Apple replaces Samsung as top seller of smartphones worldwide

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Gartner figures show that Apple shipped 74 million devices in Q4 2014, replacing Samsung as top seller (73 million devices sold)

Apple replaced Samsung as the top seller of smartphones globally during the fourth quarter of 2014, according to research from analysts Gartner.

The iPhone maker shipped 74 million devices during the final three months of last year, replacing its Korean rivals, who only shipped 73 million, as the top vendor.

Samsung still maintained top spot for sales throughout the year, boasting global shipments of 307 million smartphones in 2014, up from 299 million in the previous year.

Apple also shipped more handsets year-on-year, up from 150 million in 2013 to 191 million last year, although its market share dipped slightly from 15.5 per cent to 15.4 per cent.

Samsung’s market share fell dramatically, from 30.9 per cent of sales in 2013 to just 24.7 per cent in 2014. Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 13.12.40

Lenovo was one beneficiary of this, seeing its smartphone sales increase from 16 million in Q4 2013 to more than 24 million in the final quarter of last year. Overall sales for the year for the Chinese manufacturer were 81 million, up from 57 million in the previous year. The figures included sales from recently-acquired subsidiary Motorola.

Huawei also saw its market share increase, from 4.8 per cent in 2013 (46 million devices sold) to 50.5 per cent (68 million sold) last year. It sold five million more handsets in Q4, up from 16 million to 21 million year-on-year.

Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi also made the top five global sellers for the final quarter with 5.1 per cent of the share. Its sales increased from 5.5 million to 18.5 million in Q4. Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 13.12.18

Record year for smartphone sales

“Samsung’s performance in the smartphone market deteriorated further in the fourth quarter of 2014, when it lost nearly 10 percentage points in market share,” said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner. “Samsung continues to struggle to control its falling smartphone share, which was at its highest in the third quarter of 2013. This downward trend shows that Samsung’s share of profitable premium smartphone users has come under significant pressure.”

Overall, Q4 saw record sales of smartphones, with 367 million units shipped, a 29.9 per cent increase on the 282.2 million shipped in Q4 2013.

For the year, sales of smartphones to end-users globally reached 1.2 billion units, an increase of 28.4 per cent on the previous year.

Smartphones made up two thirds of the 1.8 billion mobile phones sold in 2014, though the number of overall devices sold only increased by 70 million year-on-year.

More than one billion Android devices were sold during the year, up from 761 million in 2013, as it increased its market share from 78.5 per cent to 80.7 per cent.

iOs, Windows and BlackBerry all saw their market share fall, with the most worrying dip for BlackBerry’s OS, which fell from 1.9 per cent to o.6 per cent. Windows dipped from 3.2 per cent of sales to 2.8 per cent. Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 13.11.42

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