Samsung rings up record profits


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The Independent Online

Samsung's sales of mobile phones have overtaken ailing Nokia, the one-time dominant player in the market.

In another sign of the changing fortunes in the mobile market, Samsung also sold more smartphones than even Apple in the first three months of the year.

South Korea's Samsung was once thought of as a discount operator that produced cut-price, cheap imitations, but it has raised its game with premium products.

First-quarter profits smashed records at £3.2bn as it notched up 93.5 million handset sales – equivalent to 1 million a day.

In contrast, Finland's Nokia has suffered repeated problems with clunky devices and shipped only 83 million in the same period.

Although Nokia has been losing market share for several years to smarter rivals such as Samsung and Apple, it has remained the market-leader until now because it was selling so many cheaper handsets in developed and emerging markets.

Nokia had held the number one sales spot since 1998 when it overtook Motorola.

At the premium end of the market, Samsung sold 44.5 million smartphones in the first three months of the year, giving it a 30.6 per cent share against Apple's 35.1 million iPhones, which amounts to only 24 per cent.

"Samsung and Apple are out-competing most major rivals and the smartphone market is at risk of becoming a two-horse race," Neil Mawston, from Strategy Analytics, said.