Nokia has had a stranglehold atop the global phone market for the past 14 years, ever since it overtook Motorola in 1998 for the No. 1 position. However, the tides appear to have finally turned, with South Korea’s Samsung Electronic expected to claim Nokia’s throne.

A recent poll  showed that analysts anticipate Samsung’s sales to come in at 88 million from January to March, surpassing Nokia’s 83 million sold through that same period.

While Nokia is still fighting to make a dent in the smartphone market, they’ve managed to stay at the top the past few years through sheer volume of lower tier mobile phone sales. They’re making some strides toward becoming a major player in the smartphone arena, but they still face an uphill battle.

It’s not clear just yet if this will be a major, long-term shift in the market, but it’s not a good sign for Nokia. Samsung, on the other hand, will have plenty to celebrate if the analysts’ estimates are correct.

[via Reuters]

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