Apple Surpassed Samsung as World's Largest Smartphone Maker in Fourth Quarter

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The latest numbers from research firm Gartner reveal that Apple surpassed Samsung in worldwide smartphone sales during the fourth quarter of 2014 to become the world's largest smartphone maker. Samsung lost the top spot to Apple for the first time since 2011.

Apple narrowly edged Samsung as the two rivals had quarterly sales of 74.8 million and 73 million smartphones respectively. Apple's 20.4% market share was also marginally higher than Samsung's 19.9% share during the three-month period ending December.
"With Apple dominating the premium phone market and the Chinese vendors increasingly offering quality hardware at lower prices, it is through a solid ecosystem of apps, content and services unique to Samsung devices that Samsung can secure more loyalty and longer-term differentiation at the high end of the market," said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner.
Strategy Analytics reported in January that Apple and Samsung were tied as the top smartphone makers during the fourth quarter, although its findings were based on overall shipments and not actual sales. Samsung smartphone sales figures always have a margin for error, however, as the South Korean tech giant does not officially disclose smartphone sales and leaves research firms to estimate.

Samsung remained the top worldwide smartphone vendor in 2014 overall, with an estimated 307.6 million smartphone sales to capture 24.7% market share. Apple was runner-up with 191.4 million iPhones sold during the year, representing 15.4% market share. Lenovo, which acquired the smartphone making division of Motorola, finished third with 81.4 million smartphone sales in 2014 for 6.5% market share.

Samsung recently announced its latest flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, each compatible with a new mobile payments service called Samsung Pay. The smartphones will be released April 10 in several countries. In the United States, the handsets will be available on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile and also on sale through Amazon, Best Buy, Costco, Target, Walmart and Sam's Club.

Article Link: Apple Surpassed Samsung as World's Largest Smartphone Maker in Fourth Quarter
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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Can they keep it up, the 4th quarter increase was due to the pent up demand for a larger iPhone.
 

newagemac

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Mar 31, 2010
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That's absolutely crazy when you consider Samsung targets the full range of prices all the way down to dirt cheap while Apple focuses on the high end.

That's like BMW outselling not just Lexus but the whole Toyota division too! Almost unheard of in business.
 
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thekeyring

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Jan 5, 2012
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Considering Apple released two phones in 2014, and Samsung released dozens, this is incredible, even if it's only a surge in the fourth quarter.
 

iLoveiTunes

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wonder what the numbers would have been if they launched the bigger phone earlier (or around the time when samsung did)
 

brianvictor7

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Oct 24, 2013
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That's absolutely crazy when you consider Samsung targets the full range of prices all the way down to dirt cheap while Apple focuses on the high end.

That's like BMW outselling not just Lexus but the whole Toyota division too! Almost unheard of in business.
Very good analogy. I suppose Apple does sell some mid-range priced phones (the 5C), but overall, very good analogy indeed.
 

CEmajr

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Dec 18, 2012
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That's absolutely crazy when you consider Samsung targets the full range of prices all the way down to dirt cheap while Apple focuses on the high end.

That's like BMW outselling not just Lexus but the whole Toyota division too! Almost unheard of in business.
Yes that's exactly what I was thinking too. Apples numbers are all high end and high margin devices while the bulk of samsungs come from cheap low margin phones. This is really quite an incredible feat.
 

skratch77

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Mar 20, 2013
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Apple just had its biggest release ever with a larger screen phone.

Let's see how these numbers look the next 2 quarters when Samsung releases it's gs6 phones.

It's news to me that apple stopped selling iPhone 4s and 5cs for the low end? Is that true that apple only sells iPhone 6 and 6 plus now?

The iPhone 5c is .99 cents on verizon.is that not considered low end market?
 

brianvictor7

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Oct 24, 2013
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Whatever happened to removable battery, SD card, bloatware, low build quality
The removable battery and SD card doubtless sway a small fraction of buyers. Perhaps so do the handful of waterproof phones. But Apple has such an excellent reputation, refined UI, and expansive app ecosystem that it will still be years before anyone can surpass the experience they offer.
 

Fanaticalism

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Apr 16, 2013
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That's absolutely crazy when you consider Samsung targets the full range of prices all the way down to dirt cheap while Apple focuses on the high end.

