Samsung continued to dominate the smartphone market in the third quarter, which also saw quarterly shipments cross 250 million for the first time.

The South Korean electronics giant shipped more than two times the number of smartphones shipped by its second-placed competitor Apple in the quarter. Samsung shipped over 88 million smartphones in the quarter, up 55% from the same quarter last year, to get a record 35% share, research firm Strategy Analytics said yesterday.

Apple's market share, however, dipped to 13.4% from 15.6% in the same quarter a year ago. The iPhone maker said Monday it shipped 33.8 million iPhones worldwide in the third quarter, up from 26.9 million in the same quarter last year.

The figure for the third quarter included around 9 million iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c smartphones in the three days after the new handsets were launched on September 20, which Apple said was a record.

Yesterday Apple reported a drop in profit even as revenue grew in its fiscal fourth quarter ended September 28. It reported a profit of $7.5 billion for the quarter, down from $8.2 billion in the same quarter a year earlier. Revenue climbed to $37.5 billion, up from $36 billion in the same quarter last year.

Apple's falling share of the smartphones market comes even as the company has been trying to increase the models of the iPhone it has in the market. That strategy is expected to bear fruit in the fourth quarter. Strategy Analytics expects Apple to regain share in the fourth quarter of 2013 because of high demand for its new iPhone 5s model.

Samsung has reported an increased competitiveness in the mobile devices market in the third quarter, and said last week that shipments of its high-end smartphones remained flat quarter-on-quarter, although demand from the mass-market was higher.

A "star performer" in the quarter was Chinese maker Huawei Technologies which saw its global market share rise to over 5% from 4.4% in the same quarter a year ago, to become the third largest vendor. Huawei's shipments grew 67% year-on-year to 12.7 million units in the third quarter, but it saw its most robust growth in the domestic Chinese market.

LG shipped 12 million smartphones worldwide in the quarter for a close to 5% market share, while Lenovo rolled out 10.8 million smartphones for a 4.3% market share and fifth position in the third quarter, taking advantage of its popularity among Chinese mass-market consumers and its international expansion, Strategy Analytics said.

Global smartphone shipments grew 45% year-on-year to 251.4 million in the third quarter. Smartphones accounted for six in 10 of all mobile phones shipped worldwide, the research firm said.