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7/26/2012
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Samsung's Smartphone Sales Trounce Apple's

Samsung sold twice as many smartphones as Apple in the second quarter. No wonder Apple's trying to protect its turf in court.

Samsung's Android Super Smartphone: Galaxy SIII
Samsung's Android Super Smartphone: Galaxy SIII
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Samsung is due to report its second-quarter earnings Thursday. Though the company no longer specifies sales or shipments of smartphones, analysts peg the number at more than 52 million--or double the 26 million iPhones Apple sold during the same period.

According to Juniper Research, the 10 million unit sales of the Galaxy S III have helped Samsung widen its lead over Apple. Samsung's flagship devices have contributed to its massive sales figures, no doubt, but the bulk of its sales have been of mid-range and entry-level smartphones, Juniper said.

"While the Galaxy S III has been a phenomenal success, Samsung has leveraged its global brand strength and the popularity of the Android OS to drive sales of smartphones in all price tiers," reported Juniper. "RIM continues to struggle to cope with the transition to the touchscreen era and an OS which lacks the user base to attract developers, and Nokia is yet to show any clear indication it is benefiting from the switch to Windows Phone 7, with its hopes riding on Windows 8."

Apple has a chance to strike back with the iPhone 5. The next-generation iPhone, due this fall, has garnered heavy interest from the buying public. Apple recently predicted a slowdown of iPhone sales during the next quarter in anticipation of the new device. Not only will consumers purchase fewer iPhones during the next three months, but they may also refrain from making any sort of smartphone purchase, if only to see what the iPhone 5 have to offer.

[ Apple's earnings fell short of analyst expectations. See Apple Earnings: All About iPad. ]

Confirmed details of the iPhone 5 are few, but it is expected to have a larger, thinner display; LTE 4G for various networks in the United States and beyond; and a slightly different design from the current generation of hardware.

Juniper believes Apple needs to step up the special features, though. Siri, the virtual voice assistant, may have helped spur sales of the iPhone 4S in the latter months of 2011 and early months of 2012, but the next iPhone had best include a similar exclusive power to help set it apart from the competition.

Samsung is estimated to have sold 50 million smartphones in during the first quarter of 2012, while Apple sold 35 million. With Samsung clearly pulling ahead in terms of overall device sales, it's no wonder that Apple is protecting its turf with lawsuits and litigation.

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