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16 July 2024

Apple vs Samsung Round 2: More than double iPhones sold than the Galaxy S

By Vicky Kapur

Forget whatever you've heard thus far in the war between Apple and Samsung.

Numbers never lie - and if that is indeed true, the verdict is now out.

South Korean major Samsung Electronics said on Monday that global sales of its Galaxy S smartphones surpassed 100 million units since the first model in the series was released less than three years ago, in June 2010.

That's a 100 million units in about 31 months. That isn't bad, considering that Apple's iPhone took much longer for sales to hit the 100-million mark, which happened in March 2011, three-and-a-half years after the introduction of the smartphone in September 2007.

But it's not much use talking about different eras - in the world of smartphones, every quarter is a different decade. So, let's look at the same period June 2010 until December 2012.

Samsung says it's sold a 100 million Galaxy S series smartphones in that time. Apple iPhone sales, on the other hand, reached a record 219.84 million in the same period (between Q3 2010 and Q4 2012).

Yes, that's more than double the devices sold during the same period. Period.

This of course is based on published Apple data.

According to a Samsung statement, the original Galaxy S phone sold 25 million units while the Galaxy S II, launched in April 2011, racked up sales of more than 40 million in almost a year, and the S III has reached the same volume in the eight months since coming on the market in May 2012.

Apple’s best quarterly sales for the iPhone came in Q1 2012, when the Cupertino-based tech giant sold more than 37 million units of the iPhone 4S, followed by the next quarter when sales topped 35 million.

Q3 2012 sales dipped to just over 26 million, with eager fans choosing to wait for the upcoming, rumoured iPhone 5.

The latest device, iPhone 5, launched in September 2012, has yet to see sales spike as the last quarter of 2012 saw iPhone sales almost stagnate at 26.91 million units although some analysts put that down to supply issues, with the handset becoming available in over 100 countries only in December 2012.

But it might also be because some critics argue that the iPhone 5 comes preloaded with defects and disadvantages.

In fact, a recent Consumer Reports survey ranked the iPhone 5 as the worst among top smartphones.

Samsung says that 2012 was a watershed year for it, a year that saw it take a giant bite out of Apple as it carved out a dominant position in the global mobile computing market.

Still, the iPhone remains a dominant device in the smartphones market with more than 271 million units being sold since its launch in Q3 2007.

Nevertheless, Samsung saw its share of the lucrative smartphone market surge to 31.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2012, up from just 3.3 per cent in late 2009.

It is now ranked as the leader – above Apple – as it extended its lead over the Cupertino tech firm as the top maker of smartphones worldwide, according to research firm IHS iSuppli, which gave Samsung 28 per cent of the market in 2012, up from 20 per cent the previous year.

Apple’s share rose to 20 per cent in 2012 from 19 per cent, IHS said.

Samsung is ranked ahead of Apple in the smartphones sweepstakes because the South Korean giant doesn't bank on just one smartphone model, and follows a chaingun approach to launching new devices unlike Apple, which has but one smartphone (the iPhone, of course) and launches one upgrade a year, in addition to the mini avatar it launched last year.

Samsung maintains its leadership position in the worldwide smartphone market with its growth fueled in large part by its broad, deep, and refreshed Android portfolio. In addition to its flagship model Galaxy S III, the company announced multiple mid-range and mass-market models, including a new Windows Phone, the ATIV S, in Q3 2012.

Nevertheless, recent reports point out to a slowing uptake of Apple's best-ever iPhone, the iPhone 5. According to reports published on Monday in the Japanese daily Nikkei, Apple has almost halved its order with suppliers of LCD panels for the iPhone 5 in the current quarter due to weak demand.

The Nikkei claims that Apple has asked its suppliers, including Japan Display, Sharp Corp and South Korean firm LG Display, to cut supply, down from an initial plan to order about 65 million units in the quarter.

That, perhaps, is an opportunity for Samsung to sell more of its spearhead smartphones as compared to Apple's.