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HTC Becomes Highest Shipping Smartphone Vendor In the US

Unknown Lamer posted about 3 years ago | from the king-of-the-hill dept.

Businesses 151

An anonymous reader writes with an excerpt from an article in BGR: "Samsung blew past Apple and Nokia in the third quarter to become the No. 1 smartphone vendor in the world, but another emerging smartphone vendor stole the top spot in the U.S. according to a new report. Market research firm Canalys on Monday released country-level smartphone shipment estimates and according to its figures, HTC shipped 5.7 million own-brand smartphones and another 700,000 T-Mobile-branded handsets last quarter to take the top spot with 6.4 million total devices shipped."

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Q3 is meaningless when comparing to Apple (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37901930)

We all know they next iPhone is Q4 and everyone stops buying Apple phones well before a new product.

Re:Q3 is meaningless when comparing to Apple (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 3 years ago | (#37901982)

not only that but apple had opening week sales of 4 million units for the 4s.

6.4 million is a drop in the bucket when apple is doing that every month.

Of course Apple has an easier time with only 2-3 models to support it is easier to keep on top of.

HTC and Samsung have hundreds of models that get some updates but not others, etc.

Re:Q3 is meaningless when comparing to Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37902204)

But how many of those iPhones sold are to replace existing iPhones versus new or switched from another manufacturer, and how many of Samsung's and HTC's are sold to replace existing Samsung and HTC phones respectively versus new or switched from another manufacturer? That and Q4 will see some new phones from Samsung (Galaxy Nexus, to name one) and HTC as well, which could build Samsung and HTC sales even more. Q4 is all speculation at this point.

Re:Q3 is meaningless when comparing to Apple (1)

Moryath (553296) | about 3 years ago | (#37903146)

No kidding. Not just that, but it's fucking terrible managing to find out which temproot/permroot function works best for your phone, and then keeping it applied through the OTA update nonsense.

Re:Q3 is meaningless when comparing to Apple (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 3 years ago | (#37902960)

So compare it to RIM. That should be meaningful.

Re:Q3 is meaningless when comparing to Apple (1)

teg (97890) | about 3 years ago | (#37905406)

We all know they next iPhone is Q4 and everyone stops buying Apple phones well before a new product.

In Q3 (their Q4 2011), Apple sold more than 17 million iPhones. 21% increase from Q3 last year when they had a new phone) - so "everyone stops buying" is a little exaggerated. Apple will no doubt have much higher Q4 sales (my own 4S is waiting for me at the post office today.... 15 more minutes to go), but that doesn't make these numbers meaningless. They are still a very interesting data point.

no (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37901946)

Steve Jobs is rolling in his grave

Re:no (1)

Quartus486 (935104) | about 3 years ago | (#37901990)

You mean he's still alive, trying to get out of it?!?!

O_o

Re:no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37902120)

Dude, seriously, too soon.

Give him at least another month to regain strength and try to get out of there.

Posted as AC to avoid stoning.

Re:no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37903372)

Dude, seriously, too soon.

Really?

Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow, sorry.

Re:no (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 3 years ago | (#37902130)

Steve Jobs is rolling in his grave

No, he's busy kicking Chuck Norris' ass.

Re:no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37902356)

so he can steal his liver?

Re:no (1)

znerk (1162519) | about 3 years ago | (#37903960)

Braaaaaiiinnnss...

Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (5, Insightful)

jmcbain (1233044) | about 3 years ago | (#37901988)

I don't understand the relevance of these estimates of Samsung and HTC shipment figures, for three reasons:

1. The shipment estimates are made by analyst companies, not by Samsung or HTC themselves. Samsung, as of last summer, has stopped providing shipment numbers [techcrunch.com] of its smartphones and tablets. Then these other companies (Strategy Analytics and Canalys) step in with their own estimates that are dodgy at best. How do they get their numbers? If Samsung is not providing their shipment numbers, why should we believe a third party?

2. One shipment to a vendor (e.g. Best Buy) does not map to one sale to an end consumer. A vendor can always return the item back to the seller.

3. What is counted as a smartphone? Phone manufacturers are cramming more smartphone features into low-end devices; remember that even the most basic Symbian phone was counted by Nokia as a smartphone, and look how those ostensibly great sales turned out for Nokia.

Note that Apple always lists its sales in its SEC statements. And these are sales figures to the end consumer, not shipments.

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (0)

Kenja (541830) | about 3 years ago | (#37902132)

Article doesn't say highest selling, it says highest shipping. It may be a meaningless metric, but it is not deceptive.

