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Samsung Ships More Smartphones Than Apple

The Korean phone maker shipped the most smartphones worldwide in the third quarter as the global market for phones grew over 42 percent

Samsung beat out Apple and other phone makers in the last quarter, shipping more smartphones all over the world than anyone else, according to a report from IDC.

The report finds the worldwide smartphone market grew by 42.6 percent year-over-year in the third quarter, a lower rate than previously expected due to a later-than-usual new iPhone launch. The growth figures for the second quarter in the smartphone market were 66.7% year-over-year.

One out of every five--or 20 percent--of the 118 million smartphones shipped during the third quarter was a Samsung phone. Apple's share was 14.5 percent, followed closely by Nokia with 14.2 percent. HTC and RIM round out the top five, both with about 10 percent.

That order is a big shift from the same report at the same time last year, when Nokia's smartphone shipments accounted for almost a third of the global market, followed by Apple with 17 percent, and RIM with 15 percent. Samsung came in fourth with 8.8 percent of the market.

Android Smartphones Make the Difference

Samsung's ascendancy mirrors the explosive growth of Android smartphones over the last year. Another big Android phone maker, HTC, was the biggest shipper of smartphones in the United States during the third quarter, according to a different report. Samsung shipped the second-highest amount of phones in that report.

Both Samsung and Android will have a much tougher fourth quarter, according to IDC's Ramon Llamas, thanks to some big releases.

"Apple's fourth quarter launch of the iPhone 4S and lower pricing of older models will certainly boost volumes, and Nokia's recent launch of Windows Phone smartphones marks the beginning of a new era for the company," Llamas says.

IDC expects that the phone makers will continue to leapfrog each other and take turns in the top spot as new smartphones become more advanced. Manufacturers will compete on new features like 3D displays, dual-core processors and improved audio systems.

Follow Eric on Twitter, and at ericmack.org. Follow PC World on Twitter, too.

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