One of the knock-on effects of Samsung's stratospheric rise to fame is cash. Lots of cash. Samsung is expecting a 53 per cent rise in Q1 profits over the same period last year, with a total of $7.7 billion.

That huge operating profit figure comes from an earnings forecast released by Samsung today. It is down, however, against the end of 2012, which included Christmas sales, with the fourth quarter of  2012 recording a profit of $8.3 billion.

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One of the reasons Samsung's profits could have dropped slightly on last year's relates to the announcement of the Galaxy S4. Simply put, consumers are holding off purchases until the new flagship phone from Samsung is released on 26 April.

Analysts at Counterpoint Research suggest Samsung has managed to shift 25 million smartphones monthly in 2013. This would total 70 million units sold in the first quarter, which tops the 63 million managed previously. 

Apple, Samsung's nearest market rival, managed nearly double the profit of Samsung in Q1 2013. With record earnings of $13.1 billion at the start of the year, Apple remains the world's biggest technology company by a significant margin.