Samsung zoomed past Apple to take the smartphone crown in the third quarter, and become the biggest mobile phone maker by revenue, after it announced strong growth in its handset division as part of its quarterly results.
The company also said it expects strong sales of its smartphones in the coming quarter, with new models backed by Google due to debut in the UK and elsewhere during November.
The company was pipped though by Nokia, which remains the world's largest seller of mobile handsets by volume. Apple meanwhile has dropped from being the biggest smartphone maker and mobile phone company by revenue in the second quarter to rank behind Nokia and Samsung in revenue.
Although Samsung declined to give figures for its smartphone or feature phone sales, Jae Lee, a Daiwa Securities technology analyst, estimated that in the third quarter it sold 28m smartphones – well above Apple's figure of 17m for the period.
In the second quarter, Apple was reckoned to have just outdistanced Samsung with 20m iPhones sold, but saw a rapid slowdown in the third quarter as would-be buyers awaited a new model, while Samsung piled on the pressure.
The two companies are locked in a series of legal battles around the world over alleged patent and "trade dress" infringements relating to the iPhone, Samsung's phones and the iPad and Samsung's Galaxy range of tablets. Samsung did not give any indications about tablet shipment figures for the quarter in its earnings release.
The company said its telecommunications business hit a record in quarterly sales of 14.9 trillion won (£8.37bn), a 37% increase from last year, with growth mainly due to strong Galaxy smartphone sales. Operating profit hit 2.52tn won, a new record for the divison.
Nokia previously announced that it had shipped 107m handsets in the period, generating €9bn (£7.9bn) of revenues. Apple had mobile revenues of $10.98bn (£6.8bn) for the quarter.
The Korean electronics company said quarterly net income fell by 23% year-on-year to 3.44tn won following weaker demand for its flat panels and computer chips – of which it is the world's biggest manufacturer. Group revenues grew by 3% to 41.27tn won.