Right now, there's effectively one smartphone vendor holding a candle to Apple (NAS: AAPL) , and it's none other than its biggest frenemy, Samsung. The South Korean conglomerate recently overtookNokia (NYS: NOK) (including feature phones) in the world, after the Finnish giant held that crown for 14 years.
Samsung is the role model for the Google (NAS: GOOG) Android army, recently hitting a record quarterly profit of $5.9 billion, largely thanks to its Android smartphone lineup, while other OEMs like HTC have fallen from grace with a vengeance.
Galaxy S3. Source: Samsung.
Galaxy S3. Source: Samsung.
A Sammy exec recently told South Korean news outlet Yonhap News Agency that sales of its freshly released Galaxy S3 have now topped 10 million units, less than two months after it was unleashed upon the masses. Compare that with the Galaxy S2, which took a whole five months to hit the 10 million unit sales threshold, and you'll see why this is bad news for Apple. On the contrary, Apple quickly sold 4 million units of its latest iPhone 4S when the device launched last October.
Samsung's momentum with the Galaxy S3 may likely continue on through the next quarter, as Apple's sixth-generation iPhone isn't expected until the fall, meaning the number of worthy contenders is slim.
The figures also imply that many smartphone buyers aren't waiting for Apple's next iPhone and have opted to go with Sammy's newest Android flagship. There's still some good news for Apple, though, as a recent survey from ChangeWave Research indicates "unprecedented" demand for the next iPhone ahead of any official details on the device.
Roughly 14% of respondents said they were "very likely" to buy the next iPhone, while just 2% made the same indication on the Galaxy S3. ChangeWave researcher Dr. Paul Carton believes that overall smartphone sales will hit all-time highs later this year, with Apple being the biggest beneficiary and Samsung in tow. The results also peg demand for Research In Motion (NAS: RIMM) devices at an "all-time low."
With the Galaxy S3 off to a strong start, the next iPhone can't get here soon enough.
The next iPhone is expected to shatter sales records, which is why Apple still has growth momentum. Sign up for The Motley Fool's brand-new premium Apple research service to read more. The next revolution in computing will be mobile, and one company is growing its share of the component pie. Grab a free copy of this report to see who's powering the next generation of smartphones and tablets.
The article 1 Technology Stock to Watch in the Smartphone Battle originally appeared on Fool.com.
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