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Samsung shipped more phones than Nokia, Apple, LG combined

The Korean handset maker captured 29 percent of the global mobile phone market in the third quarter, says research firm Strategy Analytics.

Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 helped it win 29 percent of the mobile phone market.
Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 helped it win 29 percent of the mobile phone market.

Samsung shipped a record 120 million phones last quarter, beating Nokia, Apple, and LG combined, Strategy Analytics said Tuesday.

The quarter showed a 7 percent jump in overall global shipments from a year ago and gave Samsung a 29 percent slice of the mobile phone market. Strategy Analytics attributed the gain to strong demand for Samsung's Note 3 phablet and mass market devices, such as the Galaxy Y.

In second place, Nokia bit off 15.5 percent of the worldwide mobile phone market, followed by Apple with 8 percent and LG with 4.4 percent.

Nokia's share and shipments were down from a year ago, despite greater demand for the Lumia lineup.

"Nokia shipped a slightly better-than-expected 64.6 million mobile phones worldwide in Q3 2013," Strategy Analytics Executive Director Neil Mawston said in a statement. "Nokia's 15 percent global mobile phone market share is showing signs of stabilizing sequentially as demand for the Microsoft Lumia smartphone range is improving. However, Nokia's feature phone unit remains a problem child as global volumes dipped ... 27 percent year over year."

Apple's mobile phone shipments rose by 26 percent from the prior year's quarter, faster than that of the overall industry. Further gains in market share are expected this quarter due to heavy demand for the iPhone 5S.

With a market share of 3.5 percent and global shipments of 14.6 million, Huawei became the fifth-largest mobile phone vendor in the world. Total worldwide mobile phone shipments grew by 7 percent to hit 418 million units.

But how do shipments to retailers translate into actual sales to consumers?

Some Chinese vendors, such as Lenovo, may be sitting on some inventory, Mawston told CNET. Apple also may have a slight inventory buildup of iPhone 5Cs around the world. But he said he doesn't see any major disparities between shipments and sales right now.

"Of course, in a 2-billion-unit market, someone somewhere will always be under-shipping or over-shipping at any one time," Mawston added, "but overall the picture for mobile phones looks reasonably buoyant in most parts of the world.

Strategy Analytics

Correction at 8 a.m. PT: The increase in overall global shipments was corrected.