SEOUL, May 28 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co. regained its status as the world's largest smartphone seller in the first quarter of the year, dethroning Apple Inc. in terms of revenue, data showed on Tuesday.
Samsung sold smartphones worth US$23.62 billion in the January-March period, regaining the top spot lost to the iPhone maker in the fourth quarter of last year, according to the data by market researcher Strategy Analytics.
The first-quarter figure is up $952 million from the previous quarter's reading, they showed.
Apple trailed Samsung with sales totaling $22.95 billion in the first quarter, down $7.71 billion from the previous quarter, the market researcher said.
The Korean smartphone maker held the top spot during the September-December period but was dethroned by Apple, which enjoyed robust demand for the U.S. firm's iPhone 5.
The change in ranking was largely attributed to solid demand for Samsung's high-end smartphones that run on the long-term evolution (LTE) network.
Meanwhile, Nokia Corp. came in third with sales of $3.64 billion, followed by LG Electronics Inc. with $2.95 billion in sales, the data showed.
LG Electronics emerged as the world's third-largest smartphone maker in the first quarter thanks to strong demand for its flagship devices such as the Optimus G.
Meanwhile, Apple topped the list of operating income earned by handset makers around the globe in the first quarter with a 31 percent share, followed by Samsung with a 21.8 percent share, LG Electronics with 4.1 percent and Sharp Corp. with 3 percent, the data showed.
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