Samsung continues to be the world's largest mobile phone vendor, despite a 12% dip in first-quarter shipments, thanks to the strong demand for its new Galaxy S6 devices.

In the first quarter, the South Korean electronics major shipped 99 million mobile phones worldwide, representing a 22% market share, research firm Strategy Analytics said. However, total shipments were lower than 113 million devices shipped in the first quarter of 2014.

Out of the total quarterly shipments, 83.2 million were smartphones, representing a 24% share in the smartphone market, down from 31% in the first quarter of 2014.

Despite the tough competition from Apple's latest iPhone 6 models, Samsung managed to retain its number one position due to the strong demand for its Galaxy S6 devices. The company is expected to deliver improved performance in the second quarter.

"Samsung continued to face challenges in Asia and elsewhere, but its global performance has stabilized sufficiently well this quarter to overtake Apple and recapture first position as the world's largest smartphone vendor by volume," said Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston.

Apple, which makes only smartphones, shipped 61.2 million units in the first quarter and claimed mobile phone market share of 13.7% and smartphone market share of 17.7%.

Total shipments increased from 74.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2014, as its new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models remain wildly popular in China and worldwide.

Microsoft, which earlier acquired Nokia, is the third largest mobile phone vendor with 33.7 million shipments in the first quarter and a market share of 7.6%.

When it comes to smartphones, Lenovo-Motorola claims the number three title with 18.8 million shipments and 5.4% market share.

Global mobile phone shipments increased 8% annually to reach 445 million units in the first quarter of 2015, while smartphone shipments grew 21% annually to reach 345 million units, Strategy Analytics noted.