According to Strategy Analytics, its projection was based on a broad product line-up. It added that Apple could launch a smaller and cheaper "iPhone Mini" in 2013 to raise its market share. This it said the company could do by capitalising on the increasing demand from users of lower-end smartphones.
Speaking to Reuters, Strategy Analytics’ Executive Director, Neil Mawston, said the firm expects Samsung to maintain a slight lead over its closest rival in the New Year.
"We expect Samsung to slightly extend its lead over Apple this year because of its larger multi-tier product portfolio," Neil said.
He added 2013 will witness a projected 27 percent increase in the volume of smartphones being shipped across the world, slower than last year’s 41 percent growth rate.
“Growth is easing in many key markets such as North America, China, the developed economies of Asia, and Western Europe,” he explained.
About 290 million smartphones are expected to be sold by the South Korean technology company in 2013, a rise from the projected volume of 215 million in 2012. Likewise, Apple's smartphone sales have been projected to hit 180 million this year, which represents an increase of about 33 per cent from last year.