Samsung’s Record Quarter Makes it The Top Mobile Phone Vendor

Samsung posted a record $5.2 billion profit for the first quarter of 2012, with sales pushing it above Nokia to become the world’s largest mobile phone vendor.

According to Reuters, Samsung sold a total of 93.5 million phones last quarter, including both feature phones and smartphones. Almost half, 43.5 million, of the phones were smartphones. The number gives Samsung control of 30.6 percent of the high-end smartphone market. The company even managed to outsell Apple’s 35.1 million smartphones in the same quarter.

The huge sales brought Samsung’s stock to a lifetime high, and boosted its market value to $190 billion. That’s enough to make Samsung worth 11 times Sony, a company that competes with Samsung in almost every market. Samsung is still worth only a third of Apple, its main competition in the smartphone market. Apple is also the world’s most valuable company.

Read: Samsung Galaxy S III Rumor Roundup

According to Strategy Analytics, Samsung is now the world’s largest mobile phone vendor. The company’s recent sales puts it above Nokia on the lists of most mobile phones shipped and global mobile phone market share.

Nokia was the world’s largest smartphone vendor for 14 years, from 1998 to 2011. Samsung spent five years as the number two vendor before jumping ahead of Nokia this quarter. Apple is currently third on the list, with a market share well below both companies. However, Apple only sells smartphones while both Samsung and Nokia also sell feature phones.

Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston said “Samsung and Apple are out-competing most major rivals, and the smartphone market is at risk of becoming a two-horse race.”

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Next week Samsung will unveil its Galaxy S III, the latest in its high-end Galaxy line. Samsung senior vice president Robert Yi said the company expects “very strong demand for the Galaxy S III.” We don’t know much about the phone aside from the CPU inside, but we’re excited to see what Samsung has planned.

The Galaxy S III will likely ship this summer, and have a head-start on Apple’s iPhone 5 which will likely come sometime this fall.

Samsung has taken a few jabs at Apple in teasing the new phone, which is strange considering Yi also said “when there’s strong demand in the market, we don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of marketing dollars to promote sales.” Given the sales numbers this quarter, he’s probably right, but that doesn’t explain why Samsung is staging fake protests at Sydney Apple stores.

  

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