For three years, Samsung was the world’s top smartphone vendor. Now Apple has pulled even with the South Korean giant–thanks to the phenomenal success of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
According to figures pulled by Strategy Analytics, Apple and Samsung each sold 74.5 million handsets in the final quarter of 2014—which means they each hold 19.6% of the global smartphone marketshare.
Every other smartphone maker was collectively listed by Strategy Analytics under the category “others,” and represented 48% of smartphone users.
Overall, it was a strong year for smartphone makers, with total global handset shipments growing 31% from the 290.2 million units that shipped in Q4 of 2013 to a record 380.1 million in the last three months of 2014.
In total, 1.3 billion smartphones shipped in 2014—many to emerging markets such as China, India, and Africa.
The news that Apple and Samsung are now neck and neck for the position of world’s top-selling handset makers follows Apple’s recent record-breaking financial quarter. The Cupertino company pulled in a massive $74.6 billion in revenue during the last three months of 2014, largely thanks to the strong debut of the iPhone 6.
Samsung, on the other hand, has fared less well recently. Unlike Apple, Samsung’s fourth quarter earnings resulted in its first annual profit decline since 2011. One of the key factors behind this disappointing number is the relative collapse of Samsung’s mobile business, which represented 68% of the company’s profit at its 2013 peak, but fell to just 44% in this year’s third quarter. Samsung also dramatically misjudged demand for its Galaxy S5 handset–apparently missing its own sales projections by up to 50%.
At least for now, however, Samsung has the last laugh. Although Apple is competing more than it has at any point since 2011, Samsung sold the most smartphones overall through all four quarters in 2014: beating the iPhone by a wide margin.
[via Strategy Analytics]