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Samsung takes mobile phone lead from Nokia

Strategy Analytics report says Samsung shipped more mobiles in Q1 2012 than Nokia

Samsung takes mobile phone lead from Nokia
Samsung has taken the lead in global mobile phone shipments, says Strategy Analytics.

Samsung may have overtaken Nokia as the world's largest producer of mobile phones, according to a report from analyst company Strategy Analytics.

The analyst report claims that Samsung shipped 93.5 million mobile handsets in the first quarter of 2012, compared to 82.7 million shipped by Nokia.

The figures are based on Strategy Analytics estimates however, as Samsung does not fully disclose unit shipment figures.

Samsung has reported a record quarterly operating profit of 5.85 trillion won ($5.15bn) for Q1 2012, from revenues of 45.27 trillion won ($39.9bn) up 22% year-on-year.

Net profit for the quarter ended 31st March was 5.05 trillion won ($4.46bn).

Samsung said that it saw a drop in sales of semiconductor chips and TVs due to seasonal factors, but its mobile phone and display panels grew strongly.

The IT & Mobile Communications division - including Mobile Communications, Telecommunication Systems, IT Solutions and Digital Imaging - registered quarterly operating profits of 4.27 trillion won for the first period. Revenue reached 23.22 trillion won, and the mobile unit accounted for 18.90 trillion won, up 86 percent year-on-year.

Robert Yi, senior vice president and Head of Investor Relations commented: "Despite difficult business environments including seasonal low demand for major products such as PCs and TVs amid a global economic slowdown, we achieved record quarterly results based on our differentiated products and technology leadership. We cautiously expect our earnings momentum to continue going forward, as competitiveness in our major businesses is enhanced."

Samsung is set to debut the latest version of its top-selling Galaxy range of smartphones on 3rd May.

Strategy Analytics report puts Samsung on 25.4% of global market share in handsets, with Nokia holding 22.5% and Apple 9.5%. Nokia has held the top slot in mobile phone shipments for the past 14 years.

Alex Spektor, associate director at Strategy Analytics, said: "As volumes contracted in key developed markets like Western Europe and North America, global handset shipments grew just 3% annually to reach 368.0 million units in Q1 2012. Samsung was the star performer, shipping 93.5 million handsets worldwide and capturing a record 25% market share. Five years after it captured the number-two spot from Motorola, Samsung has finally become the world's largest handset vendor in volume terms."

Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, added: "Nokia's global handset shipments declined a huge 24% annually to 82.7 million units in Q1 2012. Volumes were squeezed at both ends, as low-end feature phone shipments in emerging markets stalled and high-end Microsoft Lumia smartphones were unable to offset the rapid decline of Nokia's legacy Symbian business. Nokia was the world's largest handset vendor between 1998 and 2011, for 14 years, before finally yielding top position to rival Samsung this quarter."

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