28 Apr 2012

Samsung eclipses Nokia as biggest cell-maker

5:38 am on 28 April 2012

Samsung Electronics has overtaken Nokia to become the world's largest maker of mobile phones, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.

Nokia took the top spot in 1998 from Motorola, but in the first quarter of 2012 Samsung shipped 93 million phones compared to almost 83 million by Nokia.

Samsung also reported its highest quarterly profit since 2008, the BBC reported.

Net profit was $US4.5 billion in the quarter ending March 31, up 81% from last year, and Samsung says revenues for its IT and mobile communications division surged 86% from a year earlier.

Samsung is also the world's biggest TV and flat screen maker.

Cautious optimism

"We cautiously expect our earnings momentum to continue going forward, as competitiveness in our major businesses is enhanced," said Robert Yi, head of investor relations at Samsung.

Samsung will unveil the latest version of its Galaxy range of phones on 3 May.

The Galaxy range has been very popular and helped Samsung overtake Apple to become the world's biggest seller of smartphones.

"The smartphone market has almost only two players, Samsung and Apple," said Lee Sei-Cheol of Meritz Securities.

"Since its Galaxy3 phone is being unveiled in May, Samsung will keep enjoying sales growth in its mobile phone division."