Apple is Once Again the World’s Largest Smartphone Maker

Earlier this week, Apple reported a massive blowout holiday quarter. With over 37 million iPhones sold, it was the company’s best quarter yet. Turns out, last quarter’s results also helped Apple dethrone Samsung to become the world’s largest smartphone maker. Strategy Analytics, a market research firm, revealed that the company pass Apple just by a little bit. However, Samsung shipped an estimated 36.5 million units worldwide in the fourth quarter.

Samsung declined to comment on how many smartphones it shipped last quarter, but it did note a 30 percent growth. Oh Samsung, if numbers were higher than Apple’s, I’m sure they would have revealed that too. In 2011, Samsung was first able to claim the first spot for annual smartphone shipments with an estimated 97.4 million units, compared to Apple’s 93 million iPhones in 2011.

Q4 2011 smartphone shipped chart

Nokia took third place with an estimated quarterly shipments of 19.6 millions, which was apparently enough for a 12.6 percent market share. That company has seen its market share significantly reduce since its decision to transition from Symbian to Windows Phone. In the year ago quarter, Nokia shipped 28.3 million smartphones.

The report also reveals that total smartphone shipments for the quarter increased by 55 percent year over year to reach a record 155 million, while annual shipments were an estimated 488.5 million units. Now, these numbers may sound insanely large, but it should be noted that there is a huge difference between number of devices “shipped” and number of devices “sold.” The latter is the one which generates the money for a company, and that’s all that matters in the end.

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