Samsung is knocking off the top players in mobile. First, they ousted Nokia to become the top mobile phone vendor in the world for Q1 of 2012. Then they pushed passed Apple to become the most prolific smartphone manufacturer. Overall, phone sales were down year-over-year by 1.5% but smartphone shipments are up 42.5%.
“The race between Apple and Samsung remained tight during the quarter, even as both companies posted growth in key areas,” said Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC‘s Mobile Phone Technology and Trends program. “Apple launched its popular iPhone 4S in additional key markets, most notably in China, and Samsung experienced continued success from its Galaxy Note smartphone/tablet and other Galaxy smartphones. With other companies in the midst of major strategic transitions, the contest between Apple and Samsung will bear close observation as hotly-anticipated new models are launched.”
The IDC estimates that Samsung shipped 42.2 million smartphones in the first quarter, an amazing 267% increase from Q1 2011. Samsung does not release official sales numbers, but even if they’re off by quite a bit they are still well-ahead of Apple’s 35.1 million shipped.
Don’t expect this to be permanent. The release of the iPhone 5, whenever that may be, will likely shatter all records to date.