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (1)

mirix (1649853) | about 3 years ago | (#37902146)

Well to be fair, the most basic symbian phones were among the original smartphones. It's not Nokia's fault that other smartphones got smarter ;)

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37902232)

Well, it's not a "fault", but Nokia was a major push in making smartphones smarter than their first Symbian devices, and denoted tiers above smartphone for them (rather than sliding the smartphone tier up) -- first the "Communicator" series, and then the N-series have been billed as "Multimedia Computers". One way we'll be calling something faster than a Cray-1 a dumbphone, the other way we'll see an escalation of terms to microhypercomputerphone -- not sure I like either. :(

And honestly, it is hard to deny that the most basic current S60 phone is as much a smartphone as the cheap 6-800MHz Android 1.x phones you can get for dirt-cheap from China. Both of them are quantitatively a long way from the N8 or [flagship Android phone], but both of them are qualitatively much more like that flagship than like an S40 (or other dumbphone OS) phone.

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (0)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 3 years ago | (#37902178)

HTC and Samsung don't know how many phones they sell until months after they ship, because that's how their distribution channel wworks. Apple DOES know how many they sell, because they sell directly to consumers.

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 3 years ago | (#37903136)

Exactly what I was going to say...

And another reason this is a relatively meaningless metric: in many cases this is an apples to oranges [sorry, obvious pun ;) ] comparison. iPhone retail prices (and discounted prices) are much higher than the average HTC phone retail/discount prices, and so Apple's profit margin (and total profit) are in another league from its competitors...

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 3 years ago | (#37903238)

Exactly what I was going to say...

And another reason this is a relatively meaningless metric: in many cases this is an apples to oranges [sorry, obvious pun ;) ] comparison. iPhone retail prices (and discounted prices) are much higher than the average HTC phone retail/discount prices, and so Apple's profit margin (and total profit) are in another league from its competitors...

"(HTC) announced that its third quarter profit was NT$18.68bn, a 68 per cent increase from the same quarter in 2010"
http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2121366/htc-causes-sensation-68-cent-rise-profits [theinquirer.net]

Apple but clearly competing companies are making massive profits from Android

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 3 years ago | (#37903358)

$18.6B NT is about $600M USD. Apple's total profit is about $7B over the same time, with about $5-6B from the iPhone.

It's great to see Apple competitors (especially Android-based) making a healthy profit... but still... in another league...

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (3, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | about 3 years ago | (#37905100)

That's it, keep bragging about how Apple is screwing over it's customers it sure to win them more. Face it the iPhone is yesterday's phone and an Android phone is today's phone, tomorrow's phone now that another question. Personally I think the digital home manufacturer is going to win that, you know, throw in free phone/tablet combination with big screen TV and existing same brand appliances count fridge, washing machine, stove, microwave and new air-conditioning means you'll get next seasons phone/tablet combination also thrown in for free. Now add in branded solar panels, back up batteries and inverter and you get the idea.

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (1)

Relayman (1068986) | about 3 years ago | (#37903302)

Apple doesn't always sell directly to consumers. What about the ones sold through Verizon, AT&T and Sprint stores?

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about 3 years ago | (#37903580)

iPhones are activated by Apple. They know exactly how many are activated as soon as it happens. They even know how many owners the average iPhone has over its lifetime and how many iPhones the average owner has over time. HTC and Samsung have nothing like that.

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37903884)

iPhones are activated by Apple. They know exactly how many are activated as soon as it happens. They even know how many owners the average iPhone has over its lifetime and how many iPhones the average owner has over time. HTC and Samsung have nothing like that.

Knowing all that is good because, oh yeah, big brother Apple MUST know it all. One good reason not to buy one, besides their over-the-top price (often sugared by you favorite Verizon, AT&T ... - buy it cheap pay us more). Go get a market share ...

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (1)

Upphew (676261) | about 3 years ago | (#37905532)

iPhones are activated by Apple. They know exactly how many are activated as soon as it happens. They even know how many owners the average iPhone has over its lifetime and how many iPhones the average owner has over time. HTC and Samsung have nothing like that.

How Apple knows who owns the SIM card inserted to the phone? Or is the iPhone so tangled with iTunes (and does that need an account? And does the account need some credit card information?) that they get the information from there?

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 2 years ago | (#37905602)

Or is the iPhone so tangled with iTunes

It used to be. 'Activation' used to be Apple's mechanism of setting the network lock. Basically, the phone was useless out of the box until plugged into iTunes, at which point it would communicate with Apple's servers, which would send down information on which network the phone should be locked to (or in my phone's case, unlocked).

As of iOS 5, you no longer need iTunes. I don't know how activation works now, as I've not yet had to restore a phone with iOS 5 on it.

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37903374)

Don't forget that iTunes probably tracks that serial#/hardware data since that is the first thing all apple device must do.

