Researchers from Strategy Analytics recently suggested Samsung may have sold as many as 21 million smartphones during the second quarter, pushing it ahead of both Nokia and Apple for the first time.
According to a recent Bloomberg report, Samsung seems to be taking advantage of a smartphone market currently in flux. Nokia – once the undisputed champ of all things mobile – has struggled to stay competitive in recent years and is currently going through a transitional phase to make Microsoft's Windows Phone its primary operating system. Apple, despite the popularity of its iPhone, has not introduced a new smartphone in well over a year, and many potential consumers may be waiting until the launch of the iPhone 5 to make a move.
On the other hand, Samsung has experienced huge success with Google's surging mobile operating system, Android, and has released a multitude of devices based on the platform, including the Galaxy S, the Infuse 4G and the Nexus S – to name a few.
Also contributing to Samsung's success is its wide availability. Nokia, the leader in the mobile market for almost 15 years, has a strong presence in nearly every market in the world. However, its smartphones have failed to capture much enthusiasm in the United States, the largest country for smartphone shipments, according to research firm Canalys.
Samsung, meanwhile, has made its presence known in nearly all major markets, Strategy Analytics asserted, including those that are poised to see significant gains in the coming years.
"Samsung’s Android portfolio is selling strongly in most regions," Neil Mawston, an analyst at Strategy Analytics, told Bloomberg."Samsung stands a reasonable chance of capturing the top spot on a quarterly basis if it can continue expanding its Android portfolio across high-growth markets like China and Brazil."
Recent figures from IDC show a surge in Samsung growth during the last year. The research noted in May that Samsung's first-quarter shipments for 2011 grew 350 percent over last year's first quarter. Nokia's shipments, meanwhile, declined 12.6 percent during that time.
However, Samsung still has significant catching up to do before it surpasses Nokia as the top dog. Despite struggles in recent years, Nokia still held 24.3 percent of the global smartphone market at the end of the first quarter, according to IDC, which hasn't released second quarter estimates yet. Samsung, though growing, captured only 10.8 percent of the market.