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November 11, 2011

The Truth About Samsung Smartphone Numbers

The Internet has been buzzing  recently on the news that Samsung has overtaken Apple as the worlds leading smartphone vendor. The problem is, there are no numbers to actually back up the claim.
Here’s an example of how it’s being reported. From GigaOM:

Samsung had a very strong quarter, according to numbers it revealed on Friday to investors. Its shipments (which it doesn’t provide specific numbers for) jumped more than 40 percent during the third quarter. Strategy Analytics estimates that amounts to total sales of nearly 28 million devices, while Apple moved 17 million during the same period.

According to industry experts . Samsung doesn’t provide specific numbers, so  how are we taking their their word  that shipments jumped 40 percent? To make matters worse, Strategy Analytics “estimates” sales of 28 million devices.

According to Strategy Analytics, Apple sold 17 million iPhones, which is equal to a 21 percent growth rate over the same quarter last year. Those numbers are publicly available in Apple’s own earnings press release.

Note the big difference?

As Jim Dalrymple writing for  the website Loopinsight says Apple “sold” 17 million iPhones and Samsung “shipped” some number that Strategy Analytics pulled out of whose  ass.

Comparison of shipped numbers with sold numbers  is for all technical and non technical reasons wrong . Based on this report coming up with a conclusion that one company is beating another is more than  market Spin, and that spin coming from a Research group seems more than coincidental Samsung could ship 100 million phones, but that doesn’t tell us how many they actually sold