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Samsung topples Nokia as top phone-maker, shipped 93M handsets in Q1

On top of hitting record quarterly profit in Q1, research firm Strategy Analytics says South Korea-based Samsung has also ended Finland-based Nokia’s 14-year run as the world’s top handset maker.

Strategy Analytics told Bloomberg that it estimates Samsung shipped 93.5 million handsets versus Nokia’s 82.7 million units. Nokia’s status has fallen greatly in the past few year’s, as it lost the smartphone crown to Apple and Samsung first, and now it has fallen off with feature phones. Nokia has now bet its future on Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform.

Samsung has become the unequivocal champion when it comes to Android phones, but the majority of the handsets it sells are still “dumb phones.” While the conversation in tech mostly revolves around smartphones, it’s important to remember that emerging markets still gobble up feature phones because smartphones are way too expensive.

“Last year Samsung became No. 1 in Europe while Nokia retained the No. 1 position in most emerging markets,” Tom Kang, a Seoul-based research analyst at Strategy Analytics, told Bloomberg. “In the first quarter, we expect Samsung took a lot of market share from Nokia in Asia. China and India were the two biggest markets where Samsung gained.”

However, when it comes to smartphones, there’s disagreement among research firms over which phone maker, Apple or Samsung, ended on top for Q1. Apple sold 35.06 million iPhones in the past quarter, but the estimates for Samsung smartphones sales broadly differ. Strategy Analytics says Samsung sold 44.5 million smartphones, but IHS iSuppli says it estimates Samsung sold just 32 million smartphone units.

Photo credit: Samsung/Flickr

Copyright 2012, VentureBeat




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