Dec 12 AT 12:48 PM Taylor Wimberly 77 Comments

Samsung’s big year: 300 million global handset sales, but still #2 in US Android phones

Samsung 300 million

This weekend Samsung announced that global handset sales had reached 300 million in 2011, a new record for the Korean company. Numbers were boosted this year by the Galaxy S II, which set a new record for Samsung by hitting 10 million sales faster than any other mobile device in the company’s history. Samsung’s own Bada OS also saw gains in 2011, passing up Windows Phone in global market share.

“We are incredibly proud of this record-breaking sales milestone and have exceeded the annual target announced early this year, which is testament to the enduring appeal of Samsung phones with consumers around the world,” said JK Shin, President of Samsung’s Mobile Communications Business. “Our performance in the mobile industry remains unrivalled. Samsung is the only manufacturer bringing such an exceptional choice of handsets to customers across a broad range of platforms including Android, Windows Phone and Samsung’s own bada platform – and on a truly global scale. We look forward to extending this success going into 2012.”

However, when it comes to the US Android phone market that we focus on, Samsung is still behind HTC. A recent Nielsen report showed that HTC captured a higher percentage of sales in Q3 than Samsung. Both companies will face increased competition with Sony, Huawei, and ZTE making a bigger push in the US, so it will be interesting to see who comes out on top next year.

What areas do you think Samsung should focus on if they want to overtake HTC and become the top seller of Android phones in the US?

Source: Samsung

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • protozeloz

    Go sammy!

    • YMS123

      Why won’t Verizon say that already?

      • lxgeorge

        Yeah their device sales would be much higher if Version would just RELEASE THE GALAXY NEXUS! (excuse my caps lock, i have a lot of pent up frustration)

        • elijahblake

          I’ll just wait on the Galaxy S III now.. won’t be too long and it’ll make the Nexus look old

          • Futureboy

            As fast as technology moves, the Nexus is already old everywhere but in the US.

  • wwJOSHdo

    To me a big part of it is that Samsung supports developers. Like giving the CM team SGS2′s and releasing the source before the phone even launches. So they WANT people to develop on their phones and HTC said Screw You, we don’t want you rooting our handsets.

    • WarDrake

      Agreed, Samsung actually is planning events where they inhouse devs can meet with external devs that want to learn and get information to be able to work on their devices.

      if they continue on this path, they will overtake HTC at some point.

      • jawabba

        I wonder how much the Galaxy Nexus would have played a part in these numbers. Both companies make sick phones, and both will have had an opportunity for some Verizon Android spotlight.

        • erikiksaz

          I would imagine not very much. The gs2 series came out relatively late as well so I don’t think they contributed greatly to the number of sales. To me the first three quarters of this year was the dead zone between gs1 and gs2 releases.

    • BiGMERF

      Congrats to Samsung, while I was never impressed with there phones.. They are the only ones publicly going after the Apple and its Iphone, for that I applaud them !

    • desean

      I think Samsung can overtake HTC in a short time if they simply release international versions direct to the US market and stop making various carrier-customised phones. With their increasing market share, they should just strong-armed the US carriers into accepting that.

  • Martjn2

    In my opinion samsung do the most inovative phones with hig-end specs and stuff but the build quality isn’t on the same level as htc. Even though htc phones are thicker they feel more luxurious. Galaxy nexus though, showed a hole new level of design and quality feeling

  • kazahani

    Kinda makes you wish the carriers in the USA didn’t insist on having their own customized versions of all the flagship devices. Maybe we could see a timely release on some of these great phones!

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Yeah I’d love to see a pure Galaxy S III launch across all US carriers.

  • Martjn2

    In my opinion samsung do the most inovative phones with high-end specs and stuff but the build quality isn’t on the same level as htc. Even though htc phones are thicker they feel more luxurious. Galaxy nexus though, showed a hole new level of design and quality feeling

  • keridel

    ok i may get negs but i dont like samsung phones. innovative? no not at all. they are just plastics squares of boring. my nexus is great but not outstanding in the hardware dept. and it still has a deffinite feel of plastic to it.

    I like the HTC feel and look far more than samsung’s lack lustre design ethic

    • WarDrake

      They ARE plastic, but i still love the feel of them, it’s light, and unobtrusive…
      but they still take a pounding when needed ^_^

    • alxrock

      I love HTC’s unibody design that’s been rolling out. I really hope to see more solid phones from all manufacturers.
      My OG Evo’s battery door has taken a beating and comes off way too easily at this point.

    • stenzor

      What’s wrong with plastic? Sure if it’s cheaply made then yeah there’s a problem… but Samsung’s phones have a great feel in my opinion.. furthermore they are lightweight, thin, and durable

      • clocinnorcal

        So true. While cheap plastic(recycled plastic at that!) is Samsungs forte, like you said, they are thin, lightweight and still very durable. Not to mention dev friendly. I have a Vibrant and am still amazed at how light it is.

