Perhaps the effects of the iPhone 4S won't be felt until the 2012 estimates are factored in, but if the research offered by Canalys is to be believed, the number one smart phone provider in the United States is HTC. Not only that, but Samsung garnered the title of being the world's top vendor in relation for these mobile devices.
It should be noted these numbers were taken from the third quarter of 2011, which helps explain the lack of an iPhone 4S push back, which has been selling like hot cakes since it launched earlier this month. The question is, did HTC and Samsung benefit while consumers were waiting for the newest iPhone? It certainly looks that way.
According to the research, Samsung's appeal was evident:
Samsung shipped 27.3 million smart phones under its own brand to capture a 23% share, becoming the number one vendor in APAC, Western Europe and Latin America, ahead of Nokia, Apple and RIM respectively.
As indicated earlier, these numbers are for the third quarter of 2011. HTC's third quarter was so strong, it helped push the device maker into the top spot in regards to being the number one smart phone provider in the United States, also for the three month period that made up 2011's third quarter:
In the United States, the world’s largest smart phone market, HTC shone in Q3 2011, edging out Apple and Samsung to become the leading vendor. HTC shipped 5.7 million smart phones in the US under its own brand, giving it almost a quarter of the market, as well as an estimated 70,000 units under the T-Mobile brand.
As for Apple, Samsung's strong performance not only granted them the top spot as far as worldwide smart phone distributor, it also put them ahead of Apple in the United States, coming in second behind HTC. All that being said, it wasn't like Apple struggled as people waited for the new iPhone to hit the stores:
Apple’s US smart phone shipments totaled 4.6 million in the quarter and it was affected around the world by consumers waiting for the launch of the next-generation iPhone.
Considering that the latest Siri-powered iPhone topped four million the first weekend it launched, it's safe to say Apple's profile should be a little stronger when Canalys posts their fourth quarter research. Unfortunately, the good news did not bleed over to RIM, the makers of the Blackberry handset.
According to the research, RIM's market share dropped under 10 percent for the first time ever.
Clearly, it's an iPhone/Android world and the rest of the providers are just trying to carve themselves a sustainable niche.