Samsung surpasses 30M Galaxy S III shipments

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Samsung Electronics said it passed the milestone of 30 million unit sales of its Galaxy S III flagship smartphone, hitting the mark nine months faster than its predecessor, the S II.

Click here for a sales graphic of the Galaxy S III's sales.

Samsung confirmed that the 30 million "sales" are shipments into sales channels and not necessarily sell-through numbers to end users. Still, the 30 million mark is a testament to both Samsung's relationship with a diverse array of wireless carriers that have sold the phone as well as the electronics conglomerate's marketing prowess (the S II was featured prominently in advertising during the London Olympics, for example).

"Meeting this sales milestone in five months sets another record for Samsung, and we are extremely proud and yet motivated to continue to provide our customers with products that they love," JK Shin, president of Samsung's mobile division, said in a statement.

It took 14 months for Samsung to hit 30 million unit sales with the S II, which was introduced in 2011, and the mark comes just weeks after Samsung announced that it had sold 20 million S III units in the device's first 100 days of availability. 

While the Galaxy line, and the S III in particular, are not Samsung's only smartphones, they are certainly the company's premier brand, and have helped power the firm to become the world's largest smartphone maker by volume. On smartphones, research firm IDC estimated that Samsung shipped 53.6 million in the third quarter, while Strategy Analytics pegged the number at 56.9 million. Either way, both figures are far ahead of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) 26.9 million iPhone sales in the quarter, though it should be noted that Apple had only nine days' worth of iPhone 5 sales in the third quarter. Apple is the world's No. 2 smartphone vendor, according to estimates.

Nomura Financial Investment in Seoul forecasts that Samsung will sell 67 million smartphones in the fourth quarter, but other analysts are less optimistic, according to the AP. Apple, Nokia (NYSE:NOK), LG Electronics, HTC and others will be putting up fiercer smartphone competition in the fourth quarter than Samsung faced in the third.

For more:
- see this Samsung post
- see this AP article
- see this TechCrunch article
- see this Engadget article

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