Samsung said yesterday that it was counting on the yet-to-be-released Galaxy S4 to help it extend its lead in the global smartphone market.
The technology company captured a third of the market in the first quarter, with shipments of smartphones surging 56pc to 69.4 million units in the first three months of the year. Apple iPhone shipments, in comparison, rose 6.6pc to 37.4 million units in the period, the slowest pace ever.
Smartphone sales were driven by the introduction of third-generation internet service in China and fourth-generation service in the US, strategy Analytics said. The success of cheaper traditional models in emerging markets also helped sales.
Sales rose 17pc to €36.5bn and net profit was up by 42pc to €5bn in the first three months of 2013, exceeding Bloomberg analysts' estimates.
"Samsung shipped almost two times more smartphones and grew nine times faster than Apple during the quarter," said Neil Mawston of Strategy Analytics. "Samsung should continue to deliver strong smartphone volumes worldwide in the second quarter."
During the first quarter it shipped more smartphones than the next four vendors combined, according to research firm IDC.
Samsung's sales have been so strong that the company, which supplies more than half of the memory chips used to run smartphones, may buy the chips from rival company SK Hynix to keep up with demand.
It also led the world in terms of total overall mobile phone shipments, with 27.5pc of the market, followed by Nokia with 14.8pc.
Profits at its consumer electronics unit, which makes televisions and home-appliances, fell by more than half to 230bn South Korean won (€159m) compared to the same period a year earlier. Samsung is the world's largest maker of TVs.