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samsung-300M-phonesSamsung has sold over 300 million phones for 2011, a first for the company’s history, the company said Sunday.

The news tops off an incredible year for Samsung, which became the top smartphone manufacturer in the world in late October. Apple held the title for a single quarter earlier in the year, and Nokia held it before Apple. Samsung shipped 27.8 million smartphones in the third quarter alone, accounting for 23.8 percent of the smartphone market. On top of smartphones, the company has sold an huge number of “dumb” phones as well.

“We are incredibly proud of this record-breaking sales milestone and have exceeded the annual target announced early this year, which is testament to the enduring appeal of Samsung phones with consumers around the world,” said Shin Jong-Kyun, president of Samsung Mobile, in a statement.

Samsung’s phone sales in 2010 were about 280 million. What pushed Samsung over the 300 million mark this year could have been the launch of the hugely popular Galaxy S II line. In late August, I wrote a hands on report of the Galaxy S II models for AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, and I still believe the S II line includes some of the best Android phones ever released. By September, the Galaxy S II line had shipped more than 10 million units around the world.

Next up for Samsung in the U.S. is the launch of the hyped Galaxy Nexus, which has a 4.65-inch screen and blazing 4G data speeds but still has not been given a release date. The phone was supposedly delayed because Verizon wanted Google Wallet software removed before the launch. Google, Samsung and Verizon’s last official comment about the release date said the phone would launch before the end of the year.

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