How many handsets do you think Samsung sold per minute during October through December of last year? 10? 30?

Try 500. That equals 30,000 handsets per hour and 720,000 per day — some impressive numbers indeed.

At its Q4 investors guidance, the South Korean company said it expects to make $8.3 billion in Q4 profits when the earnings report comes out later this month, Reuters reported.

The growth has been incredible: Samsung’s operating profit increased 89 percent from this time one year ago. The forecast would mark the fifth-straight record quarterly profit.

According to Reuters, Samsung was able to stay ahead of Apple partly because it debuted 37 different phones last year, while its rival introduced just one iPhone. Those 37 phones ranged from high-end to low-end so to match the region where devices were sold — what the people living there preferred and could afford.

LG released 24, HTC with 18, Nokia at 9 and Apple with just one new device last year. Samsung’s top-shelf phone, the Galaxy S3, surpassed the iPhone5 as the best-selling smartphone in the world earlier last year. Sales of the S3 dropped, but the company sold 8 million Note II phablet devices to help increase Samsung’s total smartphone shipments to 63 million in Q4.

Analysts warn that those numbers could drop in Q1 this year because the Galaxy S4 won’t debut until March or April. Still, Samsung’s smartphone shipments are expected to increase regardless.

Samsung, which is valued at $230 billion, might be the undisputed champion of smartphones and a tech kingpin by that time. But will Apple, LG,  or — dare I say it — Nokia’s Windows Phone help dethrone Samsung?

What do you think?

Editor’s note, Jan. 9: Samsung sold 62 million smartphones in Q4, not for the entire year. They sold 215 million smartphones in 2012.

Previously on GeekWire: Mark Cuban: Nokia’s Windows Phone ‘crushes’ iPhone 5

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  • Guest

    Congrats to Samsung on a job well done!

  • Bob

    Why don’t you compare these numbers directly with Apples profitability – dwarfs Samsungs numbers but doesn’t seem to get a mention – Samsung is just flogging loads of crap cheap stuff to get market share – not many of their devices actually get used for much more than phone calls

    • VMNHP01

      As long as it is business and they sell, there’s a demand for ‘not much more than pone calls’ devices. Then again they do have their ‘flagship’ pones if yo don’t want cheap stuff!

  • jbelkin

    Note that – 8.3 B is for ALL of Samsung Electronics which includes TV, chips, screens as well as manuafacturing such as the screens for Apple. While Samsung sells about 50% of the smartphones – Apple about 25%, Apple makes about 80% of ALL the profits in mobile phone sales – SAmsung abot 10% so bascially, Aple makes about 350% per phone sold than Samsung. They are in different sehments of the market – Samsung is after raw numbers to keep their factories humming, Apple is after the top and aspirational segment of the market – yes, Apple makes a couple billion more per quarter with 1 phone versus Samsung’s 40 but Samsung operates the way most CE companies cultures are – you have a lot of product managers fight it out and no one person or product rises to the top of the bureaucracy – no VP has to stake their career on one product which might fail.

  • foobar

    read the Reuters article – they’re talking 215M smartphones this year and 290M next year. You wrote 60M this year. Or are you talking about the s3 or note alone?

    • Taylor Soper

      Thanks for the comment. I got confused and read the Reuters story wrong. I mean 62 million for Q4 alone. Just fixed it in the story. Thanks for pointing that out.

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