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Reuters: Samsung set to trump Nokia to become the world’s biggest phone maker

April 16, 2012

Our smartphones lagging behind the competitors’? Not a problem, we’re the biggest phone maker in the world by volume, dontcha know? But after 14 years of being number one in the global mobile phone market (and having that status to fall back to at a time when critics sharpen their knives), Nokia will soon have to stop living in its past glory.

According to a poll conducted by Reuters, Samsung’s sales in the first quarter of 2012 will surpass that of the Finnish company for the first time. On average, the surveyed analysts estimate that Sammy has sold 88 million mobile phones between January and March. While Samsung has yet to report its quarterly number for the year (that will happen on April 27), Nokia has announced that it sold 83 million phones in the first quarter.

This isn’t really surprising and something that’s probably long time coming. Nokia managed to cling to the top for so long — especially over the last few years — thanks to the company’s focus on churning out cheap phones targeted at the lower spectrum of the market. Samsung, on the other hand, has been aggressively pushing out its mid to high-end Android devices.

Nokia may have a PR nightmare on its hands, now that it can no longer gloat about its worldwide dominance, but, according to Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi (and common sense, we may add), losing the top spot won’t affect Nokia’s current strategy, as “it does not change anything; at the end of the day the problems are the same if they remain the No 1 or become the No 2.”

It’s been mostly smooth sailing for Nokia since it first took over from Motorola in 1998, but a change of regime is but a certainty now. Will the new Samsung dynasty last as long as the last ruler’s?