You can't even turn the damn thing on without first seeing the USB cable and itunes icon with an arrow.

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | about 3 years ago | (#37905358)

You can't even turn the damn thing on without first seeing the USB cable and itunes icon with an arrow.

Not true anymore.

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about 3 years ago | (#37902218)

remember that even the most basic Symbian phone was counted by Nokia as a smartphone

Of course it was, since every Symbian-based phone sold by Nokia was a smartphone.

And if you use the definition of "smartphone" that includes the iPhone at launch, you'd have to include the S40 phones you're confusing with S60 phones anyway.

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (4, Insightful)

andydread (758754) | about 3 years ago | (#37902254)

FTFA

"After a slow start in 2010, AT&T has over-delivered on the number of Android devices it promised to launch in 2011, including the Impulse 4G, supplied by Huawei but AT&T-branded, sold at an aggressive $30 with a contract to target first-time smart phone buyers. Android holds nearly 70% of the platform share in the United States, compared with 57% worldwide."

Then there is the massive Chinese market that's coming online.

"The Chinese smart phone market is seeing explosive growth, not least from domestic vendors Huawei and ZTE,’ said Shanghai-based Canalys Research Director for China, Nicole Peng. ‘Both vendors are delivering good-quality, attractive smart phones on the Android platform for both the domestic and foreign markets, and their aggressive pricing strategies are enabling them to ship large volumes. They will continue to be an increasingly disruptive force in the global market in the coming quarters"

Then there are the Andoid smart watches [slashdot.org] and who knows what else around the corner. That's the real news. Android looks like it's set to steamroll.

Good old conspiracy theory. (3, Informative)

mjwx (966435) | about 3 years ago | (#37902400)

And these are sales figures to the end consumer, but mostly shipments.

Fixed that for you.

Apple sells most of it's phones via telco's. Which means they ship through the same channels as HTC, Samsung and everyone else. In Australia Apple have to ship through Brightstor to sell on most Telco's as Telstra and Vodafone have exclusivity agreements with Brightstor (not sure about Optus but it would not surprise me). The situation is quite similar in Europe. So most of apple's "sales" figures are shipped figures like all other manufacturers.

Secondly, this conspiracy is a little far fetched that HTC phones are not actually selling. I've heard this channel stuffing conspiracy for over a year with the Samsung Galaxy S yet it keeps selling and we've heard nothing about millions of returns. At some point you fanboys will have to admit that Android is outselling Iphones.

Re:Good old conspiracy theory. (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 3 years ago | (#37902614)

Apple sells most of it's phones via telco's. Which means they ship through the same channels as HTC, Samsung and everyone else. In Australia Apple have to ship through Brightstor to sell on most Telco's as Telstra and Vodafone have exclusivity agreements with Brightstor (not sure about Optus but it would not surprise me). The situation is quite similar in Europe. So most of apple's "sales" figures are shipped figures like all other manufacturers.

How are you sure of that? Unlike Samsung and HTC, I believe Apple has these things called retail stores as well as an online store. I know that whenever you want something Apple that is in short supply your chance of getting at an Apple store is much higher than another location. Second, even if it was "shipped" instead of "sold", when something is in short supply like most new Apple launches, shipped = sold. I don't know about you but I can't remember the last time people lined up for a Samsung Galaxy phone unless Samsung bribes them. [mobilemag.com]

Re:Good old conspiracy theory. (2)

BlueScreenO'Life (1813666) | about 3 years ago | (#37902808)

I don't know about Samsung but when the HTC Desire HD came out, the stores DID run out of stock where I lived (Western Europe for what it's worth).

Re:Good old conspiracy theory. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37904888)

Same here (Western Europe). I know several people that drove to a neighboring country to buy their HTC Desire HD because it was sold out where they lived. The phone was sold out before launch in all the shops in the city I live in.... you had to pre-order months in advance.... but since it wasn't an Apple iPhone release, it wasn't newsworthy.

Re:Good old conspiracy theory. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37904422)

Are you seriously the only person who doesnt know that Apple creates sell-out situations on purpose? Its Apple marketing 101 for christs sake. You don't think they KNOW how many phones they would need on launch day to meet demand? I mean sure, its quite possible for a company to once in a while vastly underestimate sales, but EVERY SINGLE LAUNCH its this way. Fuck, wake up.

Re:Good old conspiracy theory. (1)

teg (97890) | about 3 years ago | (#37905452)

Are you seriously the only person who doesnt know that Apple creates sell-out situations on purpose? Its Apple marketing 101 for christs sake. You don't think they KNOW how many phones they would need on launch day to meet demand? I mean sure, its quite possible for a company to once in a while vastly underestimate sales, but EVERY SINGLE LAUNCH its this way. Fuck, wake up.

