Samsung's phone shipments rose by close to 20 per cent last year, as the firm sold 396.5 million handsets.
Data compiled by research firm Strategy Analytics revealed Samsung's success as it eclipsed its closest rival Apple, which sold just 135.8 million devices, whilst still managing to grow its own phone shipments by 46 per cent.
It follows the news that Samsung products were found to be the most recommended devices by UK retailers, as revealed by Informa Telecoms and Media.
A survey conducted by the firm over the Christmas period found that retailers in the UK recommended Samsung more than any other brand, with Apple lagging behind in second place.
The most recommended smartphones were found to be the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2.
In light of Samsung's ascent to the leading phone provider, Nokia suffered another setback as its own shipments fell by 20 per cent to 335.6 million handsets worldwide.
Overall, the total shipments within the mobile phone market grew by 2 per cent, as a total of 1.6 billion devices were sold in 2012.
Neil Shah, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, told the BBC: "Fuelled by robust demand for its popular Galaxy models, Samsung was the star performer, shipping a record 396.5 million mobile phones worldwide and capturing 25 per cent market share to solidify its first-place lead."
The newly released research paints a woeful picture for Apple as sales of its iPhone 5 continue to falter.
Apple announced last week that it had sold 47.8 million iPhones in the final three months of 2012 – more than any previous quarter – but the figures remain disappointing when compared to the firm's initial expectations for the device.
It follows the news that Apple has reduced the number of orders for the iPhone 5 as the anticipated demand for the device has simply failed to materialise.
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