That's like BMW outselling not just Lexus but the whole Toyota division too! Almost unheard of in business.
Same point I was going to make! Even the Toyota comparison would only be comparable if Toyota made cars consumers could purchase for $500!
 

pgiguere1

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May 28, 2009
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Very good analogy. I suppose Apple does sell some mid-range priced phones (the 5C), but overall, very good analogy indeed.
Those are worlwide statistics we're looking at here. The iPhone 5c is still very much a high-end phone by global standards. An actual mid-range phone would cost half of the 5c's price. The 5c is basically an entry-level BMW.
 

LordVic

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Sep 7, 2011
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Apple just had its biggest release ever with a larger screen phone.

Let's see how these numbers look the next 2 quarters when Samsung releases it's gs6 phones.
It will be interesting. I don't think it'll be good for samsung, or even HTC.

if the tepid response after MWC for their latest devices is any indication, they didn't truly hit the perverbial target.

I'm currently an Android user who has been on a nexus 5 for a while. I bought this phone as a 'stopgap' till my contract was up and I could get a discounted phone.

The N5 is a fantastic device. but it's still a $350 device and not a flagship. Well, I'm financially better of now than last year and I want a flagship, top of the line, premium phone for a change. I waited till HTC and Samsung did their announcements and overall I'm disappointed. I don't think either company came close to the design and build of the current iPhone 6. the HTC didn't make any significant changes to their device at all. moved some buttons. change the colour. made the border all one piece, but the overall look and feel is identical. The Samsung did the most radical departure from their own history, but that's not a good thing necessarily. the phone looks ok, but I'm not convinced that removing the SD card or battery was the way to go. Plus, that camera bump on teh S6 looks hideous to me. I can't explain it. it's the ugliest camera bump i have ever seen. It looks like a wart

I'm likely going to go iPhone 6s unless someone in the android camp can get off their collective rear ends and actually give Apple some challenge to the 6.
 

Tankmaze

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Mar 7, 2012
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Crazy to think Samsung is on par with Apple on sales in 4Q14. Good on Apple!!
 

gnasher729

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Nov 25, 2005
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Obviously Samsung's new phones will ship with the world's best and safest payment system, so everyone will run to the stores and buy their phones. While Apple Pay was just yawn and nobody was interested. Apple is so dooooomed :roll eyes:

It's like Apple shipping with encryption of their devices always turned on automatically, and then Google did strike back and they have also encryption turned on by default... Except now it has turned out that this was actually not the case, because many devices either don't have hardware support for encryption or no drivers that can use the hardware support, and therefore encryption would be too slow and too power consuming to turn on!
 

skratch77

macrumors 65816
Mar 20, 2013
1,241
5
It will be interesting. I don't think it'll be good for samsung, or even HTC.

if the tepid response after MWC for their latest devices is any indication, they didn't truly hit the perverbial target.

I'm currently an Android user who has been on a nexus 5 for a while. I bought this phone as a 'stopgap' till my contract was up and I could get a discounted phone.

The N5 is a fantastic device. but it's still a $350 device and not a flagship. Well, I'm financially better of now than last year and I want a flagship, top of the line, premium phone for a change. I waited till HTC and Samsung did their announcements and overall I'm disappointed. I don't think either company came close to the design and build of the current iPhone 6. the HTC didn't make any significant changes to their device at all. moved some buttons. change the colour. made the border all one piece, but the overall look and feel is identical. The Samsung did the most radical departure from their own history, but that's not a good thing necessarily. the phone looks ok, but I'm not convinced that removing the SD card or battery was the way to go. Plus, that camera bump on teh S6 looks hideous to me. I can't explain it. it's the ugliest camera bump i have ever seen. It looks like a wart

I'm likely going to go iPhone 6s unless someone in the android camp can get off their collective rear ends and actually give Apple some challenge to the 6.
What planet are you on? The gs6 got nothing but amazing reviews from real world people holding the device.

Countless times they used the word premium and from what I saw most people were blown away from the gs6 design and build quality
 

HenryDJP

macrumors 603
Nov 25, 2012
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What planet are you on? The gs6 got nothing but amazing reviews from real world people holding the device.

Countless times they used the word premium and from what I saw most people were blown away from the gs6 design and build quality
Says the guy who's majority of posts support Samsung. ;)