Knowing how many they would need and having them are two different things... they sold 4 million the first weekend, hardly an artificial scarcity. Apple has a much higher demand for their handsets than anybody else... the obvious reason being that instead of releasing many models each year, they just have one. The production chain can't magically make an unlimited set of phones in a short time, and spending half a year to make inventory rather than selling them as you make them makes no sense. In addition, everyone you turn away because they can't get your phone risks going to a competitor for two years.

Thus, your claim of "creating sell out situations on purpose" makes no sense. Myth busted.

Re:Good old conspiracy theory. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37904674)

when something is in short supply like most new Apple launches, shipped = sold. I don't know about you but I can't remember the last time people lined up for a Samsung Galaxy phone [...]

Yeah, it's amazing how you can get people to do stupid shit through the use of super-hyped marketing campaigns and intentional supply shortages.

Re:Good old conspiracy theory. (1)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | about 3 years ago | (#37905236)

"I don't know about you but I can't remember the last time people lined up for a Samsung Galaxy phone unless Samsung bribes them. [mobilemag.com]"

Good for them. That's not bribing that clever marketing.

Anyone, the reason people don't have to line up for Samsung stuff might be because they actually make sure they have enough of them in stock and enough production capacity to make more. And the reason they do that might be because they actually make the hardware themselves, as opposed to Apple, who are dependant on ... guess who ... Samsung to make some really important components for their iPhones. (most notably the screens). Same goes for HTC btw who AFAIK couldn't use the AMOLED that the Samsung Galaxy SII uses because production was not enough to supply them.

Re:Good old conspiracy theory. (2, Insightful)

Cryacin (657549) | about 3 years ago | (#37902656)

At some point you fanboys will have to admit that Android is outselling Iphones.

Never underestimate the power of denial.

Re:Good old conspiracy theory. (1)

alostpacket (1972110) | about 3 years ago | (#37904468)

Are we measuring denial at retail or wholesale?

Re:Good old conspiracy theory. (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 3 years ago | (#37904678)

I'm not sure that anybody denies that Android is outselling iPhone. The issue is whether that's a fair comparison. It's akin to saying that all Chevrolet vehicles outsell the Toyota Camry. They certainly do, but does that mean anything? If you want to do that comparison, you need to compare Android-based devices against iOS-based devices, including the iPad and the iPod touch.

That said, what's sticking in their craw is that the fanbois have always said that comparison should not be between Apple and Android but between Apple and the individual device makers. But now you see Samsung and HTC selling more than Apple. Inconceivable! There must be some trick going on--yeah! They're talking about shipments, not sales. The numbers comes from analysts, not the companies themselves. It was a bad quarter for Apple because nobody was buying iPhones because they were waiting for the new model! Yeah, that's it. Whew!

Re:Good old conspiracy theory. (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | about 3 years ago | (#37905390)

At some point you fanboys will have to admit that Android is outselling Iphones.

Does anyone question that? For me it was clear from day one that Android would outsell iPhones, and I am actually surprised it took that long. Which doesn't really say anything over the quality of each platform.

But the sheer strategy of Apple, with its walled garden, closed platform, and "one phone to rule them all" strategy makes them by definition unable to grab a majority of the market. Now if they keep the quality of their product on par (and that's a big IF) they'll probably end up at 15-20% of the market. With most likely 60% of the profits, but that's another discussion.

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 3 years ago | (#37902444)

You sound fanboi.

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about 3 years ago | (#37902570)

Note that Apple always lists its sales in its SEC statements. And these are sales figures to the end consumer, not shipments.

Apple does projections too in its quarterly reports.

For instance, this last October it projected it was going to sell 22 million [businessinsider.com] iPhones, and it only sold 17 milllion. In any case, everybody publishes their sales figures to their investors. It's just that most of us don't care about last October Sales figures, we care about future sales (or at least current sales), and that kind of information is hard-to-come by if we need it to be reliable.

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37902820)

Apple does projections too in its quarterly reports.

For instance, this last October it projected it was going to sell 22 million [businessinsider.com] iPhones, and it only sold 17 milllion.

So last quarter according to you Apple sold 17 million iPhones. According to the summery

Market research firm Canalys on Monday released country-level smartphone shipment estimates and according to its figures, HTC shipped 5.7 million own-brand smartphones and another 700,000 T-Mobile-branded handsets last quarter to take the top spot with 6.4 million total devices shipped."

Last I checked 17 > 6.4. How is HTC in the top spot?

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37903330)

Last I checked 17 > 6.4. How is HTC in the top spot?

HTC's number is US only, Apple's number is worldwide.

