Samsung overtakes Nokia as top mobile vendor for first time

27 Apr 2012

Samsung Galaxy S II

Samsung has become the world’s biggest mobile phone vendor for the first time, overtaking Nokia, which has held the title for 14 years, according to new studies.

Both iSuppli and Strategy Analytics report that Samsung overtook Nokia as the leading vendor of mobile phones in the first quarter of 2012.

iSuppli estimates that Samsung shipped 92m mobile phones in the first quarter of the year, overtaking Nokia, which shipped 83m.

Meanwhile, Strategy Analytics estimates that Samsung shipped 93.5m, compared to 82.7m from Nokia.

While both figures differ slightly, they both show that Nokia has dropped to the second-biggest mobile vendor in the world. It has held the top spot for 14 years.

Samsung’s popularity has been attributed to its success in the smartphone market, particularly in regards to demand for its Galaxy smartphones. It’s set to unveil its next Samsung Galaxy S phone on 3 May. According to iSuppli, the company is also doing well in other mobile phone product categories, allowing it to capture a greater share of the market.

Meanwhile, Nokia is still transitioning into the smartphone market using Windows Phone as its primary platform. Its net sales of mobile devices were down 40pc in this quarter from the first quarter of 2011, thanks to stronger competition.

When looking at the smartphone market exclusively, Apple is the top vendor, shipping 35m units in the first quarter, says iSuppli. Samsung comes in at a close second with 32m shipments and Nokia is third with 12m shipments.