Samsung Electronics said global sales of its flagship Galaxy S smartphone line have now surpassed 100 million, a milestone that highlights Samsung's position at the top of the smartphone heap.
Of the total, Samsung said the original Galaxy S, released in 2010, has 24 million sales; the S II, released in 2011, has 40 million; and the S III, released in 2012, has achieved more than 40 million unit sales as well. The announcement comes a little more than two months after Samsung revealed that S III sales had hit 30 million. In the past Samsung has indicated that these "sales" figures indicate sell-in to sales channels and not sell-through figures to end users; the company did so again when talking about the S III sales.
Still, the milestone is an impressive mark for Samsung, which in three years has gone from smartphone also-ran to the top smartphone vendor in the world by volume, largely on the back of its Galaxy line. The position also makes Samsung the largest vendor of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android phones.
Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone reached the 100-million-sales point in March 2011, nearly four years after the introduction of the first iPhone in 2007. However, the smartphone market was still very nascent in 2007 and 2008 and it could be argued that Apple's trailblazing success made Samsung's emergence possible.
Samsung is widely expected to unveil the Galaxy S IV at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain, next month. Analysts think Samsung can maintain its smartphone lead over Apple this year, though pressure has also been building for Samsung to catch up to Apple in services with offerings that rival Apple's iTunes for music and video consumption.
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