Samsung has sold more smartphones in the past three months than Apple and Nokia, according to an analyst.

Neil Mawston from Strategy Analytics told Bloomberg Samsung sold between 18 million and 21 million handsets between April and June this year, compared to the 16.7 million mobile phones sold by Nokia and 20.3 million iPhones. The figures only cover smartphones and not tablet PCs.

"Samsung stands a reasonable chance of capturing the top spot on a quarterly basis if it can continue expanding its Android portfolio across high-growth markets like China and Brazil. Samsung and Apple will be at similar levels in smartphones by the end of the year," said Mawston.

Mawston also revealed that across the global mobile phone market, which includes feature and basic handsets, Samsung is expected to account for 20 percent of all sales, while Nokia will remain top with 26 percent.

Samsung and Nokia have yet to confirm the accuracy of Mawston's figures.

However, Mawston revealed that with Apple expected to launch a new iteration of the iPhone later this year, "Samsung will need to work hard to hold off that competitive threat."