Samsung tops Apple in global smartphone sales

Samsung has overtaken Apple in worldwide smartphone sales in Q3 2011. According to researchers Strategy Analytics, the South Korean company sold more than 10 million more devices than its nearest rival in the period from July to September.

With no new handset on sale, and customers tired of waiting for the iPhone 4S, Apple shifted 17.1 million devices globally in that quarter, giving it a 14.6 per cent market share, while Samsung sold 27.8 million smartphones, commanding a massive 23.8 per cent market.

Surprisingly, perhaps, Nokia was the third biggest smartphone supplier in Q3. Its sale were just shy of Apple's at 16.8 million, giving the Finnish company a 14.4 per cent share of the smartphone market, even before the Lumia 800, its first Windows Phone 7 handset, was announced.

The rest of the mobile phone manufacturers, including HTC, LG and Motorola, sold 55.3 million smartphones between them.

In total handset sales, including feature phones, Apple also fell behind, with Nokia topping the list with 27 per cent of the market, Samsung second with 22.6 per cent, LG third with 5.4 per cent, and Chinese manufacturer ZTE pipping the Cupertino giant with 4.7 per cent. With no new handset on offer, Apple only held 4.4 per cent worldwide market share.

Of course, not only will the successful launch of the iPhone 4S (more pre-orders than ever before) alter the landscape for Q4, but it must be remembered that Apple only releases one new device a year, while Samsung, while bolstered by excellent sales for the Galaxy S II, has many on the market, at a range of price points.

Perhaps the most surprising thing, therefore, is the absence of HTC in the top three.

What do you think is the reason behind Apple's slight dip? And why is HTC missing? Let us know in the comments below...