      • jimtravis

        Agree plastic is not necessarily bad. I have several Samsung phones, and all are well made, durable, and feel great in the hand.

      • phaet2112

        Most phones end up in candyshell cases or otterboxes, so you never notice the phone is made out of thin plastic.

  • YellowDucati

    Here is to hoping the Galaxy Nexus will help with these numbers.

    • WarDrake

      Your assuming the nexus is real!
      don’t let yourself be fooled by rumors ^^

  • Donald Williams

    WOW… out of that whole picture all i can think is that my company is STUPID… They use the “M” for thousands. Last time i checked it was K…. Now I have more proof my company is stupid. GO “M”

    Love me some HTC however you cant deny Samsung’s product. Great picture, form and quality. Now dump Verizon and get that Nexus to the PUBLIC!

    • Dale Bebeau

      You realize that it’s 300 million not 300 thousand, right?

  • goncalossilva

    Bada OS > WP7?


  • SCJaredJ

    Since november 09 I’ve had the behold 2, galaxy s, lg g2x and mytouch 4g slide. Galaxy s with custom rom ran circles around the others. Now that samsung has opened up a bit to devs, would love for my next phone to be another sammy.

  • zyphbear

    This is a little surprising that HTC is still higher. I think Samsung should just work on getting as much advance tech in their phones that it looks like they are from the future (NFC, Video chat and more features). Once they can get their prices down for the tech they are using, price will always be the deciding factor for those who are not early adopters.

  • halo0

    Samsung has really eclipsed Moto and HTC in my opinion. My last 2 devices have been Samsungs: Infuse and Galaxy Nexus. I love them!

  • ramenchef

    Samsung only needs to improve their radios and maybe speakers, and they’d have just about the perfect devices. They have the best SoCs and displays already. Once they perfect their GPS, wifi, bluetooth, and 3G/4G radio, they’d have hands down the best product on the market.

  • Thomas Biard

    I think its great that we have 2-3 major device manufacturers! It offers a wide variety of builds with some more focused on tech specs and others more focused on build quality. This makes it nice when it comes time to shop around and choose what suits our fancy.

    I root for Samsung, HTC, and Moto

  • jimtravis

    Have many Samsung devices, and am very satisfied with them all. Like HTC as well since the Nexus One, and several Windows Mobile devices. It is great to see both companies doing so well in US, and World sales. Competition is good for us consumers, and the battle between Samsung and HTC should result in better devices for all of us regardless of which brand you favor. Add in the increased competition from Sony etal (loved the Sony Clie PDA’s), and 2012 should be a banner year for use Android fans / users.

  • jamal

    I know Samsung is smiling right about now. Keep doing what you do best, making some sick phones.

  • ajonrichards

    1.Build quality.
    2. More coherent naming conventions (I’m looking at you, Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch)
    3. Get the same phone on all the carriers. HTC is really bad at this (Evo on Sprint, Vivid on AT&T. Thunderbolt/Rezound on Verizon, Sensation on T-Mobile).

  • Louis A

    If only stupid verizon can hurry up and release the Galaxy Nexus

    • Trinhbo

      December 15th is the latest rumor (source: Android Police).

  • James Conley

    HTC for the win IMO.

  • techvudu

    rightfully so, Samsung set a nice trend with their 4″ AMOLED devices last year and followed up with some of the best devices this year. Not much I can say that needs improvement my my TMO SGS2 (rooted), best displays on the market. (IMO of course) *unlocked bootloader*

  • Chad

    The pic at top looks like they are spelling “BOOM”. which goes great with this story because Sammy is def exploding and leaving their mark in the industry. What people hate the most about Samsung phones are my favorite thing about them, – the plastic casings. Sure HTC and Apple devices may look prettier with all that metal and glass but go ahead and drop em on some concrete or even a wooden floor and lets see how durable they are.

  • Omar Santiago

    if they would’ve released the GSM no contract GNexus in the US they would have been #1! lol

  • Chris Lewis

    samsung, and all other manufactures need to make rolling out ICS and other future updates their main priority. If they continue to update older phones in a timely maner it wont cause people to not upgrade to a new phone, rather it will create a higher customer retention rate and people will know they can buy their next phone from the same manufacture.

    anyways, 300 Million is pretty amazing! keep it up sammy!

  • rashad360

    I don’t know what they can do to beat HTC, but I will say that I find HTC’s phones better looking. It just seems like Samsung phones try too hard to look like iphones

  • tequilya

    I helped set up a Galaxy S II for work last week and was impressed with it, I’m hoping the Nexus is even better with a larger screen and software buttons to go with ICS. However Verizon’s waiting game is incredibly frustrating, I’d have gone with an S II by now rather than delaying forever if it were an option on Verizon.

    Nice job Samsung! Competition is great, lets see what you got HTC :)

  • dafi81

    Next year will show a different story!
    HTC is on a way down!

