KOREAN SMARTPHONE MAKER Samsung has overtaken Apple as the world's largest smartphone vendor, according to a report by research firm Strategy Analytics.
Global shipments of smartphones grew 41 per cent annually to reach 145 million units in the first quarter.
Samsung accounted for 31 per cent market share with shipments rising 253 per cent annually to 44.5 million units. Apple shipped 35.1 million smartphones worldwide, capturing 24 per cent of the market.
Alex Spektor, associate director at Strategy Analytics said this was due to a surge in demand for Samsiung's Galaxy models such as the Galaxy Note, Galaxy S II and Galaxy Y. However we're taking the news with a pinch of salt considering Samsung's particularly vague announcements in the past. Last August Samsung said it would no longer release phone sales data.
Nevertheless, Ovum analyst Adam Leach advised that the results could be a direct result of Samsung becoming "the poster child for Android smartphones". He said, "The company's Galaxy range has proven a hit with consumers, and Samsung has leveraged its manufacturing and distribution prowess to meet the consumer demand and in the process has become the Android supplier of choice for operators and other retail channels."
If the report is correct, it means that Samsung and Apple combined now account for more than half of global smartphone shipments for the first time, outcompeting all other major vendors combined.
As for the Finnish phone maker Nokia, Strategy Analytics said the brand managed to maintain its position as the world's third largest smartphone player, but its global market share fell from 23 per cent in the first quarter of 2011 to just eight per cent last quarter. This is Nokia's lowest market share in the smartphone category since 2002.
Whether Strategy Analytics' figures are accurate or not, Samsung is on a winning streak. Due to release a new Galaxy device at a launch event in London on 3 May, the Korean giant's smartphone sales are only expected to grow. µ