Samsung poised to seize Nokia crown

SAMSUNG could overtake Nokia as the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer this quarter, according to a research note from Nomura.

And Nokia, which had been the market leader since 1996, could slump to third place the following quarter after it is overtaken by Apple.

Nokia’s market cap has tumbled from a high of $285bn (£174bn) in 2000 to $24bn (£14.7bn).

Nokia has endured a nightmare year in which its share price has plummeted, with analysts worried it may never fully recover. Last week Fitch ratings agency cut its rating on Nokia’s bonds to BBB-, one notch above junk grade.

Chief executive Stephen Elop’s decision to ditch Nokia’s in-house operating system in favour of Microsoft’s WP7 has also attracted criticism.