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Samsung steams ahead of Apple in smartphone stakes

Samsung has demonstrated its dominance in the smartphone market, after figures from ABI research showed it steamed ahead of Apple in the third quarter of the year.

Helped by popular handsets like the Galaxy S3, Samsung shipped 55.5 million smartphones in the third quarter, compared to Apple’s 26.9 million.

Apple vs Samsung

While Samsung’s year-on-year shipment growth was up by 109.2%, Apple languished behind on a growth figure of 57.6%.

According to senior analyst senior analyst Michael Morgan, Apple has a game of catch up to play if it wants to match last year’s figures, and fend of rival Samsung. He said:

“Samsung looks to be running away from the pack while Apple’s new product portfolio continues to eat into its decreasing gross margins.”

“Apple will need to ship over 94 million smartphones in Q4 if it wants to match its 2011 shipment growth of 96 percent.”

According to senior practice director Jeff Orr, Apple have yet to “move downstream to the rapidly growing low-cost smartphone market,” which could explain why the firm isn’t cornering more of the market.

Smartphone market: Ones to watch

Blackberry maker Research in Motion (RIM) hovered at the bottom of the ranking with smartphone shipments 37.2% down year-on-year and a smartphone shipment total of 7.6 million in the third quarter.

However, RIM was just ahead of HTC, whose smartphone shipments totalled 6 million in the third quarter (down 54.6% year-on-year).

RIM may be banking on the release of the Blackberry 10 operating system, expected in 2013, to reverse its fortunes.

According to Jeffries and Co. analyst Peter Misek, the success of BB10 will be dependent on whether RIM can convince “Samsung, Huawei, and ZTE to license”.

Chinese telecoms giant Huawei featured ahead of RIM in the list, with smartphone shipments in the third quarter totalling 7.6 million, up an impressive 52.4% year-on-year.

The firm is also said to have a 6.1-inch smartphone in the pipeline, which could be a direct rival for Samsung’s 5.5 inch Galaxy Note II smartphone

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