updated 08:05 am EDT, Thu October 20, 2011
Samsung to ship 20m smartphones vs Apple's 17m
Samsung will have temporarily outsold Apple to become the top smartphone maker over the summer, a corporate insider leaked on Thursday. The Korean firm was expected by the WSJ to report "more than 20 million" smartphones shipped for the past quarter versus 17.07 million iPhones. The role reversal would have been helped by customers waiting for the iPhone 4S along with strong sales of the Galaxy S II.
The performance, if accurate, won't be corroborated until sometime later. Samsung doesn't usually break out smartphone sales other than for symbolic milestones, leaving analysts to comb through raw data. Apple will have still topped Nokia, which sank to 16.8 million.
Samsung isn't expected to hold the lead during the fall. Many had anticipated a slingshot effect where iPhone sales in the fall made up for any dip in the summer. Apple itself is predicting an all-time high for iPhones and shipped four million iPhone 4S units just in its first weekend, or more phones than Samsung shipped of the Galaxy S II in its first 55 days. Apple's launch day count also didn't include the cheaper iPhone 4 or 3GS units.
Alongside the tip, Samsung's Won-pyo Hong used AsiaD to issue denials that his company had altered the Galaxy Nexus to avoid treading on Apple patents. Work had started on the Android 4.0 hardware before Apple had even begun the legal action, Hong said.
In response to This is my next questioning, however, Hong acknowledged that Samsung had started changing hardware and software to avoid collisions with patents. Samsung had already altered its Galaxy phone apps to continue sales but hadn't mentioned plans for altering the hardware itself. The custom TouchWiz interface in 2012 was also changed and would likely reduce the legal trouble with Apple.
"As the head of a product portfolio, we have multiple different designs -- hardware and UX -- so we can immediately provide other solutions," Hong said.