Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd ended Nokia Oyj’s 14-year leadership of the global cell phone market in the first quarter of the year, outselling the struggling Finnish handset maker for the first time ever.
The poll showed analysts on average expect Samsung to have sold 88 million cell phones in January through March, surpassing the 83 million which Nokia sold in the quarter.
Nokia had announced the sales total on Wednesday when it warned of losses from the phones business in the first and second quarter. Samsung is due to release quarterly numbers on April 27.
Nokia has struggled for several years in the Smartphone race, but its dominance in the lower end of the market has allowed it to keep its rank as the world’s largest cell phone maker by volume.
The fall of the Finnish firm has been rapid over the last few months as in a similar poll in January it was still expected to stay far ahead of Samsung, as Reuters stated
Nokia became the world’s largest cell phone maker 1998 when it overtook Motorola – at a time when Samsung had just entered the industry – and it controlled around 40 percent of the market for years before Apple Inc’s iPhone was unveiled in 2007, launching the Smartphone boom.
Some analysts said losing the top spot would be a blow to Nokia, but would have little impact on its attempt to turn around its fortunes.