Galaxy S3 bumps Samsung's lead over Apple, say analysts

Samsung's lead in the smartphone arena widened in the second quarter, according to a Reuters poll of analysts.

Samsung can thank its Galaxy S3 for its growing dominance of the smartphone market.
Samsung can thank its Galaxy S3 for its growing dominance of the smartphone market. Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung continues to increase its dominance over Apple in the smartphone arena, thanks largely to the launch of its latest Galaxy S handset.

For more than a year, the two companies have been dueling for the bigger chunk of the smartphone market, with Samsung the winner more often than not. But analysts polled by Reuters say that Samsung's lead increased even further last quarter.

Boosted by heavy demand for its new Galaxy S3, Samsung likely sold around 50 million smartphones in the second quarter, according to the 41 analysts surveyed. That figure would easily surpass the 30.5 million iPhones that Apple is forecast to have sold.

The team of the Galaxy S2 and S3 may also deliver a record quarter for the Korean handset maker.

"We are also expecting to see the biggest smartphone volumes ever shipped from one single vendor in one quarter, driven by strong demand of the Galaxy portfolio, particularly the Galaxy S II and S III," IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo said in a statement cited by Reuters.

Two factors that play into Samsung's hands are timing and its huge product line, Reuters noted. The company offers and continues to launch a variety of phones, any of which can hit the market at any time. In contrast, Apple has only the iPhone, with sales heavily dependent on the once-a-year launch of the latest model.

Nokia has also been hurt by a number of factors, including the growing dominance of Samsung, which ended the Finnish phone maker's 14-year stretch as the top player during the first quarter. Analysts expect that gap to have widened last quarter.

Samsung is projected to have sold 15.7 million more phones than did Nokia in the second quarter, a huge bump over the first quarter when the difference was only 3.4 million phones.

Apple will release its calendar second-quarter (fiscal third-quarter) results on July 24. Samsung will announce its results for the same period on July 27.

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