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 3 years ago | (#37902984)

Always in motion is the future.

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | about 3 years ago | (#37903060)

For instance, this last October it project yed it was going to sell 22 million iPhones, and it only sold 17 milllion. In any case, everybody publishes their sales figures to their investors. It's just that most of us don't care about last October Sales figures, we care about future sales (or at least current sales), and that kind of information is hard-to-come by if we need it to be reliable.

Apple didn't miss their estimates. It missed analysts estimates. For the past four years, iPhone volumes have always been down a quarter before a new phone.

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (1)

Swampash (1131503) | about 3 years ago | (#37904386)

Apple does projections too in its quarterly reports.

For instance, this last October it projected it was going to sell 22 million [businessinsider.com] iPhones, and it only sold 17 milllion.

ANALYSTS predicted 22 million iPhone sales. Not Apple. Because Apple doesn't play that game.

All Apple predicted was "revenue of about USD 25 billion" and it came in at just over USD 28 billion.

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 3 years ago | (#37902784)

No apple says sales but they are shipments...shipments are really a business to business sale. Not that you should CARE.

Seriously I do wonder who posts on Slashdot. A shelf stacker knows not only is Shipments of an *Established* product a good "as is"metric, its probably a better "to be" metric. Its only a poor metric for gauging the "long term" success of a launch product, but then initial sales is not always a good indication either. Businesses unlike consumers have no brand loyalty, and will only buy products they can sell at a profit.

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 3 years ago | (#37902976)

We have to use some numbers to see what's happening. If you don't like these numbers, what have you got that's better?

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37903192)

There's three reasons why Samsung won't show their numbers.
1. They are in a lawsuit global with Apple. shipments and sales numbers would make reparations should they lose their cases very NOT kosher. But they are selling gangbusters--enough so that they are beating the pants off apple.
2. They aren't actually selling that many smartphones. The SG 2 may have sold well momentarily but the iphone 4s actually caused a huge dip in sales. Apple is winning hands down. There's a lot of androids in channel.
3. They are winning but they don't want Anyone to know. Cuz they are crazy.

It's most likely a combination of 1 and 2. Samsung android smartphones are selling very well but the lawsuits keep Samsung afraid of releasing numbers as shows the irreparable harm they've "done" to apple by "copying" allegedly the iOS platform. Samsung phones are pretty popular so i doubt they've got channel issues and their silence was early on and not because of the iPhone Pervasive Plan rollout.

and i'm pretty sure Samsung is kicking HTC's ass...

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (3, Interesting)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 3 years ago | (#37903406)

Then these other companies (Strategy Analytics and Canalys) step in with their own estimates that are dodgy at best.

It's a mistake to group these two companies together. I too am suspicious of Strategy Analytics. I'm unaware of any history or reputation they have in this field. Canalys on the other hand has been putting out mobile phone market share studies every quarter for about 10 years. They are a reputable research company, and have charted the highs and lows of many manufacturers and mobile OSs. I've never known them of having unrealistic estimates by anyone in the industry.
There's also Gartner that do them, and they are credible too, though I'd suggest Canalys is better.

3. What is counted as a smartphone? Phone manufacturers are cramming more smartphone features into low-end devices; remember that even the most basic Symbian phone was counted by Nokia as a smartphone, and look how those ostensibly great sales turned out for Nokia.

There's much confusion about what constitutes a smartphone. You rarely see it defined anywhere. But it's essentially this:

1) A smartphone is a phone which can run third party apps, written with the same APIs as the built in apps. Such that third party apps can be indistinguishable from the built in apps. They are "first class citizens".

2) A featurephone is a phone which can run "applets". WAP, J2ME and such like. They are add on apps, but they limited compared to the built in apps.

3) A dumb phone is a phone which doesn't qualify for either of the above.

The very first Symbian phone, the Ericsson R380, wasn't a smartphone. I don't recall if it qualified as a feature phone or just a dumb phone. But it wasn't a smartphone. Other than that, every Symbian phone was a smartphone. Just because it was 10 years ago and the apps were less flashy doesn't mean they weren't smartphones.

Re:Figures provided by analysts, not the companies (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 3 years ago | (#37903892)

I don't understand the relevance of these estimates of Samsung and HTC shipment figures, for three reasons:

Don't worry, nobody's going to take away your iPhone just because some other phone manufacturers are having some success.

Believe it or not, the smartphone market is not middle-earth and it's not the forces of good against the forces of evil. If a day comes, and it may never come, when there is a phone that sells better than the iPhone, it will not reduce one bit the meaning of your long devotion. You will still receive your reward in the next life when you meet Steve Jobs at the pearly gates and blow him.