  • TruFactz

    SONY……They will over shadow the android presence with rich android devices….I think we’re forgetting who blew Game Boy out of the water……..and whose game console, even though hard to develop for, leads the pack in new tech….
    in a new paragraph, Go Samsung! your devices are truly awesome and durable……even through the plastiky feel. As a joke i will say you are the Jay-Z of the UI software department (if you don’t know the rap life of Jay-Z, dnt bother trying to figure it out ;) )

  • TJ Mir

    A small question concerning my SGS2…do you guys know of any app which might help in making the contrast a little brighter? I’ve noticed that videos look rather dark when compared to viewing it on a laptop or tv. Anyone know a solution to this?

    • TruFactz

      Actually it should have a setting inside the video viewer, I’m going off of the GS1, but i imagine they still have that setting…

      • TJ Mir

        There’s only one option i the settings and that’s for brightness only. You know of any external apps which might help out?

  • TruFactz

    Oh I forgot abt HTC…….Flat out awesome……the second contender in the battle with apple. Innovation…..u Guys have been at it since before you were makin phones for tmobile and we thought t-mo actually made phones (just kidding bout that last part) Sense has come along very well, CHEERS TO THE MANUFACTURER WHO BRUNG US ANDROID!

  • Anthropic

    HAHAHA Bada passed Windows Mobile, that’s gold, some of my MS loving friends thought Windows Mobile would be the biggest OS by now, suckers.

  • Nathan D.

    My next phone might be a Samsung, time will tell.

  • _Diego

    I think Samsung should invest in build quality… Somehow the HTC devices have a more robust feeling about them… I think that it is a shame that Samsung’s devices are made out of plastic (or that is how they feel like…) The nexus S for example… I’d be afraid to break it all the time… (this is entirely subjective…)

    • Crickerman

      Well, the plastic is more durable than the “high” build quality devices…. Now with samsung I think they need to improve the quality of their wifi antennas (the range is terrible compared to other devices, i’ve tested this with the samsung vibrant, epic 4g, galaxy s 4g and compared it with motorola, htc, and yes the iphone). I won’t even begin with the GPS problems suffered on the I9000 series…… On top of this, they are very slow to update their devices in the US, who knows when the USA galaxy s II varients will get ICS

  • Torrance Barber

    Behold the power of ANDROID!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Leo Young

    Bada is quite a nice OS and for people who do not need a whole bunch of apps, I recommend it. Since Samsung has control of the OS and the device, the whole experience is very nice and it has flourishes that are hard to replicate in a more general purpose OS like Android.

    Having said, that, I think Samsung’s ace in the hole is the SAMOLED screen. It is such a nice screen.

    HTC may have higher screen resolution on many of its devices but if you can’t see the screen, then what’s the point?

  • jackson

    HTC phones look a lot better, and the build quality is solid not plasticky. But its battery isnt very good. Samsung is the other way around. So Samsung please make better designs and stop using plastic.

    • phaet2112

      Crazy to think that HTC still cant figure out a proper battery to put into their phones so they last a reasonable length of time…

  • Hall Lo

    Congratulations Sammy ;)

  • behzadbayat

    Itsa really big number anda great success for Samsung and android community, but we should see if Samsung catches up with an elegant device update and support.

  • humidity

    Wow, very impressive! Go Samsung!

  • blaseb

    Samsung will probably catch up once they drop the new Nexus in America

  • JC005

    I’m gonna do my part by getting the white GS2 on T-Mobile.

  • Anthropic

    I hope Samsung make a tablet dock like the Transformer Prime, heck would be nice if it could take the GS2 as well :)

  • Omar Santiago

    #2 reminds me of poop

  • Kenneth Ohonba

    Hey Samsung I suggest you practice customer satisfaction. That could really boost your market profit.

  • zippyioa

    I guess HTC have been pushing themselves with advertising for a little longer than Samsung (this is certainly true in the UK at least!).
    Its only been the last 6-12 months that I can recall Samsung really starting to push their Android offering. HTC have been doing TV/magazine ads for a few years now

  • laosgurllynn

    I own lots of products by Samsung, they have become successful in producing lots of celluar devices, im glad they are on top in which #2 isnt bad at all. Samsung all of the way!

  • ToonPanda

    Sweet :)

  • 4TOPS

    Great so far but much work ahead, here is to an even better 2012

  • PiTTDRoiD

    Hi Aaaaaaapple….. i’m going to eat youuuuuuuu!!!!

  • securifirm

    The only major issue with Samsung is that they generally take forever to get the updates to phones. Epic 4G just got 2.3

  • kimminer1

    I would love to win a samsung note. It is a awesome phone/mini-tab.

  • donger

    keep them coming samsung.

  • richoid

    Loving the Samsung line, I have 3… congrats on 300MM!

  • sgumer

    i think samsung will have to focus on quantity because it seems like htc has many more phones than samsung. i also think they will have to come out with one great phone to take over the rest.

  • vitebsk66

    Congrats, Sammy! I love their TVs and other displays, and would like to get a Galaxy Tab, though I’ve actually been unimpressed with their (non-Android) phones in the past.