Possibly the last major research organisation to publish sales/unit shipments for smartphones for 2011, we think, have probably got it right as between Apple and Samsung.
We have been banging on about it being “too close to call” in quarter 4 on the basis of our (very rough) estimate of Apples October-December sales of 36,106 thousand units and Samsungs 36 – 36.5 million reported by IDC Canalys iSuppli et al.
Gartner in their press release quote Roberta Cozza, one of their principal research analysts, saying “Samsung profited from strong smartphone sales of 34 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011.” They have a precise figure in table 3 for Apple sales units of 35,456 thousands.
So that is fairly decisive with Apple being over 1m units above Samsung.
We’ve included their mobile sales tables for completeness which show significantly higher units (some 14%) than IDC’s. This may partially be due to definitional reasons ie Vendor unit shipments (which are branded shipments and excluding OEM sales for all vendors) for IDC v’s Device sales to end users per Gartner