Galaxy S3 pushes Samsung further ahead of Apple in smartphone sales

The launch of the Galaxy S3 has helped establish Samsung as the world's smartphone leader over Apple and Nokia, according to a recent poll of 41 analysts conducted by Reuters.

Samsung and Apple have been battling it out in the smartphone space for months, but the global launch of the Galaxy S3 "created a clear gap" between the companies, Reuters said.

Analysts expect Apple to have sold 30.5 million iPhones in the second quarter; the company will report its earnings on 24 July. In comparison, Samsung's 50 million smartphone sales forecast makes it "the smartphone hero in the second quarter," IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo told Reuters.

Apple and Samsung did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Samsung's numerous handset models, released at various times throughout the year, have helped it earn a top spot among international mobile sales. Apple has released one new iPhone each year since its 2007 debut and is expected to unveil an updated version this fall.

Reuters gathered its data between 1 July and 10 July.

About a month ago, Apple and Samsung were noted to have jointly earned 50 per cent of the global smartphone market in the first quarter of the year, according to ABI Research.

That came after Samsung overtook Nokia in April as the world's top cell phone manufacturer for the first time in 14 years. According to IHS iSuppli, Samsung shipped 92 million handsets in the first quarter while Nokia shipped 83 million.

Earlier this month, Samsung landed at number 20 on Fortune's Global 500 list, topping Apple at number 55.