Samsung was the world’s number one smartphone seller for the first quarter of this year in terms of revenue, overtaking Apple, data from Strategy Analytics show.

According to a report from Yonhap News, sales of Samsung’s smartphones topped $23.63 billion during the first three months of 2013, toppling the iPhone maker which had occupied the top spot in the previous quarter.

Apple posted $22.95 billion worth of smartphone sales in the first quarter, down $7.71 billion from the previous quarter. Comparatively, Samsung’s first-quarter sales figure was up $952 million from the previous quarter.

Data released by Strategy Analytics yesterday saw Samsung chalk up a record figure of 12.5 million smartphones being sold in China during the first quarter of 2013.

The latest Yonhap report said solid demand for Samsung’s high-end smartphones that run on the long-term evolution network helped to boost its sales.

Last week, Samsung’s Galaxy S4 passed 10 million channel sales within a month of its launch, becoming the company’s fastest-ever selling smartphone. The Galaxy S3 took two months to reach the same milestone.

In the latest Strategy Analytics data, Nokia came in third with sales of $3.64 billion, followed by LG Electronics with $2.95 billion in sales.

Apple, however, ranked first in terms of operating income earned by handset makers globally in the first quarter, taking a 31 percent share. Samsung came in second with a 21.8 percent share, LG third with 4.1 percent, followed by Sharp with 3 percent, the report showed.

Samsung posted operating profit of $$7.9 billion and net profit of $6.5 billion in the first quarter of 2013, while Apple recorded $9.5 billion in profit for the second fiscal quarter of 2013. 

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