Models pose with Samsung Galaxy S II

Samsung and Apple to overtake Nokia in smartphone market

Samsung will overtake Nokia this quarter to become the world's largest smartphone maker, Nomura has said.

Japanese bank Nomura predicts that Apple will also overtake Nokia  in the next quarter, pushing it to No. 3 in the rankings.

"Nokia looks set to relinquish its smartphone crown to Samsung and Apple," Nomura analysts said.

"Further emphasizing the shift in power to Asia is our forecast for HTC to almost match Nokia during 2012."

Nokia has led the smartphone market since its 1996 launch of the Communicator model.

Research firms Gartner and Canalys both said they saw Nokia losing smartphone volume leadership later this year.

"If Nokia's new phones are not well received in the third quarter and with the Galaxy S2 ramping up, Samsung might overtake them and become the smartphone leader in Q3," said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi.

Nokia's share of the British smartphone market dropped to 10.6 per cent in 12-weeks to mid-May from 31 per cent in the same period a year earlier, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech's survey.

The share is seen as a key indicator for trends in Europe.

Nokia has lost ground in the smartphone market to Apple's iPhone and Google's Android devices, and at the lower end to smaller Asian rivals.

"There is certainly a very close three-way battle going on for top spot in global smartphone volumes between Nokia, Apple and Samsung during the second quarter," said Neil Mawston, analyst at Strategy Analytics.

"With Symbian demand crashing, there is growing opportunity for Samsung or Apple to grab the lead," said Mawston, but added he still expects Nokia to stay ahead in the ongoing quarter.

Overall, Nokia still makes more mobile phones than Samsung due to its strong position in basic cellphones and its wider distribution network in emerging countries.

It is switching to Microsoft's software from its own Symbian platform as part of an overhaul of its phone business set out in February by new chief executive Stephen Elop.

However the end of May Nokia abandoned plans to meet key targets just weeks after setting them, raising questions over whether Elop can deliver on the turnaround he promised.

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