Shipped vs sold (1)

frnic (98517) | about 3 years ago | (#37901994)

It's all in how you play with the numbers

Re:Shipped vs sold (0)

Xest (935314) | about 3 years ago | (#37905136)

Yes.

If you're a fanboy.

HTC is hardly an emerging player. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37902020)

They have been making phones for longer than most of the other guys mentioned

Cue the shipped vs. sold debate (5, Insightful)

Algae_94 (2017070) | about 3 years ago | (#37902078)

I'm sure lots of people will bring up the fact that shipped phones does not have a 1-to-1 correlation to sold phones. They may not sell and be returned to the manufacturer. That being said, how many times could HTC or Samsung or any other company get away with over shipping devices that don't sell before retailers stop ordering as many devices? I seriously doubt HTC is shipping vast quantities of phones in these numbers that didn't sell. This isn't a failing product like the TouchPad prior to the fire-sale, or the Playbook. These are just commodity smart phones.

Whether you love or hate Apple, the important point to debate is not exactly who is king of the hill in smart phones, but the fact that it is not just one player that rules it all any more. Anything can change as time goes on and no major handset manufacturer can let up or they might fall hopelessly behind.

Re:Cue the shipped vs. sold debate (3, Informative)

jrumney (197329) | about 3 years ago | (#37902152)

Apple can only give "units sold" figures for phones sold from the Apple store. That might work for the US market, but in many other countries they are doing the same as every other vendor and quoting figures for what they have shipped out to distributors, because those are the only figures they they can get.

Re:Cue the shipped vs. sold debate (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 3 years ago | (#37903122)

I wonder about this...

I know that, way back when, Apple used an "agent" model for selling it's hardware via CompUSA. So Apple might ship x units to a store, but they retained ownership of the items. It was always a joke because Apple would have the new machines selling for the same price as the previous generation machines for the first few weeks until someone at Apple says, "Hey, what do you want to do with all this inventory sitting in a CompUSA store someplace?"

So the computers in the stores belong to Apple, not CompUSA. In theory, Apple would have a better idea of their inventory because CompUSA reports sales of computers to Apple.

I could easily imagine that Apple continues to do this with their non-Apple channels. So, in theory, Apple knows that the Best Buy in Peoria, IL, sold a MacBook Pro yesterday.

Re:Cue the shipped vs. sold debate (1)

Relayman (1068986) | about 3 years ago | (#37903204)

[citation needed]

Re:Cue the shipped vs. sold debate (1)

sribe (304414) | about 3 years ago | (#37903256)

Bullshit. Every single one of those phones is sold with a contract, and Apple most certainly knows how many phones the carriers are selling.

Re:Cue the shipped vs. sold debate (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 3 years ago | (#37903388)

Bullshit. Every single one of those phones is sold with a contract, and Apple most certainly knows how many phones the carriers are selling.

Oh really? I am sure you will show me in the fine print where places like expansys provide these mythical contracts then? http://www.expansys.com.au/store/apple-iphone-4/ [expansys.com.au]

Re:Cue the shipped vs. sold debate (1)

sunfly (1248694) | about 3 years ago | (#37903586)

Only in the US are most phones sold on contract. North America is only about 5% of the world population.

Carriers certainly know what is on their networks, but the only people publishing numbers are analysts who have a very poor record of accuracy.

Re:Cue the shipped vs. sold debate (1)

jrumney (197329) | about 3 years ago | (#37903738)

In some countries, tying a phone purchase to a contract is illegal. So no, not all of those devices sold are tied to a contract, even if you discount all the WiFi only iOS devices that are sold.

Re:Cue the shipped vs. sold debate (5, Informative)

demonlapin (527802) | about 3 years ago | (#37903610)

iPhones don't work until activated with an iTunes account. They can't say "units sold" for most outlets, but since an iPhone is useless without activation, it's a pretty safe bet that they know almost exactly how many phones have been sold.

Re:Cue the shipped vs. sold debate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37904658)

Seriously? You need an iTunes account to have a working iPhone? Ugh. Remind me not to buy any of Apple's overpriced products

Re:Cue the shipped vs. sold debate (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about 3 years ago | (#37905382)

Been living under a rock for the past few years?

Re:Cue the shipped vs. sold debate (1)

blind monkey 3 (773904) | about 3 years ago | (#37902192)

....but the fact that it is not just one player that rules it all any more. Anything can change as time goes on and no major handset manufacturer can let up or they might fall hopelessly behind.

Hopefully that means we get better products and cheaper prices - Now THAT is what I consider to be win-win.

Re:Cue the shipped vs. sold debate (1)

sribe (304414) | about 3 years ago | (#37903244)

I seriously doubt HTC is shipping vast quantities of phones in these numbers that didn't sell.

