Apple ruled the smartphone roost during the first quarter, but Samsung overtook Nokia in the overall mobile phone market, ending Nokia's 14-year run as the global leader.
Samsung shipped 92 million cell phones during the first quarter, according to IHS iSuppli, compared with Nokia's 83 million units.
Apple, meanwhile, shipped 35 million iPhones, compared with Samsung's 32 million Galaxy smartphones and Nokia's 12 million smartphones. BlackBerry maker Research In Motion finished fourth, moving 11 million BlackBerry smartphones, followed by LG Electronics, with shipments of 4 million smartphones.
Samsung s surpassing Nokia for cell phone market leadership represents not only a changing of the guard among handset brands but also a fundamental shift in the structure of the wireless market, Ian Fogg, an IHS analyst, said in a statement.
"Cell phone market growth is now being generated exclusively by the smartphone segment, and not by the feature phones, entry-level cell phones and ultra-low-cost handsets that had fueled the industry s expansion over the previous decade," Fogg continued. "Samsung has successfully ridden the wave of smartphone adoption to attain market leadership. Meanwhile, Nokia is in the midst of transitioning its smartphone strategy, resulting in declining shipments for the company."
Actually, coming off 2011 fourth-quarter holiday sales, every manufacturer posted a dip in the 2012 first quarter. Apple's loss was the smallest, at 5 percent, followed by Samsung's 11 percent loss and Nokia's more notable 39 percent quarter-to-quarter decline.
Still, Samsung's smartphone growth helped it to achieve a fiscal first quarter that set a record high, with a year-over-year revenue increase of 22 percent, the company announced April 27.