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Samsung Galaxy S 3

Samsung set to take Nokia’s place as the top smartphone manufacturer

According to forecasted numbers from analysts at iSuppli, by the end of the year, Korean manufacturer Samsung will officially take the lead in the mobile manufacturing race. Preliminary figures for 2012 global shipments put Samsung as the top original equipment manufacturer (OEM), displacing Nokia which previously held that position for 14 years.

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Samsung is expected to account for 29 percent of the mobile market in 2012, which is up from 24 percent in the previous year. Nokia, on the other hand, drops to an expected 24 percent from 30 percent last year. Wayne Lam, senior analyst at iSuppli, elaborated on this changing of the guard in the mobile space, saying that “Samsung’s successes and Nokia’s struggles in the cellphone market this year were determined entirely by the two companies’ divergent fortunes in the smartphone sector.”

projected market share

How will Apple fare? The Cupertino company is forecasted to be a distant third, accounting for 10 percent of all global shipments. ZTE and LG round out the top five OEMs with six percent and four percent respectively.

If we drill down to the smartphone space, which iSuppli says has grown by 35.5 percent this year, you’ll see exactly where Nokia has failed. Where the company accounted for 16 percent of all smartphones in 2011, it will only account for five percent this year. Samsung, in contrast, will jump from 20 percent market share of smartphones to 28 percent in 2012. Its success this year has been largely due to its flagship Galaxy S III, which Samsung announced in November had sold more than 30-million units worldwide in the 157 days since it launched.

As for Apple’s smartphone shipments, those will stay about the same, up one percent in 2012 to 20 percent.

This article by Rick Martin originally appeared on Tech in Asia, a Burn Media publishing partner.