Highlighting the evolving landscape of the global mobile market, a new report from IMS Research estimated that smartphones will account for nearly 28 percent of all handset sales this year, surpassing 420 million devices sold.

As smartphones continue to capture more of the market, the research firm also predicted other shifts to occur. Most notably, IMS said that Nokia will continue to watch its market share plummet as competitors, such as Apple and Samsung, steadily build upon their shares.

"Clearly one of the key dynamics of the mobile handset competitive environment in recent years has been the inability of many traditional market leaders to recognize and adjust to the growing smartphone tier," said IMS Mobile Technologies Group analyst Josh Builta.

According to IMS, smartphones sales show no signs of slowing any time soon. As Samsung, Apple and others continue to pick up speed, the market analysts predicts more than 1 billion smartphones will be sold annually by 2016.

The shift among smartphone market leaders was recently highlighted by Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston. In a interview with Bloomberg, Mawston noted that Samsung may have surpassed Nokia in the smartphone market during the second quarter this year.