Samsung Electronics Co. surpassed Apple Inc. as the world’s top smartphone maker with more than 40% shipment growth, and forecast strong sales in the fourth quarter, as it aims to consolidate its lead against rivals. Samsung Electronics overtook its main rival Apple in the third quarter to become the world’s largest seller of smart-phones, according to data released Friday by market research firm Strategy Analytics. Samsung sold 27.8 million smart-phones while Apple shipped 17.1 million and Finland’s Nokia sold 16.8 million.
Samsung only entered the smartphone market last year, but its sales have rocketed thanks to a sleek production system that rapidly brings new products to market. Apple introduced its first iPhone in 2007.
In the handset division, Samsung has no real rival models to challenge its products except for the iPhone 4S. Apple and Samsung will continue to dominate the market in the fourth quarter, said Kim Hyun-joong, a fund manager at Midas Asset Management, which owns Samsung shares.
Samsung, the biggest handset maker in Google’s Android camp, however, faces challenges as the new iPhone, introduced earlier this month, is scoring strong sales, while Nokia is fighting back with its first phones based on Microsoft’s Windows software.
Sony Corp also announced on Thursday that it would take full ownership of its mobile venture Sony Ericsson in a bid to exploit its music and video.
Samsung on Thursday announced the launch of its Galaxy Note mobile devices, adding to the flagship Galaxy lineup of products. The devices, powered by the Android software, will square off against a series of new models released by Apple Nokia, and HTC Corp.
Samsung’s chip business is also benefiting from strong demand for mobile processor chips used in Apple’s iPhone and iPad tablet as well as its own Galaxy smart-phones. Samsung’s display business posted losses for a third consecutive quarter on weak demand for TVs and PCs. But losses narrowed from the previous quarter, helped by strong earnings from the OLED display, which is widely expected to replace LCD as the next-generation flat-screen in mobile devices and TVs.