Samsung has overtaken Nokia to become the world's largest mobile phone maker as the Finnish firm struggles to keep up with the booming smartphone market, according to Reuters analysts.
Nokia spent 14 years at the helm of global cell phone sales but has fallen behind as smartphone makers from Asia, including HTC and LG, innovate smaller and more popular handsets.
The analysts found Samsung had sold 88 million phones in the January-March period while Nokia sold 83 million.
Their report said it was the first time since 1998 that Nokia was not the world leader in mobile phone sales.
Ben Wood, head of research at CCS Insight told the Sydney Morning Herald the news would be a "bitter blow" to Nokia.
"In contrast it will be greeted with euphoria by Samsung they'll be dancing from the boardroom to the factory floor," Mr Wood said.
On Wednesday Nokia cut its first quarter operating margin outlook as fierce competition hurt its mobile phone sales, sending the company's share price plunging more than 14 percent.
The firm said its operating margin in the first quarter was "approximately negative 3.0 percent, compared to the previously expected range of 'around break-even, ranging either above or below by approximately 2.0 percentage points'".
Nokia is currently undergoing a major restructure to stem the rot, phasing out its Symbian line of smartphones in favour of a partnership with Microsoft that has produced a line of Lumia smartphones.