Samsung sells 27.8m smartphones in Q3 2011 [Updated]

Samsung sold 27.8m smartphones in Q3 2011, the company has confirmed, making it the world's largest smartphone vendor and contributing significantly to its record-breaking financial quarter. The new stat was tweeted out by Samsung South Africa, and follows the company's announcement last month that it had shipped over 300m handsets - both smartphones and dumbphones – in 2011 as a whole. Updated after the cut.

It's unclear if this latest number in fact refers to shipped phones or sold phones, a difference which has caused Samsung some embarrassment in the past. Back in January 2011, the company had to amend announcements of first-gen Galaxy Tab sales after accidentally classifying shipments to resellers and vendors as end-user sales.

Either way, it's tough to argue that Samsung hasn't had a good year for phones. The company is still riding high from the launch of the Galaxy Nexus, its second Googlephone collaboration with the Android-developing search giant, while the multiple variants of the Galaxy S II have made a splash across North America, Europe and Asia.

Samsung will announce its full financial results imminently, though it's unlikely to break down the numbers to the point where we can see the comparative performance of Android, Windows Phone and bada devices.

Update: Samsung SA has deleted the original tweet, and replaced it with one saying the 27.8m figure actually refers to Q3 2011, not Q4. The figure itself comes from Strategy Analytics rather than being an internal number, too. Looks like we'll have to wait a little longer to see Q4 figures, if Samsung decides to break down smartphone numbers at all.