Samsung shipped more than 20 million smartphones in the quarter which ended last month - beating Apple which sold 17.1 million iPhones in its fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 24, the Wall Street Journal said today, quoting " a person familiar with the situation ".
Apple has already conceded that iPhone sales slowed in the last quarter as customers waited for the new iPhone 4S - which is expected to tilt the balance again with 4 million sold last weekend. To back that that up, a five-minute video intro for the iPhone 4S and a 1.5-minute ad for its more prominent new feature, Siri, together reached 15 million today.
South Korea's Samsung - the world's second-largest cellphone maker (after Nokia) - has shipped many more phones this year because of the popularity of Google's Android operating system .
Samsung unveiled a new smartphone Galaxy Nexus, developed jointly with Google,in Hong Kong earlier this week.
The new phone's Android 4.0 software, dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich, was described by one commentator as "perhaps the most important Android release ever." It merges Android 2, used on mobile phones, with Android 3, used on tablets, making the whole android experience "much tastier".
Samsung and Apple are fighting several lawsuits in different countries at the moment. Apple claims Samsung copied its iPhone and iPad design with its Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets based on Android. Samsung says Apple violated its patents on wireless technologies.
Samsung denied rumours that the Galaxy Nexus was designed to avoid legal disputes.