Samsung smartphone sales surpassed Nokia, possibly Apple

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Samsung, already the world’s second-largest cell phone producer, may have passed Nokia and Apple in second quarter smartphone sales. The huge popularity of Androidlong with the success and diversity of the company’s Galaxy handsets drove sales.

An estimated 18 million and 21 million Samsung smartphones were sold worldwide in Q2, according to a Bloomberg report. The high end of that estimate trumps both Nokia devices and iPhones, of which 16.7 million and 20.3 million were sold, respectively.

“Apple, Samsung and Nokia are in a close three-way battle,” Neil Mawston, an analyst with Strategy Analytics, who produced the estimates, told Bloomberg. “Samsung’s Android portfolio is selling strongly in most regions. Samsung and Apple will be at similar levels in smartphones by the end of the year.”

It isn’t a clear victory over Apple for Samsung, especially considering the current iPhone 4 is nearing the end of its product cycle and sales have likely slowed amidst building iPhone 5 rumors. However, Samsung’s goal for 2011 is to double smartphone sales, and it seems they are well on their way. The ever-increasing demand for Android-based devices is also helping them build momentum. In overall cell phone sales, the collapsing feature phone market means Samsung could finish 2011 with 20 percent market share, nearing Nokia’s 26 percent.

The statistics highlight the very real decline of Nokia, who posted losses of $692 million in the second quarter. While the company’s mobile sales declined 20 percent overall, and much ado being made about the imploding feature phone market, Nokia’s 16.7 million smartphones sold in Q2 this year is a 32 percent drop over the 25.2 million units it moved last year. In February the company announced it would stop using the nearly-extinct Symbian operating system, but still hasn’t produced a single device using Windows Phone 7. While WP7 is their best hope of competing with the growing iOS and Android user bases, Nokia hasn’t announced a formal date for a Windows phone release outside of hazy end-of-year expectations.

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