According to predictions by analysts in a Reuter’s poll, Samsung and Apple led the global smartphone race last quarter, with Samsung outpacing Apple and other smartphone manufacturers like Nokia falling well behind.

Shipments of handsets are expected to increase with Samsung dominating the competition in the fourth quarter.

Analysts forecast that Samsung shipped 61 million devices. That is up 71 percent from a year earlier.

Earlier this month, Samsung predicted that it would earn a quarterly profit of $8.3 billion based on sales of its Galaxy handsets which have gained large popularity in the last few months. The company also attributes this profit to a solid demand for flat screens being used in mobile devices. Full results from the company are due by Jan. 25.

Some worry that Samsung’s market saturation will cause its popularity to be short-lived. Despite these doubts, Samsung is still expected to outpace Apple. Recent sales of the iPhone 5 appear slightly weaker than expected.
According to the poll, Apple sales are up 25 percent from a year earlier. The company sold 46 million iPhones in the quarter.

Earlier this week, Apple reported that the company would be slashing orders for screens and other components. Shares in the company dipped below $500 for the first time in almost a year.

Analysts expect both companies to show significant growth with Samsung in the lead. Apple’s full-year shipments are expected to grow to 167 million this year from 134 million in 2012. Samsung’s shipments are expected to grow to 283 million smartphones in 2013 compared to 210 million in 2012.

Other smartphone manufacturers such as Nokia and RIM are struggling to keep up with Apple and Samsung.

Nokia, once the world’s biggest cell phone maker, is expected to continue a decline in market share. The company hopes that the manufacture of Lumia smartphones, which uses Microsoft’s Windows Phone software, will help it recover.

Analysts forecast Nokia’s fourth-quarter shipments of mobile phones fell 15 percent to 80 million units. Last week, Nokia said it sold around 4.4 million Lumia handsets in the fourth quarter. Full results are due Jan. 24.

RIM, the maker of Blackberry, is expected to report a 30 percent fall in the fourth-quarter, shipping only 7 million units.

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