Samsung topples Apple in smartphone shipment

Despite a concerted effort from Apple to cripple Samsung’s presence in the smartphone industry, it was not able to shake up things enough to reach the top spot.

Samsung shipped a whopping 20 million smartphones in the most recent quarter, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics, making it the industry leader.

That number was enough to make it pass Nokia, which had held the title for years before the Android/iPhone revolution, as well as Apple.

Apple only shipped a little more than 17 million smartphones in the most recent quarter.

Granted, for Apple, that includes only a few different handsets while Samsung has a whole litany of phones on the market. So if you were to look at sales numbers for individual smartphone models, the iPhone would clearly win.

But that’s not the way things work, and Samsung is no doubt very happy with its position in the market, especially after Apple has attacked it with a whole arsenal of patent infringement lawsuits.

As a result, Samsung has countered with its own lawsuits against Apple over very similar issues. It’s been an ugly battle as the two continue to duke it out in the competition to be the smartphone leader.

Samsung’s profit margin in the second quarter of 2011 reached 13.7%, the highest it has been since 2004, so clearly the company is holding its own right now.