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In the smartphone spectrum, Samsung has been the market-leader for a while now, but for the first time in fourteen years, the Korean company has piped rival Nokia to the summit of the overall cellphone market in 2012. As Samsung has continued to grow in the smartphone realm thanks to releases like the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II, the cellphone crown – held almost indefinitely by Nokia since the widespread use of mobile phones – has this year been snatched by Samsung.

The company, which today announced the Galaxy Grand, will surpass Nokia in the global cellphone rank at the end of this year, leaving Nokia sat in second place. Apple, meanwhile, will take third place with the iPhone.

Last year, Samsung commanded a total of 24 percent of worldwide cellphone shipments, but that number has jumped to 29 percent this year, according to research carried out by iSuppli. Nokia has gone the other way, with its 30 percent share of last year now having fallen to a mere 24 percent this year.

The top two appear to have switched places not only in the charts, but in terms of overall percentages, and although it has been on the cards for a while, there’s little doubt Samsung is the overall king of the mobile phone market – smart or otherwise. Considering Nokia first claimed the top spot all the way back in 1998, the news will be of grave disappointment to a company pinning many hopes on Windows Phone 8 after washing its  hands of Symbian.

Apple may sit in third place in the cellphone charts, but in terms of smartphones, it claims the runner-up position. Samsung’s smartphone lead has increased dramatically, with its 20 percent share from last year having now grown to 28 per cent. Perhaps most alarming, however, is how Nokia’s 16 percent market share in 2011 now sits at 5 percent – level with HTC and RIM.

Consumers are consistently opting for smartphones over so-called dumbphones, and if Samsung is to maintain the dominant outcome of this year, it will need to keep consumers buying its smartphones as dumbphones continue to decline.

It is also worth noting that in 2011, Apple topped Nokia to become the world’s largest smartphone vendor in terms of revenue, all thanks to the iPhone. Also, back in April, Samsung displaced Nokia from the top spot in terms of number of devices sold.

Nevertheless, these numbers are very interesting indeed, and given the Samsung’s determination to build a smartphone for every demographic, I wouldn’t bet against a repeat in 2013.

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