Samsung Might not Be Smartphone Leader for Long -- IDC

With the caveat that these numbers are focused on "shipments" and not sales, IDC confirms other hardware-tracking firms' estimates showing that Samsung took the global smartphone crown from Apple in Q3. However, the firm said that the iPhone 4S should challenge the Korean company's newly established leadership position.

Samsung and Apple are engaged in an increasingly bitter, global legal dispute over patents, which has just become an EU anti-trust investigation as well. Amazingly, Samsung remains one of Apple's major suppliers. 

According to the IDC data, Taiwan-based HTC also experienced triple-digit growth on the strength of its Android device sales. 

Screen shot 2011-11-04 at 6.34.32 AM

In the chart above, Nokia is off nearly 40%. But this is "BW," before Windows Phones. The firm just released its first Microsoft-based phones, which have received positive but not spectacular reviews.

In the "others" category presumably is Windows Phones generally. In the US, Microsoft's mobile market share stands at either 7% or 5.7% percent according to Nielsen and comScore respectively.