Samsung appears well on its way to becoming the biggest handset maker in the world.
Speaking to Korean news outlet The Chosunilbo today, the company said it sold 300 million handsets as of "late November," leaving it with an entire month to obliterate last year's 280 million handset unit sales. According to Samsung, it has averaged nine handset sales a second and about 820,000 per day. Since 1988, the company has sold 1.6 billion handsets worldwide.
"We look forward to extending this success going into 2012," Samsung Mobile Communications Business Chief JK Shin told reporters, according to Reuters, which also reported on the milestone.
At 300 million unit sales--the first time its reached that milestone in the company's history--and with the busy holiday shopping season left to go, Samsung could come close to matching Nokia, the world's largest handset maker. Last year, Nokia sold 450 million handsets worldwide, but it's widely expected to see fewer unit sales this year, due to Symbian's decline. That said, Nokia earlier this year stopped providing full-year unit sales estimates, so there's no telling where the company stands right now.
But even as those companies battle it out for mobile device dominance, it's the premium smartphone market that gets the most attention. And in that space, Samsung is doing just as well.
Last month, research firm IDC reported that Samsung worldwide third-quarter unit shipments hit 23.6 million, giving the company 20 percent market share. Apple, on the other hand, saw its market share reach 14.5 percent, thanks to 17.1 million unit sales. During the third quarter of 2010, Apple's market share was 17 percent and Samsung's was only 8.8 percent. Between 2010 and 2011, Samsung smartphone shipments grew 223.3 percent.
"Samsung's ascendancy to the leadership position is the direct result of its broad and deep product portfolio," Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Phone Technology and Trends team, said in a statement last month. "Ever since the first Galaxy device launched last year, the company has aggressively expanded and refreshed its selection to include the latest innovations and most popular features."