Apple tops Samsung in smartphone sales globally in Q4; first time Apple is on top since 2011

Apple tops Samsung in smartphone sales globally in Q4; first time Apple is on top since 2011
For the first time since 2011, Apple led the global smartphone market in units sold during a quarter. The 74.8 million iPhones sold in the final three months of last year topped the 73 million handsets sold by Samsung, which finished in second for the fourth quarter. For the 2013 fourth quarter, Samsung was on top with 83.3 million smartphones sold. Apple was next as it rang up 50.2 million smartphones in that quarter. The latter's sales rose 49% in the last quarter of 2014, while Sammy's declined 12.4%. Strong sales were run up for the two new larger-screened iPhone models. The 4.7-inch Apple iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch Apple iPhone 6 Plus both proved that iPhone fans merely needed larger sized screens to break out of their funk.

The data, which comes from researcher Gartner, shows Apple with 20.4% of the world-wide smartphone market in the last three months of 2014 compared to 19.9% for Samsung. The data is similar to what Counterpoint Research reported back in January. IDC, on the other hand, showed Samsung remaining on top by a small margin in the October through December period. We should point out that Gartner's data is based on sales to end users while Counterpoint and IDC are looking at shipments.

Gartner has Lenovo-Motorola in third place for the fourth quarter of 2014 with a 6.6% share. Huawei was fourth and Xiaomi fifth. The latter had the biggest increase during the quarter as its sales tripled to 18.6 million units. For all of 2014, Xiaomi tripled its sales to 61.1 million phones. Also for the entire year, Samsung remained on top with 307.5 million smartphones sold. Apple sold 191.4 million iPhones for all of 2014. Lenovo, Huawei and LG rounded out the top five for last year. Including featurephones, Samsung led the way with 392.5 million handsets sold for all of 2014.

As we told you previously, despite Android accounting for 80.7% of all smartphone sales in 2014, Apple took home the crown where it counts the most. The latter accounted for 89% of all smartphone profits in 2014. Apple achieved those profits despite iOS accounting for only 15.4% of smartphone sales for the year.


source: Gartner via Forbes

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60 Comments

1. Tajiseo

Posts: 48; Member since: Mar 03, 2015

Just with an increased screen size they rocket to the top...what's next Apple? Removable battery?

4. seven7dust unregistered

modular battery ! that would be cool.

2. Loubielou

Posts: 603; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

The iPhones will be more popular with the Biggest mistakes Ever made by Samsung,The Galaxy S6 will not Attract alot of Consumers that Samsung were Expecting,By just Copying the iPhones,the iPhone 6 now will become more Cheaper than the Galaxy S6,as Samsung have Overpriced the Galaxy S6

5. Tajiseo

Posts: 48; Member since: Mar 03, 2015

After reading this comment, I really wonder what true meaning of life is

18. mixedfish

Posts: 1547; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Obviously to him, the meaning of life is to worry what other people buy.

21. mixedfish

Posts: 1547; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

OMG let's all overreact to statistics without understand what's it's saying. This is top sales in Q4 2014, and what launched in Q4 2014: the iPhone 6. What are people going to buy: the iPhone 6. Are we going to make another article come Q2 2015 where Samsung GS6 is the top selling phone with a release date of Q2 2015? In fact one could read the statistics and say Samsung did I great job only trailing by

40. TBomb

Posts: 1283; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

important thing to point out mixedfish... Q2 is going to have a lot of android sales... HTC, LG, and Samsung. chances are the 3 of them combined will be higher than Apples Q4 of last year. It won't build as much publicity because there's 3 companies instead of 1 though. Give it time though, every thing is cyclical and everyone will get their turn in the spotlight.

52. mrochester

Posts: 953; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

I think the important point to make is that new iPhones were released in both 2012 and 2013 and in neither year did Apple reach the top spot. However, in 2014 they once again came back to the top. It's essentially a reversal in the trend.

10. SuperNova

Posts: 649; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

The biggest mistake Apple did was they didn't listen to Steve. I remebered when he said 3.5" was the perfect screen size for smartphone. He even added no one would buy a big phone. Now iPhone 6 with more than 3.5", iPhone 6 plus with the inspiration of the Note? What happened to Apple, betrayed their fans?

