Yesterday, we spoke about how Apple’s earnings indicated a slight dip from Wall Street expectations. While this wouldn’t exactly make Apple happy, its arch rival Samsung must be quite pleased. In more pleasing news for the Korean electronics manufacturer, its fourth quarter profits of $6.6 billion was 75 percent more than what it earned during this period in the previous year. Even its overall sales of $2.5 billion were 4 percent higher than the corresponding figure for the third quarter.

The company attributes this increase in revenue to its bestsellers, the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2, which saw strong demand, particularly in the last quarter. Samsung’s handset unit had an operating profit of about $5 billion, double of the $2.35 billion from last year. In addition, we think the lukewarm response of the market to Apple’s iPhone 5 also helped Samsung reach the top spot. Considering that nearly 25 percent of smartphones all over the globe are manufactured by Samsung, these figures don’t seem quite surprising.

The company managed to sell 63 million smartphones in the fourth quarter, but is expecting to sell only about 59.7 million units during the first quarter. However, both these figures still remain higher than Apple’s sale of 47.8 million iPhones during the company’s fiscal first quarter. The reduced estimates of the first quarter indicate that the Galaxy S4 may not release until after March 2013. According to the latest data, Samsung has managed to sell 41 million Galaxy S3 smartphones and 5 million Galaxy Note 2 phablets since their respective releases.