Right, for a new product, especially one where the chances of success are questionable for some reason, there can be a huge disparity. For a successful product from an established vendor, they're eventually the same--the only disparity is then timing, in other words, don't confuse shipments spiking in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season with sales spiking in the off season...

HTC are not new..... (4, Informative)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | about 3 years ago | (#37902142)

They have been making phones for years.. starting way back in the windows mobile days. Granted, they were mostly OEM for other brands, but they are not new.

Re:HTC are not new..... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37902768)

This. As a former UTStarcom PPC-6700 and HTC Branded PPC-6800 I can say I was down with HTC before it was the cool thing to do! Had the HTC Eris not been such a weakling compared to the OG Droid at launch I'd still undoubtedly be an HTC Phone owner. The HTC Thunderbolt may still sway me back. But with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus around the corner along with my contract expiration, and having bought a Samsung Vibrant on Craigslist to see how I liked the Samsung way I think I know what my next smartphone purchase is going to be.

new to most US consumers, so what's HTC like? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37904096)

So what's HTC's track record for product quality and the way they handle support?
Forget features of individual phones (unless they're really unique), is this a company I can trust to provide Android updates for a reasonable period after product introduction?

(As an aside, I was in Taiwan recently and noticed many HTC stores in the big city malls and such. I also saw one Nokia store. This stood out for an American because we tend to get our phones from the carriers' stores, and non-phone electronics from big-box stores, Apple being the standout in also having their own stores.)

and yet... (1)

smash (1351) | about 3 years ago | (#37902230)

I've seen only 2 HTCs in the wild.

Re:and yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37902282)

I use an HTC.

Also, I have a feeling that you hang out around a lot of iphones.

Re:and yet... (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about 3 years ago | (#37902672)

For a second there, I read that as iPhonies. Must remember to use that.

Re:and yet... (1)

smash (1351) | more than 2 years ago | (#37905630)

Mostly iDevices, yes. The rest are mostly samsungs.

Re:and yet... (2)

mjwx (966435) | about 3 years ago | (#37902462)

I've seen only 2 HTCs in the wild.

Looking around my office, 4 HTC's, 2 Samsungs, 1 Iphone (work phone that's treated like a red headed step child no-one wants).

In the US, HTC phones aren't branded as HTC, they're branded as Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint et al. In Australia and Europe I see heaps of HTC Desire's, Desire HD's, Sensation's, Legend's and a few Desire Z's. All of these phones have different names in the US due to your woeful patent minefield.

Re:and yet... (1)

SBJ95 (992570) | about 3 years ago | (#37902534)

I've seen only 2 HTCs in the wild.

My carrier (U.S. Cellular) has several HTC phones, including the one I have (HTC Merge). So far, my experience with it has been great! Sturdy as a rhinoceros...

But at least in the Midwest, HTC phones seem to me to be wildly popular.

Re:and yet... (2)

SmurfButcher Bob (313810) | about 3 years ago | (#37902858)

> I've seen only 2 HTCs in the wild.

I suspect you live in an iCave, or under an iRock.

Re:and yet... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 3 years ago | (#37903106)

Wow, I see 5 HTCs just in my own home, and there are only three of us. HTC's are everywhere.

Re:and yet... (1)

moronoxyd (1000371) | about 3 years ago | (#37904868)

Here: 1 person, 3 HTCs

How about a more accurate sample? (1)

Powercntrl (458442) | about 3 years ago | (#37903710)

Go to a theme park and see what kind of phones people are playing with while they're waiting in line for an attraction. Better yet, I'll tell you what I've noticed: A lot less iPhones. Boo hoo for Apple, I guess.

Re:and yet... (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | about 3 years ago | (#37903776)

And yet, i own one.

I spent 6 years looking for the perfect phone + plan. I have been looking for the perfect TV product (satellite or cable or whatever and haven't bought one in ...ever). I bought DSL out of necessity, because cable doesn't run here. And yet...

I got Sprint unlimited everything, with an HTC device, because everyone else was clamping down. And the device was free with rebates, which I already got credited (next month was free, no bill last month).

Make no mistake, I bought sprint unlimited everything because everyone else was clamping down, and if they *ever* change the conditions, I have enough income *in the bank* to fight them, and I will. For now, I am happy with my service.

tl;dr

Sprint happened to sell an HTC device when I was ready to buy. If they change their TOS, I will subtract myself from Sprint, HTC, and anyone else involved in the deal (BlueFish).

and this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37905278)

is why "what I see around me" is not a good statistical sample of the market.

