Samsung will become the world's largest smartphone maker in this quarter, overtaking the struggling Nokia. Apple is set to overtake Nokia in the following quarter, analysts at Nomura said today. Nokia has led the global market since 1996.
The forecast follows the news earlier this year that Nokia has been overtaken by Samsung in European mobile phone sales.
Although Samsung sold 12.6million smartphones in the first quarter of 2011, compared to Nokia's 24million, the Finnish giant's sales have been falling while Samsung's have been rising steadily. In the same period, Apple sold nearly 19million iPhones.
"Nokia looks set to relinquish its smartphone crown to Samsung and Apple," Nomura analysts said in a new research note. They added that in 2012, HTC would also match Nokia's sales volumes.
Nokia is set to launch a new range of smartphones using the Windows Phone operating software later in the year, but it has said that it will not be shipping these in serious volumes until 2012.
The company has recently cut its sales forecasts for its current range of Symbian mobile phones. Despite concentrating on the developing world markets, it is also under pressure there from manufacturers such as ZTE. Although it is likely to ship fewer than 100million lower-grade 'feature phones' this quarter for te first time since 2009, it is still significantly larger than Samsung in that area.