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Samsung Becomes Worldwide Cell Phone Market Leader

Samsung has outperformed Nokia in the global cell phone market to become the market leader based on its 2012 commercial performance.

Analytics company IHS has said Samsung will finish 2012 with a 29 percent market share of the cell phone market, while Nokia settles for second for the first time in 14 years with a 24 percent hold.

Last year, it was nearly exactly the opposite. Nokia led the worldwide cell phone market with a 30 percent share compared to Samsung's 24 percent.

The latter, however, has changed its fortunes around ten-fold with its handsets. Its Galaxy S3, in particular, has sold over 30 million units to become one of the best selling Android smartphones of all time, with the device also overthrowing the iPhone 4S' coveted moniker of the top selling smartphone in the world.

The S3's commercial performance saw Samsung post record profits of $7.4 billion during 2012's Q3, which is an increase of 91 percent when compared to the third quarter in 2011.

"The competitive reality of the cellphone market in 2012 was 'live by the smartphone; die by the smartphone,'" said Wayne Lam, senior analyst for wireless communications at IHS.

During the third quarter of 2012, Samsung sold 98 million phones, 55 million of which were smartphones, which led to a 22.9 percent share of the market. Nokia, meanwhile, sold 82 million phones, but only 7.2 million of those were smartphones. With the emergence of Samsung and other vendors due to Google's Android platform, the once-dominant Apple held on to third place with 10 percent of sales.

IHS said Nokia's declining performance was due to its change in direction, with the firm now focusing on Windows Phone 8. Comparatively, the analytics firm pointed towards Samsung's ability to appeal to both the high-and low-end of the smartphone market as a major factor towards its success this year.

Samsung's smartphone shipments increased by 8 percent from 2011, which is the greatest growth experienced by any vendor this year in the market. Overall, it boasted a 28 percent share of the market.

Nokia, however, experienced the biggest decrease in smartphones shipped by falling to 5 percent, representing an 11 percent decrease when compared to 2011. In the smartphone market, Apple settled for 20 percent. Both HTC and RIM followed behind with a 5 percent share of the smartphone market.

During the third quarter of this year, smart-connected devices (PCs, tablets and smartphones) shipped an accumulative of 303.6 million units. Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley believes Samsung will ship that exact same figure of handsets by itself in 2013.

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