April 27th, 2012
06:40 AM GMT
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(CNN) – Apple isn’t the only global smartphone maker having a good week.

Samsung overtook Apple in the first three months of the year to become the world’s largest smartphone vendor and ended Nokia’s 14-year run as the largest maker of all phone handsets by volume, according to research release Friday by Strategy Analytics.

The South Korean electronics giant reported Friday a record net profit of $4.44 billion in the first quarter, led by strong mobile sales.

“Samsung’s global smartphone shipments rose 253% annually to 44.5 million units, as demand surged for its popular Galaxy models such as the Note, S2 and Y,” Alex Spektor, associate director at Strategy Analytics, said in a news release.

Apple’s sales of 35.1 million iPhones in the first quarter helped lead the company to double first quarter profits. Nokia sold 11.9 million handsets January through March, more than half as many the Finnish firm sold year on year, eroding its smartphone market share to 8.2% from 23.5% in 2011.

Nokia: The Finnish RIM

In overall handset sales, Samsung sold 93.5 million phones while Nokia sold 82.7 million units – the first time Samsung has topped Nokia in market share, Strategy Analytics reports.

Nokia – while still popular in developing markets - has seen its market share slowly erode due to slow entry in the high-end market and its former reliance on its Symbian software, which had proved all-thumbs compared to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Nokia is phasing out its Symbian phones after signing an agreement with Microsoft last year to switch smartphone software to Windows.

soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. John1

    ..."more than half as many the Swedish firm sold year on year."

    Swedish or Finnish, as in Finland, not Sweden ?

    April 27, 2012 at 7:10 am |
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    April 27, 2012 at 7:18 am |
  4. Anders Gunhaga

    I admit to contributing to Samsungs Sales :)
    Last time i heard though, Nokia was a Finnish company, not Swedish.


    April 27, 2012 at 7:18 am |
  5. Alex

    At this moment Samsung is way much better then Apple, they should only rise their prices or create a shiny, "hight class" cover of their products specially for those ones that can't make a difference between a good product and an expensive one, for those ones that are going around with an Apple product but they have no clue how to fully use it.

    April 27, 2012 at 9:26 am |
  6. Anand

    Is it just me or, don't see no comments from the apple crazies or anyone else? Samsung I think is going to beat apple from now on in all quarters, unless, apple comes up with a non-restrictive device (ex:emails, bluetooth to name a couple) and also a bigger screen atleast. I own and iPhone and yes some limitations it has are just not acceptable.

    April 27, 2012 at 9:57 am |
  7. Gary

    What happen to the Apple damage control squad on CNN?! LOL

    April 27, 2012 at 10:34 am |
  8. ronnie

    Anand that's because apple crazies are not frustrated like android users. They know the difference between quality or poor imitation. Enjoy your "leading" cheap clones.

    April 27, 2012 at 10:39 am |
  9. Jerry Chanbers

    Samsung is just full of data manipulators. They are and always will be in the shadow of apple.
    I am tried of their cheap crap, and I think if you read the article clearly you will see that they put
    'shipment' instead of sales, another deceitful way to get a better grip before they sink. Samsunk will sink.

    April 27, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  10. Pombole

    Frankly my dear, Apple does not give a damn.

    April 27, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  11. AndyR63

    Samsung rocks! Technically speaking, and not by being brainwashed by a brand name, the Android system is far superior. Another major selling point for Samsung smart phones is that it has a battery compartment that you can open and replace the battery when you need. This is not the case with the iPhone....

    April 27, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  12. Leonard

    Samsung makes a lot of phones. Their phones don't last. Good thing their cheap that you just buy another after a year. Very good sales strategy.

    April 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  13. Desmond

    The only Samsung smartphone I bought led me to buy 5 iPhones for my family and I. The Samsung smartphone was a real waste of time and money.

    April 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  14. Jack

    I totally agree with Leonard, Samsung phones do not last. I bought three Samsung phones over a short period till I settled on a Nokia. Guess what? Its been two years, no issue and the only thing on my mind is to hand it to someone and buy another!!

    April 27, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  15. Sholaye

    Looool damn look at all the Samsung haters. Ive had my Samsung Galaxy S2 for 6months now and its still good as new. And the phone was voted best phone of 2011 and 2012!! The iphone is also a good phone no lie but they just got the brand name

    April 27, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  16. Channel

    Really it depends on how the count the sales revenue ... sell in or sell out. Sell in includes all inventory still sitting at the retailers ... while sell out actually deducts the inventory still at the retailers. Counting only the handsets that actually get bought.

    April 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  17. Chris

    Such a striking contrast between South Korea and North Korea. One has the world's largest mobile phone company, makes cars, TVs, microwave ovens, provides work and hope for its citizens. And one makes hunger, weapons and fear.

    April 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  18. R.A.KHAN

    Samsung phones are lagging in quality as compared to iphone.I have tried both phones,

    April 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  19. Ron

    I've been an iPhone user for 5 years now, starting with the 1st gen iPhone, the iPhone 3G, the 4 and the 4s.. Love all of them. I decided to give the Samsung Galaxy Nexus as an extra device when I traveling abroad using the local SIM in the country I travel to. I have to admit that the Galaxy Nexus has grown a lot on me and I have swapped my Galaxy Nexus as my primary device now and my 4s is now my secondary device. I also tried out the older Nexus S given by a friend who got the Galaxy Nexus. I love that all my emails, contacts, calendar can be kept on the cloud and easily synced across multiple devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops) simply by logging into my own account on each device... Galaxy S3 vs iPhone 5... will be interesting. 1 year ago, my answer would've been a unanimous iPhone but now, I'm not so sure

    April 27, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
  20. Chad

    I switched from iPhone (v1 through 3G) to Android based on a shift in corporate cell phone policy, and I've never looked back. Android has been an entirely better experience in terms of customizability, control and interface. The only drawback is that iPhone apps continue to dominate in press coverage and "cool" factor. While comparable apps eventually reach the Android market, iPhone developers seem to get the jump. I'm sticking with Android though. The pros far outweigh the cons. I've swapped out all the default apps (browser, dialer, launcher, email) with custom free apps that exactly fit my needs. I actually LOVE my phone, and don't feel like I'm constrained to a "Fisher-Price" user experience.

    April 27, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
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  22. Steve

    Headline says samsung passes apple in sales but goes on to say samsung shipped 44 million odd units. Actual sales as reported by CNET show was only 32 million less than Apples 35 million odd sales. Surprised CNN missed this.

    April 28, 2012 at 12:12 am |

    samsung sucks!

    April 30, 2012 at 2:20 am |
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    I'd like to respond to Pombole. Seriously, Apple does not give a damn so wut'evuuuuur Samsungggg userssss

    April 30, 2012 at 7:32 am |
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