13. ankitp

Posts: 138; Member since: Feb 19, 2013

followed the trend set by note series

30. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Not listening to Steve Jobs was the best thing Apple has done... clearly

59. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

Yeah, I'm glad they changed their view on that. My old 4S was too small. I'm extremely happy with my 6+, it is a great size and if they hadn't released something around this size and allowed for 3rd party keyboards I would have gone back to Android. Apple is a company, they will make what sells, and clearly there is a big market for larger phones.

20. SonyFindOneDroidple

Posts: 865; Member since: May 11, 2013

Galaxy s6 is a mash-up of note 2, s4, nexus 4 and xperia Z and the iphone is a mashup of ip5S, note 2 and ativ S so what's your point? the apple pay? which was actually derived from Gwallet? or the other design factors which were copied from htc one?

33. AnTuTu

Posts: 1596; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

@Lounielou :- Mate you are the reason why Aliens don't talk to us :(

46. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

I'm just laughing at this comment. FYI the iPhone is the most expensive phone in the world running @ worlds 900$. Only thing people hate bout the GS6 is the lack of battery and SD card. And I blame anyone that bytch and complain bout Samsung previous plastic bodymaterial

3. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

2015 will look very different......

6. SuperNova

Posts: 649; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

Let Apple have their good time for a moment. I bet the S6 edge alone will put Apple to a shame this year.

8. seven7dust unregistered

it's good if the S6 edge pushes Apple to make a better phone , then I'm all for it. don't get the blind hate for either company, samsung made a huge jump with the S6 , So it's Apple's turn to improve. improved products = better for consumers

16. SuperNova

Posts: 649; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

I don't hate Apple for their improvement. What I hate is their patent troll, and monopoly. Accusing Samsung of copying them is alright, when they also copy Samsung back?

25. Leo999

Posts: 25; Member since: Feb 15, 2015

Patent trolling? Right now, Apple has only 1 lawsuit going vs Android manufacturers, with Samsung in the US.

26. willytbk

Posts: 252; Member since: Aug 15, 2012

monopoly of what ? it seems u have the issue with the 'copying' thing, u own the company Samsung ? Lol. no wonder, she is korean. now i see.

53. mrochester

Posts: 953; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

Apple don't have a monopoly. Apple are also not a patent troll. So that's cleared those two misconceptions up, you can stop 'hating' Apple.

22. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Maybe if the S6 edge was the base model, I could be wrong but I don't think most smartphone buyers will pay $100-$150 more for only a curved screen, especially if it's not the fancy color they want. Pre-orders are slowly starting to roll out so it's only a matter of time before we find out

24. SuperNova

Posts: 649; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

Fair point.

43. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Both phones kill the iPhone in specs and speed with no loading times due to the new disk mem being used, so no big deal on the edge costing more, but the edge will get to the iPhone fans I.e. I think you find all the iPhone will look at the edge and think cool just to get started

27. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

Put apple to a shame? How? By not being recognised by people by selling less? There isnt a phone and wont be that can put the 6 to shame just by those amazing sale numbers. If anyone is putting anyone to shame is apple everyone else. And I say that in a sad way cause its really sad to see 1 company taking 80% of all mobile phones profits on the planet.

32. SuperNova

Posts: 649; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

Lol, i know you and your fellow iboys don't agree with this. But who cares? iphone buyers never give a damn about which phone offer better spec-wise, more features, and better in price tag. you guys just follow apple words. when apple said 3.5" screen was the best, you agreed.

35. AlikMalix unregistered

You bet Apple users "dont give a damn about which phone offers better spec-wise" new, 2 or 3 year old iPhones always ran smooth and supported by all apps and the ecosystem. You only start to worry about specs when your brand new phone isn't running so smooth which was the case with all Android upto about 2 years ago and still many have lag problems today - not the flagships, those run perfectly smooth... but Android isnt optimized like iOS to each phone - and thats why today Android OEMs are coughing up extra cores and big Ram - to run a freeware non-optimized OS with unacceptable amount of Bloat that once in a while just decides to run in the background... NONE of these were or are present in iOS...

37. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Interesting thing is that with the exception of screen res and fast charging, the 6 month iPhone 6 still holds its own against the S6, and that's not even mentioning the next iPhone that's just around the corner.

45. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Holds its own I am lost, What, it's got noting better on it even the speed of the apps loads is faster on the s6, sorry I am lost?

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