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Apple overtakes Samsung to become world's top smartphone vendor

Apple sold an estimated 800,000 units more than Samsung in Q4, 2016 to give it a 0.1% greater market share.

Published onFebruary 1, 2017

Apple overtook Samsung in Q4 2016 to grab the top global smartphone vendor position, according to technology research firm Strategy Analytics. Apple sold an estimated 800,000 units more than Samsung, achieving a total of 78.3 million for the quarter, giving it a 17.8% market share compared to Samsung’s 17.7%.

This news might not surprise those who’ve been keeping up with Samsung in the last few months — the South Korean manufacturer had to cancel one of its biggest phones of the year, the Galaxy Note 7, in November following problems with its battery.

Though Apple saw a steady 5% increase in shipments from Q4 2015 to Q4 2016, the more than 2.5 million devices Samsung had to recall would have easily secured its position at the top of the leaderboard, had it have gone smoothly.

With regards to the full year of 2016, Apple still trailed behind Samsung, with a 14.5% market share compared to Samsung’s 20.8%.

Meanwhile, Chinese manufacturer OPPO grew 99% year-on-year and takes up position four for the year of 2016 with 5.7% behind HUAWEI on 9.3%. The smartphone industry as a whole grew 3.3%, down from 12.2% growth in 2015.

While Q1, 2016 might be quiet for Samsung, it’s expected to dominate Q2 with the release of its next flagship, the Galaxy S8.

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