Apple and Samsung Have Happy Holidays Thanks to Smartphones

Preliminary estimates of how smartphone manufacturers fared this holiday season put Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 4S and Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones at the top of the sales lists. Apple could be a big gainer because of pent up demand for the new model, considering the previous model was released 16 months ago.

In Britain, in October, the iPhone cornered about 43% of the market surging past the competing Android platform. According to Neil Mawston, analyst at research firm Strategy Analytics in Milton Keynes, Britain, “It’s really only the iPhone family and the (Samsung) Galaxy family flying off the shelves. Everyone else is just picking up the leftovers.”

For most of Europe, however, the difficult economic conditions are causing customers to defer purchases of phones, resulting in shrinking sales volumes. “For Europe, Q4 will not be the usual bonanza. The economy is pushing consumers to be pickier,” said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi, adding this played to the advantage of Samsung and Apple.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is expected to sell about 28 million iPhones this quarter, up 70% from last year. Samsung is forecasted to post similar volumes, with its flagship Galaxy SII model already having topped the 10 million units sales mark.

Here’s how Apple shares are trading on the news:

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): AAPL shares recently traded at $382.95, up $4.01, or 1.06%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $310.50 to $426.70. Volume today was 5,260,441 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 18,575,300 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 13.83, while trailing earnings are $27.68 per share. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>