... and where is Motorola...? (1)

Scowler (667000) | about 3 years ago | (#37902278)

This news, more than anything else, makes me question again the wisdom of Google purchasing Motorola (Mobility). Either Motorola performs well, and shows up in stories like this (thereby irritating Google's Android OEM partners), or Motorola underwhelms, making most of those billions of dollars as a patent investment only (waaay too much money for that, even in today's litigious environment).

Re:... and where is Motorola...? (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 3 years ago | (#37902460)

Google is buying Motorola Mobile for its tax-loss carry forwards, not for its patent portfolio.

Re:... and where is Motorola...? (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 3 years ago | (#37903010)

Keep telling yourself that if it helps you sleep better.

Marketing speak (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37902302)

Shipping does not mean selling. It simply means sending the devices to retail outlets where they could remain unsold This is just like RIM boasting about shipping playbooks

Don't forget that usage counts too (1)

Fished (574624) | about 3 years ago | (#37902364)

I'm in training the past week or so with some not so cery technical people. All if them but me have Android, but today they were all talking about how they never bought apps and never used the smart-phone features. From what I can tell, the "I" device app market us still far ahead if droid, no matter how many devices they sell. Also, you can call me a fan-boi all you like, but I actually had a droid for a while (2 separate droits actually) and hated the platform even more than I hated Apples censorship of religious speech by Exodus International. Seems to me that there are many more religious apple hatred rubbing Android than vice versa at this point.

Re:Don't forget that usage counts too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37902680)

That's nice, but what does it have to do with the post?

Re:Don't forget that usage counts too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37902696)

It's okay, we can tell you are a fanboy from your very bad auto-correction.

Re:Don't forget that usage counts too (0)

Relayman (1068986) | about 3 years ago | (#37903272)

Ultimately, the problem with Android is that very few phones ship with a current version of Android. Even those that ship with a current version rarely keep up. Michael DeGusta created a great graphic [theunderstatement.com] showing this. My wife's HTC Droid Eris is virtually unusable even though it's still on a two-year contract. Hence my sig line.

Re:Don't forget that usage counts too (2)

bdenton42 (1313735) | about 3 years ago | (#37903432)

I'm curious why it would be unusable from a OS standpoint now if it were presumably usable some number of months ago when she purchased it. The feature set on the OS doesn't degrade over time.

The graphic is interesting, but Apple has the advantage of pushing OS updates directly to the devices. Android has the disadvantage of every manufacturer customizing it per vendor specification and the OS updates are pushed through those vendors. If Apple had to get AT&T approval to push iOS to the devices on their network you would see a bunch of yellow and maybe even red bars on the Apple lines too.

Re:Don't forget that usage counts too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37904788)

How do you stand iTunes, especially after using an open system like andoid? I'm scared to even plug my ipod into another computer for fear it will get wiped and bricked.

What's the upgrade cycle on a smartphone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37903172)

Let's assume for a minute that shipped is close to sold. How many of these people are new to smartphones? How many bought a phone from the same vendor? How are replacements counted in the numbers? Say phone x breaks a lot.. do they count the replacement phones as another sale even though it goes to an existing customer?

When I see these numbers, I have to wonder what they mean. Does a certain demographic upgrade more frequently? (iphone users or android users or ... ) I keep my phone for the contract period, but I know others that have to have the latest iPhone. In the case on andriod this would be more important to get the latest OS version. (that's important to me at least)

I guess I personally don't care who moves the most units, but I am interested in who's the most popular with users.

Bah copycats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37904230)

Band-wagon-hopping copycats, cloning the one true Apple design. Apple should sue them.
Here's how they work:
1. Make clutzy, user unfriendly, tiny-screen, micro-button phones/pcs/mp3 players with unusable 7-level nested menus
2. Wait for someone else to have a better idea, and invent a new paradigm. Hope to god they use existing technology so it's easy to just copy, and that free software from someone else can also be copied.
3. Jump straight on the bandwagon and copy it. Let the lawyers worry about pesky copyright
4. Brag about how many more pixels/CPUs/Hz/MB your clone has, and the openness of its free OS (open to hackers, that is)
5. $$Profit$$

Why don't these people have their own Big New Ideas.

It's great to see Microsoft... (1)

nimid (774403) | about 3 years ago | (#37904260)

...do so well!

Already happening... (1)

LoadWB (592248) | about 3 years ago | (#37904302)

> So, how soon will we start seeing other smartphone vendors bid for secure-communications-devices contracts?"

Was at the N.S.A. Trusted Computing Conference last month in Orlando. Saw at least one vendor with smart phones for secure use. I'm not going to dig out the paperwork to find names right now, but one company is offering secure and rugged phones. A lot of other interesting stuff there, as well -- multi-domain systems in the same box with full RF shielding between compartments, "cloud" printing for printing across domains, and a mess of other stuff.

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