Samsung now sells more mobile phones than any other company, having overtaken former market leader Nokia.
The shift, noted by analyst firm Strategy Analytics, marks the first time Nokia has lost the top spot since it overtook then-leader Motorola in 1998, according to a BBC report. Samsung's mobile success has helped the Korean firm realise record quarterly profits, despite plummeting semiconductor sales.
Strong sales of the Samsung Galaxy Note and other Galaxy phones drove the South Korean firm to record quarterly profits. Image credit: Samsung
"It was a shock for semiconductor, a surprise for handset," Hana Daetoo analyst Lee Ka-keun was quoted by AP as saying.
Samsung has been making mobile phones since 1988, but for the last 14 years the market leader has been Nokia. Samsung overtook Apple as the world's top smartphone seller half a year ago — then lost out to Apple again, then regained pole position — but the latest figures are the first to show it sells more handsets in general than any other manufacturer.
According to ZDNet UK sister site CNET News.com, the big successes are Samsung's Galaxy S and Note Android phones. In total, analysts say, the company sold 90 million handsets in the quarter, with 44 million of them smartphones.
Mobile phones accounted for 73 percent of Samsung's profit. That said, the firm's TV and home appliances division also did exceedingly well, with quarterly profits jumping from 80bn won a year ago to 530bn won in the latest quarter.
Nokia's fall from the top spot comes as little surprise. That company's latest quarterly results showed a £1.1bn loss, as sales of its to-be-discontinued Symbian handsets plummet.
The purpose of abandoning Symbian was to concentrate on sales of Windows Phones, but those do not seem to be making up for the Symbian sales drop at all. Earlier this week, Nokia saw its credit rating cut to 'junk' status, a warning to investors that they should not put their money into the company.