Samsung reported its quarterly earnings this week and revealed some amazing growth from the company's smartphone business. Year-over-year, Samsung quadrupled the number of smartphones it has sold from 7 million to a whopping 28 million.
Samsung's smartphone business is expanding at an intense rate. Earlier this month, Samsung announced that it has shipped more than 30 million Galaxy smartphones since the phones started selling in June 2010. Samsung's Galaxy smartphones are a family of devices that run Google's Android platform. Some of the Galaxy handsets include the Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch, and others. They are sold by virtually all carriers in most markets around the world.
Samsung's third-quarter smartphone sales eclipsed Apple's, which sold 17 million iPhones in its most recent quarter. Samsung outpaced Apple by more than 50% with its 28 million phones sold.
The new numbers show that Samsung holds about 23.8% of the worldwide smartphone market. Apple and Nokia--which is still the world's largest producer of cellphones overall--both lost share to Samsung. Apple's share dropped from 17.4% to 14.6%, and Nokia's share plunged from 32.7% to 14.4%.
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Apple blamed its slower quarterly iPhone sales on "media speculation" about the iPhone 5 and the three-month delay in bringing the iPhone 4S to market. Clearly, consumers were waiting for a new iPhone. Apple sold a stunning 4 million iPhone 4S devices during its opening weekend of sales, and the phone remains a hot seller.
Nokia's share of the market fell because it hasn't brought any new smartphones to market. While it shipped several Symbian-based devices and the MeeGo-powered N9, the company has been transitioning from Symbian and MeeGo smartphones to Windows Phone smartphones. Nokia announced its first Windows Phone devices, the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710, this week at an event in London. Both go on sale in Europe later this year.
Samsung's telecommunications business accounted for 36% of the company's total revenue. Samsung also makes laptops, computers, televisions, processors, memory chips, display panels, and other consumer electronics. Samsung made a net profit of $3.11 billion for the quarter.