Apple iPhone now king of smartphone sales worldwide

Eight years after being introduced, Apple’s iPhone is now the global leader in smartphone sales, according to Gartner.

Samsung, which had been in the top spot since 2011, became the No. 2 smartphone seller in the fourth quarter 2014.

Samsung’s fall was notable given that sales of smartphones worldwide grew by nearly 30 percent in the quarter compared to the same quarter in 2013, Gartner said.

Apple benefited from the popularity of its new, larger-screened models, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+. (Lenovo, which bought Motorola, is now in the No. 3 spot in global sales of smartphones).

But for Samsung, it was a different story. Its sales “deteriorated,” dropping 10 percentage points, Gartner said.

In the U.S., Apple is the smartphone sales leader, holding about 42 percent of the marketshare, said comScore last year.

Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner, said that Samsung’s share of “profitable premium smartphone users has come under significant pressure” and offered some advice:

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.

For the full year, Samsung was still ahead, as ZDNet pointed out, selling 307 million smartphones, compared to the 191 million Apple devices sold worldwide.

It remains to be seen whether Apple can sustain its lead.

Photo of Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models courtesy of Apple

 

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  • BTRDAYZ

    Every leader knows the position comes with a target on your back. Apple won’t always lead, but they know how to lead. Can’t say quite the same for Samsung.

    • TJ

      Well for sure, Samsung knows how to follow. Just get behind the leader and copy

  • TrevorH

    I don’t think that Android users want “apps, content and services unique to Samsung devices.” Maybe they should try not being unique?

 
 
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