Samsung overtakes Apple in World Smartphone Sales

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Samsung Electronics Co. overtook Apple Inc. in the last quarter to become the world’s largest smartphone vendor amid a widening technology and legal battle between the two companies. Samsung shipped 27.8 million smartphones this quarter, market share of 23.8 percent, which saw them gazump Apple to top the list as the World Biggest Smartphone Manufacturer.

Apple, which released its iPhone 4S this month, held the top spot for only one-quarter after dislodging Espoo, Finland-based Nokia earlier this year. Samsung, based in Suwon, South Korea, has turned to Google Inc.’s Android software to boost sales of its Galaxy smartphones and tablet computers.

The global smartphone sales rose to 117 million devices this year up a staggering 44 percent. Nokia saw itself lose out on market share and now stand at 14.4% from 32.7%.

In the wider mobile-phone market that includes lower-cost devices, Nokia maintained its top spot even after losing 5 percentage points of share, the researcher said in a separate statement. Its 27.3 percent kept it ahead of Samsung’s 22.6 percent, with LG Electronics Inc. third.

Chinese phone maker ZTE Corp.’s cheaper handsets helped it take 4.7 percent and overtake Apple for fourth place. Global market shipments climbed 14 percent to 390 million units, according to the researcher.

Samsung, also the world’s largest manufacturer of televisions, today reported record revenue from its phone division that helped mask a slump in earnings from computer-memory chips and panels.