updated 04:40 pm EST, Tue January 24, 2012
Apple retakes lead from Samsung in smartphones
Apple in its fall quarterly results retook the crown as the world's largest smartphone maker. Its 37.04 million iPhones shipped were enough to pass Samsung's 35 million and ran significantly above most estimates. The American company had not just the advantage of the iPhone 4S launch during a holiday season but widened carrier access and its fastest international rollout to date.
Samsung, meanwhile, was at a relative disadvantage. It ships a much wider variety of smartphones, but its Galaxy S II was several months old and had already largely peaked. The Galaxy Nexus, despite its high profile, is still considered a niche model.
The winter may favor Apple. While Samsung may unveil the Galaxy S III at Mobile World Congress in late February, it typically doesn't ship until months later, leaving any early adopters waiting. Apple was still expanding the iPhone 4S' reach in January and, in the past couple of years, has usually avoided the post-holiday slump that affects most others.
Nokia has yet to report its own results but is expected to place a distant third in the smartphone arena.