Samsung overtakes Nokia to become leading phone maker

Koreans finally bring the curtain down on Nokia's 14-year reign

Samsung has replaced Nokia as the world's leading phone maker, according to new figures. It's the first time Nokia has been off the top since 1998.

Samsung has received a massive boost on the eve of the Galaxy S3 launch, with new figures claiming the Koreans have overtaken Nokia to become the leading smartphone manufacturer in the world, for the first time.

The changing of the guard represents the first time Nokia has been off the top spot in 14-years, according to the Strategy Analysts research firm. The Finnish company had ruled the roost since 1998 when it overcame Motorola.

Samsung's success can largely be credited to the Galaxy S2 handset, which became more successful than anyone had imagined and scooped the T3 Gadget Award for Phone of the Year in 2011.

Samsung sold an incredible 93.5 million handsets in the first quarter of 2012, up 36 per cent on last year and giving the company a 25.4 per cent overall share of the market. That's compared with Nokia's 82.7 million sales, which gave it a 22.5 share.

Apple came in third place when overall mobile handsets were counted up, with the iPhone earning a 9.5 share of the market, but that figure jumps considerably to 24.1 per cent when only smartphones are considered. Samsung topped that arena too, with 30.6 percent, meaning between them, the warring giants accounted for over half of all smartphone sales.

With the Galaxy S3 scheduled for launch next week, with an imminent on sale date expected, it seems that Samsung's titanic achievement will not be a short-lived one.

Meanwhile, a company executive put an end to any lingering speculation on Thursday evening declaring that The Next Galaxy will indeed be called the Galaxy S3.

"We are anticipating very strong demand of Galaxy S III," said senior VP Robert Yi, during a Q1 earnings call where Samsung once again announced record profits.

The phone will launch on May 3 at a press conference in London and we'll be covering the event live. Join us for the Samsung Galaxy S3 launch event live blog.

Via: Wall Street Journal