Samsung thought to have dethroned Nokia

Dylan Bushell-Embling
13 Apr 2012

Samsung is believed to have passed Nokia in the first quarter to become the world's top-selling handset vendor.

Analyst polls conducted by both Reuters and by Bloomberg indicate that Samsung outsold Nokia during the quarter.

The Reuters poll suggests that Samsung sold 88 million phones in Q1, while the Bloomberg poll puts sales at 93 million. This compares to Nokia's confirmed sales for the quarter of 83 million handsets.

This marks the first time Nokia has been outsold by volume in the 14 years since it claimed the top spot from Motorola in 1998.

The dethroning of Nokia has been widely expected, with the only question being when. Samsung itself had been aiming to overtake Nokia in 2011, but failed to reach this target. By January, analysts were on average still predicting that Nokia would stay ahead this year.

Nokia's mobile phone business this week reported an operating loss.

Some analysts are leaning on Nokia to sell off its low-margin feature phone business and concentrate on smart devices.

But others have warned that Nokia will keep losing ground in the smartphone segment unless it manages to become more competitive with Samsung and Apple. Despite some progress, the company's well-publicized tie-up with Microsoft has not yet yielded the desired results.

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