Samsung topped China’s smartphone sales for the first time last year, and the Korean firm has taken that momentum into this year, after selling a record 12.5 million smartphones in China during Q1 2013, according to Strategy Analytics.

The research firm’s latest figures are reported by the Korea Herald (via Sammy Hub) and are particularly impressive given that Samsung sold a total of 30.06 million smartphones last year. That 2012  figure was a record annual sales haul for the firm — and tripled its sales from 2011 — but, given its early progress this year, Samsung looks set to smash that record once again in 2013.

Strategy Analytics’s Q1 2013 data put Huawei behind Samsung in second place on 8.1 million units sold, having overtaken Lenovo — which has announced its intention to launch devices in the US within one year — which sold 7.9 million smartphones.

Chinese phone makers Coolpad (7 million smartphones sold) and ZTE (6.4 million) rounded out the top five, with Apple coming in sixth with an estimated 6.1 million iPhones sold during the three-month period.

Nokia was ranked first on Chinese smartphone sales back in 2011, but its slide continues and it was not even noted in the Korea Times report. LG, another struggler, recorded its worst ever quarter of business in China to date, shifting just 100,000 smartphones to give it a meagre 0.1 percent of the market.

All in all, 67.4 million smartphones were sold in China during Q1 2013, Strategy Analytics estimates. That accounts for 32 percent of all global shipments during the period.

Note: The data provided cited by Korea Herald appears (once again) to be from private, client-facing Strategy Analytics reports. We’ve touched based with the research firm to try to get our hands on further details.

Samsung’s industry dominance is developing into a norm in many parts of the world, and the Korea electronics giant is undoubtedly the driving force behind Android. The Google-owned platform was responsible for 43 percent of smartphone profits in 2012, according to Strategy Analytics, which determined that Samsung accounted for a dominant 95 percent share of all Android revenue itself.

Android is the dominant platform in China. As of November 2012, it accounted for a whopping 90 percent of smartphones in China, according to Analysys International.

However, proving success isn’t just about market share, Apple’s Greater China revenue climbed 8 percent year-on-year to reach $8.2 billion in Q2 2013. That figure represented 18.8 percent of the company’s global revenue total.

A recent milestone from last week: Samsung’s Galaxy S4 passes 10 million channel sales within one month of launch

Headline image via Justin Sullivan / Getty Images