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Analysts are tipping that Samsung is about to topple Nokia by becoming the #1 phone company in the world, a position held by Nokia since 1996.Nomura Holdings, a leading Japanese market research firm, says that Samsung will pass Nokia in market share this quarter — Q3 2011.  They also predict that Apple is then likely to push Nokia into third spot in Q4 2011.

Finland’s Nokia  has led the world phone market since 1996.  But even as Microsoft prepares to inherit market share from Nokia, the question is increasingly becoming not when that will happen, but what exactly will be left.

Daily Tech said that Nokia’s implosion has been dramatic.  The phone maker had struggled in the wake of Apple’s 2007 iPHone market entry and the rise of Google Android operating system.  But at the time that “struggle” merely amounted to slower growth than its competitors.

Analysts claim that Nokia’s deal with Microsoft, and the decision to phase out Symbian for Windows Phone 7, has “transformed the company into a free-fall of market losses”.

Carolina Milanesi from Gartner, said recently:  “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.”

In Britain, Nokia sales fell in mid-May to 10.6 percent of total handsets, down from 31 percent a year before, according to market research firm ComTech.  Nokia’s sales numbers are only salvaged somewhat thanks to its high volume of basic handset sales to developing markets.  Unfortunately, these sales don’t help its financials much — they feature much lower margins than smartphones.

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