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Samsung handset shipments to close in on Nokia next year

The Korean company says it will now sell about 374 million handsets next year, up from the 325 million units it had initially expected to sell.

Samsung's handset sales continue to grow.
Samsung's handset sales continue to grow.

Nokia has been the top handset seller for years now. But next year, the company could lose its spot to Samsung.

According to Reuters, citing a report in the Korea Economic Daily, Samsung expects to sell 374 million handsets worldwide next year, rising from the 325 million units the company had forecast earlier in the year. Included in that tally is 150 million smartphone sales, the Korean newspaper reported, according to Reuters.

Samsung earlier this month announced that it sold 300 million handsets as of "late November." Factor in that this year Samsung has sold about 820,000 handsets each day, and that brings you to a total volume of about 325 million unit sales.

Nokia, meanwhile, has watched its mobile device sales fall. Last year, the company sold 450 million handsets worldwide. But after announcing a precipitous shipment decline, the company earlier this year decided against sharing device sales forecasts to preserve its stock price.

As Samsung sets its sights on Nokia, the company has already put Apple in its rearview mirror. During the third quarter, Samsung smartphone shipments hit 23.6 million units, according to research firm IDC. Apple, on other hand, shipped 17.1 million smartphones during the period. Between 2010 and 2011, Samsung smartphone shipments grew 223.3 percent.

"Samsung's ascendancy to the leadership position is the direct result of its broad and deep product portfolio," Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Phone Technology and Trends team, said in a statement last month. "Ever since the first Galaxy device launched last year, the company has aggressively expanded and refreshed its selection to include the latest innovations and most popular features."

Samsung did not immediately respond to CNET's request for confirmation of the Reuters report.