According to a research company, Samsung Electronics, the manufacturer of the Galaxy mobile handset line, may have overtaken Apple and Nokia in terms of sales of smartphones for the first time ever due to the great demand for phones which are based on Google’s Android platform. During the quarter which ended this June, it is expected that Apple sold from 18 to 21 million smartphones all over the world, compared to the 20 million and 16 million phones which were sold by Apple and Nokia respectively, according to a Boston-based research company.
This data, however, excludes the sales of tablet computers. The estimates indicate that Android based smartphones are gaining on Apple’s iPhone in the market as Nokia, which recently turned to Microsoft for support in software, is struggling to keep up with the competition. Samsung, which is also the producer of low-end phones which can’t run applications, has declared that its aim is to increase the sales of its high-end smartphones by more than double their current amount.
Samsung is expected to have a 20% share of the cell phone market this year, including basic phones, as compared to the 26% share of Nokia. The gap between two of the world’s largest makers of mobile handsets has been reduced to its lowest ever margin. A Seoul based spokesman for Samsung said that the company can’t verify the figures at the moment.
An Apple spokesman named Steve Park refused to comment; neither did Cherry Gong, a Chinese spokesperson for Nokia, reply to a request for comments. Samsung’s global sales of smartphones had trailed behind those of Apple, Nokia and RIM during the first quarter. The sales of the South Korean company have started accelerating especially since it released the Galaxy S II, which is an upgraded version of its best-selling Android handset from last year.
Samsung had planned to make the handset available in more than 120 countries via around 140 operators starting from May; the company said in April. Last week saw the latest Galaxy handset go on sale in five Chinese cities which include Shanghai and Beijing, as the electronics giant is looking to make its presence felt in the largest mobile phone market of the world. The Galaxy S II has helped Samsung increase its operating profits in the mobile business by more than twice their earlier value.