Samsung sold more smartphones between July and September this year than any other manufacturer, including Apple.

According to Strategy Analytics, the Korean tech giant sold 27.8 million handsets in Q3, while Apple shifted just 17.1 million. This means Samsung has a 23.8 percent share of the global smartphone market, while Apple is the second biggest seller with a 14.6 percent share. Nokia, which this week unveiled its first two smartphones to run the Windows Phone platform sold, 16.8 million handsets equating to a 14.4 share of the market.

The research firm said the wait for launch of the next iteration of the iPhone, the Apple iPhone 4S which was finally unveiled at the beginning of this month, had hindered their smartphone sales.

Global smartphone shipments grew 44 percent annually to reach a record 117 million units in the third quarter, the research firm said.

When it came to mobile phones as a whole, encompassing both smartphones and feature phones, Nokia came top with a 27.3 percent share of the market, while Samsung was placed second accounting for 22.6 percent of the market and LG came third with 5.4 percent of ther market. Apple took fifth place with 4.4 percent, being beaten by ZTE which accounted for 4.7 percent of the overall market.

"Samsung's rise has been driven by a blend of elegant hardware designs, popular Android services, memorable sub-brands and extensive global distribution," said Alex Spektor from Strategy Analytics.

"Samsung has demonstrated that it is possible, at least in the short term, to differentiate and grow by using the Android ecosystem."