World Q3 smartphone shipments: 355 million, 354m, 342m or 366m?

The correct answer is 'E - all of the above' as analysts spray numbers around

How many smartphones emerged blinking into the sunlight during the third quarter of 2015?

It depends who you ask.

IDC says 355.2 million hit the streets between June and August.

That's not a million miles away from Strategy Analytics' assertion that 354.2 million machines made it out the door.

Juniper Research is willing to put its name to a figure of 342.5 million for the quarter.

Counterpoint Technology Research lives up to its name with an assessment claiming 366 million smartphones were boxed up and sent off for sale.

The average comes in at 354.5 million, or just a tick under four million phones a day.

The four analysts all agree that Samsung had a might quarter. The word “turnaround” gets an airing in discussions of the Korean giant, but relegated to future discussions of Microsoft's mobile business after nasty year-on-year drops around the world.

Opinions differ as to whether Xiaomi had a shocker or an encouraging time. It's thought to have sold about 18m in the period under consideration.

Most of the action in smartphones is in the mid-market or low-end, as such kit is what folks in emerging markets can afford. High-end kit like the sixth iterations of the iPhone and Galaxy grab the headlines, but lesser devices are what set cash registers ringing. And it's in that market that Samsung is coining it, thanks to its broad range.

And BlackBerry? Juniper says its sales fell below the million-handset mark during the quarter, a level its CEO recently said is a quit-the-handset-business proposition. ®

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