Samsung Galaxy sales triple in last year, beat iPhone sales

The number of Samsung smart phones on shop shelves has nearly tripled since last year.

Samsung is breaking records with smart phone sales. The number of Samsung smart phones shipped has nearly tripled since last year, with the Samsung Galaxy S2 and its buddies even eclipsing Apple's boffo business.

New figures from industry-watchers IDC suggest Samsung has shipped an industry record of 42 million smart phones this year alone, a whopping rise of 267 per cent on last year. By those numbers, Samsung owns 29 per cent of the smart phone industry, just above Apple's 35 million iPhones , making up a quarter of the market.

The market for smart phones has exploded in the last year, as the popularity of feature phones declines. Overall 145 million smart phones have shipped since the new year. And Samsung is probably about to add significantly to those numbers, with the Galaxy S3 -- the hotly-anticipated S2 sequel -- launching this week.

Those figures relate to shipments rather than sales, we should point out -- that's the number of phones sent to shops, rather than the number of phones actually bought by punters. Unlike Apple, Samsung doesn't report exact numbers, but you get the general idea: Samsung is the big dog right now.

It was revealed this week that if you count old-fashioned feature phones, as well as smart phones, then Samsung is the clear winner in the total number of phones produced , knocking Nokia off the top spot for the first time in 14 years.

Nokia knocked off

With such big growth from the market leaders, someone has to lose out, and unsurprisingly it's Nokia. Shipments from Finland more than halved to 11.9 million -- the Nokia Lumia 800 coming too late to prevent the slide. BlackBerry and HTC phones also suffered, although HTC has the One X and its ilk set to sell like hot cakes and potentially reverse the company's fortunes.

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Is Samsung a worthy king of the phone world? Will the S3 smash all competition? Will Windows Phone save Nokia? Tell me your thoughts in the comments section or on our Facebook page.

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About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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