Gartner: Samsung Leads Phone Sales in Third Quarter

Samsung Galaxy S III | Samsung Official Website

According to Gartner’s report last week, Samsung was able to outsell Apple and Nokia in worldwide mobile devices during the third quarter this year. The South Korean tech giant was able to sell 98 million phones during the recent quarter, an 18.6 percent increase compared to its performance during Q3 2011.

Samsung’s Widening Lead Over Apple

Although both Samsung and Apple are selling more smartphones during the third quarter year-on-year, the South Korean company was able to widen its lead over the Cupertino-based company this year.

The Galaxy S III maker sold 55 million smartphones during the recent quarter compared to Apple’s 23.6 million handset sales. Moreover, analysts pointed out that Samsung’s latest Android flagship smartphone is now the top-selling mobile device this quarter. In turn, Samsung now controls 32.5 percent of the smartphone market. Apple, on the other hand, now owns 14 percent of the market.

Meanwhile, Nokia was able to beat Apple when it came to total mobile phone sales, with 82 million sold during the third quarter. However, the Finnish handset maker only sold 7.2 million smartphones. However, Gartner expects that the release of the new Nokia Lumia devices with Windows Phone 8 will halt the company’s decline for the fourth quarter.

During the last quarter, Research In Motion and HTC hold the third and fourth place respectively. However, that could quickly change according to Gartner analyst Anshul Gupta.

Both HTC and RIM have seen their sales declining in past few quarters, and the challenges might prevent them from holding on to their current rankings in coming quarters.

In addition, Android continues to dominate the smartphone operating system area, with 72.4 percent of devices sold during the third quarter. Apple’s iOS holds 13.9 percent, BlackBerry had 5.3 percent, while Windows Phone represents 2.4 percent of the market.

Fourth Quarter Expectations

For the fourth quarter of 2012, it is expected that Apple will do better since many consumers are clamoring for the iPhone 5. The same thing goes for Microsoft with the release of Windows Phone 8.

Gartner added that mobile phones sold last quarter are 3.1 percent fewer at 428 million mobile phones than the same quarter last year. However, 169.2 million of it were smartphones, a 46.9 percent increase from Q3 2011. Gupta added:

After two consecutive quarter of decline in mobile phone sales, demand has improved in both mature and emerging markets as sales increased sequentially.

Despite that, Gartner said that there will be a lower-than-average boost to mobile sales this upcoming holiday season. That’s because consumers are now more cautious about spending, or more interested in tablets this year.

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