Samsuing today announced earnings for the three-month period between July and September. The South Korean conglomerate said operating profit from its telecom division more than doubled on an annual basis, hitting a record 2.52 trillion won, or about $2.2 billion, while sales grew 37 percent. The figure amounted for 60 percent of the company’s total profit of 4.25 trillion won, or about $3.85 billion. Total profits for the conglomerate shrank 23 percent year over year due to a broader slowdown in the memory chips market. Samsung’s semiconductor unit benefited from strong demand for chips used in its own Galaxy devices and rival Apple’s iOS gadgets. Total revenue for the quarter climbed three percent to 41.27 trillion won, or $37.35 billion.

“Despite the difficult business environment due to the economic slowdown in developed markets, Samsung achieved a solid performance and recovered its double-digit operating profit margin in the quarter, driven by strong sales of our smartphones,” said Robert Yi, Vice President and Head of Investor Relations.

Samsung stopped divulging smartphone and tablet shipments in July for competitive reasons, but highlighted that its flagship Galaxy SII smartphone sold more than 10 million units in the five months since its introduction. Strategy Analytics estimated Samsung’s smartphone shipments for the quarter at 27.8 million units, up nearly four times from a year ago and a 44 percent sequential growth. Samsung’s share of the global smartphone market was an estimated 23.8 percent in the third quarter versus 14.8 percent for Apple. How things change fast in the mobile world.

Apple for the first time this year missed Street expectations after shipping 17.07 million iPhones in the September quarter. Even though Apple’s iPhone performance represents a 21 percent unit growth over the year-ago period, it’s also a 16 percent quarterly decline from the 20.34 million iPhones they shipped in the July quarter, beating Nokia and Samsung to emerge as the #1 smartphone maker. Apple suffered a blow as customers postponed their purchases in anticipation of a new iPhone model.

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