphones shipped last year to 16.8 million this year.

When it comes to all handset sales globally, Nokia still remains top with 106.6 million shipments, compared to 110.4 million last year. Apple, meanwhile, fell to the No. 5 spot, while Chinese handset maker ZTE moved up to No. 4, with 18.5 million units shipped. Samsung remains No. 2, shipping 88 million handsets, up from 71.4 million units last year.

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