Apple had a short victory last quarter, when they surpassed Nokia (they were already ahead of Samsung in smartphones), but it looks like nothing will be able to stop Samsung’s skyrocketing growth. Samsung sold 27 million smartphones in Q3 this year, and it’s looking at selling around 35 million next quarter, now that Galaxy S II is on 3 carriers in USA, Galaxy Nexus will be able soon for Verizon, and we might even see the Galaxy S II HD by the end of the quarter. On the other hand, Apple is expected to sell only about 25 million iPhones next quarter. Even if they sell 30 million, they should still fall short of matching Samsung.

All this is really not surprising if you’ve been following Samsung and you knew where things are going. It’s not just that Samsung makes higher and higher quality products these days, but also because Samsung sells smartphones at all price ranges, and it’s only getting started. If you think that 27 million units per quarter is a lot, well, it’s not. The real volume will start with phones under $150, which Samsung hasn’t really made so far, but they will.

Samsung sells about 3x as many feature phones as smartphones, and all those feature phones are going to be smartphones in the next 5 years – Android smartphones for the most part. How do you compete with that if you’re Apple? You can’t, not unless you start selling low priced smartphones, which they won’t.

This is also a huge problem for Nokia, and to fix it, they should’ve seen it coming years ago, not just right now. Windows Phone won’t go too low on specs, and that’s because it’s too restricted. It’s hard enough for Microsoft to update even one year old hardware in what are basically the same phones, and it would be even harder to try updating a whole range of devices with different specs. It’s just not feasible, even for Microsoft. Plus, how big will the WP7 market really get? We haven’t seen anything encouraging so far, and it feels that Nokia will be just a big fish in a small pond, rather than a big fish in a big pond, like they could’ve been with Android.

Nokia also has plans for Meltemi, a Linux based OS (yes, another one) that’s coming to lower-end phones in the future, but I think Nokia will be in big trouble by then. It will definitely lose most of its market share to other Android manufacturers – not just Samsung and the top league, but also to companies like ZTE and Huawei.

Nokia is still leader in the whole phone market, but at the rate Nokia’s market share is declining, and Samsung’s market share is skyrocketing, I expect Samsung to become the leader of the whole phone market within a few quarters, too. And I say they will deserve it, but there’s no denying that Samsung wouldn’t have made it this far without being such a strong supporter of Android.

I don’t think any manufacturer would’ve been competitive against Apple with their own OS, and Bada feels like it’s at least 2-3 years behind Android, especially now after Android 4.0. And what good would a different OS do them if they would only be able to sell 10x less smartphones? Joining a strong ecosystem like Android was critical if they wanted to become competitive against Apple. The manufacturers should never forget that.


  • AppleFUD

    If Samsung does things right they could position themselves to the #1 mobile device OEM for a long time to come. . . but they have to do it right. Devices like the GSII & Tab(s) with highly optimized Android, long term updates, and fast updates. Put that together with an intelligent integration of Android into their ecosystem–TV, handsets, tablets, etc–and you have what apple is striving for but in a much more “open” manner with a partner bankrolling the OS and back-end apps that apple may never have.

  • Kinchas

    Any wonder Apple decided to sue Samsung?????

    • John

      They want to humiliate samsung and overhrow samsung!

  • 8PAQ

    No worries, Apple will get their #1 spot back this quarter. Also even in last quarter Apple made way more profit than Samsung which is what really matters. Finally, let’s not forget that iPad is totally killing all other tablets right now including the ripoffs from Samsung.

    • Bigrow0427

      There is no doubt about it that the ipad rules the tablet market, but when it comes to smartphones Samsung is the new king. With apple only offering 3 phones to choose from there is no way that they can out sell Samsung in the next quarter.

      • 8PAQ

        I serious when i say that Apple will sell over 30 mil iPhones this quarter. Even if Samsung sells more it will be very close. Plus you gotta remember that Samaung number includes Bada and Windows phones.

        • Kinchas

          Your point being?

        • 2356

          What’s your point on that!? Samsung has windows phone and bada but most of its phones are android!

    • CJ

      Samsung rules in smartphones, apple rules in tablets. Apple for me will never get back it’s 1st place. samsung is not just the only enemy of apple. There is sony, htc, zte, huawei, lg and many more. Ipads are the only things that will be apple’s bet not iphone! macbooks are no more great! Plus iphones are too expensive here in the philippines, P45,000+ for an iphone 5, a galaxy sIII only stacks up to P28,000 and P31,000 for a note II!

  • Anonymous

    This will be short lived. Apple is projected to sell 42 million iPhones Q4 2011. Not to mention Apple is killing the competition in profits where it really counts. Enjoy the short lived lead Samsung.

    • Mind_You

      yes yes.. short lived you say. check out how many complaints have been made from Apple nowadays. very restrictive Apple and their greedy minds.

      • Anonymous

        Their integrated model seems to be working quite fine. Seems to me Google’s open model based on stolen IP isn’t doing quite so well in the courts, is it? I think you should be very worried about Android’s future.

        • John23412

          The success of samsung is because iphones are a thing of the past! Apple has been churning out almost the same phones per year! Apple has too small screens. Too small to even play (correct me when i’m wrong) hd videos The only thing great with apple right now is it’s design, and that’s all! If samsung continue to create more great innovations it will be first for a very long time unlike apple’s reign, it was short-lived!

  • samsung rocks !!!

  • charlie wyatt

    lmfao.. samsung make 1 good phone per year – the rest are are just cheap crap like the nexus. Their main threat is Sony (formerly SE) who design excellent phones with very good build quality.

  • Not to sound biased here, since I’m a huge fan of Android myself, but to claim it’s all “thanks to Android” is not exactly an accurate statement in my opinion. This to me implies that Android deserves all the credit, when in fact Samsung earned this status for many reasons that aren’t just related to operating system of choice alone. Just my 2 cents.

  • People need low priced smartphones these days. How about Apple? From Mac to smartphones they are too expensive.

  • CMB

    I’ll try repeat this till you folks in the 1st world get it!
    Its simple; most of the world is poor or lower middle class. They all want in on the new mobile technology and android being the most open, robust and inclusive platform along with its very capable partners are bringing this experience to the majority of the world; those transitioning from the old Nokia ruled ‘cellphone’ world are joining the smartphone ranks. This is where all the new market is coming from and their trusted brand is currently Samsung but i also think quality cheap phones from the likes of Huwei and ZTE will also feature highly in the future. Looking forward long term once brand loyalty and OS adoption is created, switching becomes unthinkable. So exclusive companies (Apple, HTC) will cater to the top end and remain profit kings earning lots of cash from moving a small number of units while inclusive Huwei & ZTE may become sales kings moving a large number of low end smart phones. And then there’s Samsung having taken the place of Nokia after it has forgotten that it catered to all from the top end to somewhere in the middle; the area where true kings are made and reign; the place at which balance of profit and large units shipped to a wider variety of markets is achieved…
    But what do I know of the future, its all speculation the people will decide.

  • Samsung is in patent war with apple but still tops the smartphone market, great result for samsung!