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Apple and Samsung Tied as World's Largest Smartphone Makers in Q4 2014 [Updated]

The latest numbers from Strategy Analytics reveal that Apple tied Samsung during Q4 2014 to become the world's largest smartphone maker based on global shipments. According to the report, both Apple and Samsung shipped 74.5 million smartphones during the three-month period of October through December.

Apple's number is an official figure from its financial results, while Samsung's number is an estimate since the company stopped reporting smartphone shipments a few years ago. The research firm adds that Apple and Samsung were last tied in smartphone market share in Q4 2011.

Apple Samsung
Apple experienced a record-breaking first quarter of the fiscal year because of strong demand for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The larger screen sizes of the two new smartphones has been a major selling point for many consumers, attracting more new customers and Android converts than ever before. Meanwhile, Samsung reported a 27% quarterly decline in earnings earlier today amid tough competition from both Apple and up-and-coming Chinese rivals such as Xiaomi and Huawei.

Strategy Analytics claims that global smartphone shipments grew 31% annually to eclipse a record 380 million units in the fourth quarter. An estimated 1.3 billion smartphones were shipped worldwide in 2014, with strong growth in emerging markets such as China, India and Africa. Apple has experienced a lot of momentum in China, noting that its online sales in the region for 2014 were more than the previous five years combined.

Apple Samsung Mobile Vendors Q4 14
Apple also surpassed Microsoft to become the world's second largest mobile phone vendor on the strength of the United States and China. Apple's 74.5 million smartphone shipments placed ahead of Microsoft's 50.2 million units shipped, but were behind Samsung's market leading 95 million units shipped. Apple and Samsung have global mobile phone market shares of 14.5% and 18.4% respectively.

Update 7:41 AM PT: IDC is now reporting similar numbers for Q4 2014, although the firm gives Samsung a slight edge with 75.1 million units shipped.



Top Rated Comments

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21 months ago
The only question is... on what date will Apple become the first trillion dollar company.
Rating: 23 Votes
21 months ago
When it comes to smartphone sales take anything that mentions Samsung with a grain of salt.

Samsung doesn't report sales numbers, therefore everyone is guessing.
Rating: 19 Votes
21 months ago
Eight years ago, Apple wanted to take 1% of the smartphone market with the iPhone.

It's now competing for 2nd place in the entire mobile phone market. And in the smartphone market, it's tied with the phone vendor that makes models for every segment of the market, with just a handful of models that are/were mostly top of the line when they originally came out.

Who thought a decade ago that Apple would be such a game changer in the mobile phone industry? Makes me think that Motorola ROKR (this came out in 2005) was just a clever ruse to let everyone get their guards down.
Rating: 19 Votes
21 months ago

317.2 versus 192.7 for 2014.

Yeah, looks like Samsung is really on their way out to me...

Let's start the doom and gloom. :cool:


Eventually you will give in and write something positive about Apple. :D
Rating: 9 Votes
21 months ago
No surprise. My wife and I both upgraded to the iPhone 6 a couple months ago and Apple absolutely knocked it out of the park with these. The iPhone 6 is proof that the post-Jobs Apple can make great products.

Anecdotally, I've never seen an iPhone release (except maybe the first one) that had so much buzz. I've been asked about it by so many people and I'm seeing a lot of Android switchers.
Rating: 7 Votes
21 months ago

The end of competition, yay


I don't know about you, but I can't wait until Apple is the only tech company in the world. I personally will be beaming with pride when everyone on the planet has an iPhone. :eek::D:D
Rating: 5 Votes
21 months ago



317.2 versus 192.7 for 2014.

Yeah, looks like Samsung is really on their way out to me...

Let's start the doom and gloom. :cool:


That's unit sales.

Now check Samsung's financials.

Samsung sold more phones in 2014 than they did in 2013. Good, right?

But their profit actually went down during that time despite the increase in sales. Oops...

Oh Samsung won't go bankrupt in my lifetime... but someone at Samsung HQ will soon be looking for a new job.
Rating: 5 Votes
21 months ago

317.2 versus 192.7 for 2014.

Yeah, looks like Samsung is really on their way out to me...

Let's start the doom and gloom. :cool:


With a massive profit decline. What this shows is that Samsung is selling lots of low end junk phones and less high end devices. Apple is selling all high end high margin devices.

It's easy to give away junk phones at cost. The difficult part is getting people to pay a premium for your product meaning they find value in it. It looks like Samsung is no longer capable of that and you're incapable of understanding profit vs. buying market share.
Rating: 5 Votes
21 months ago

Mine is out for delivery today. I picked the Note 4 over the 6+ because of the lack of ram on the 6+.

I know two people at my job who have Note 4s and not one person I know has iPhones except me and that is a 5S.


Wow...you should organize a Note 4 owners club at your company.

Congratulations on your new Note 4. Enjoy it while you can 'cause it might be one of the last phones Samsung produces. Hang on to it...it might eventually become a novelty item.
Rating: 4 Votes
21 months ago

Every company that sold affordable phones did the world a favor.

Using your car analogy, the reason why there's roads everywhere for expensive cars to drive on, is because of all the affordable cars and trucks that made such roads practical and necessary.


Using your affordable analogy the first cellphones were thousands and thousands of dollars. Hardly affordable to the world.
As far as roads go, it was the mass production of automobiles, not the affordability that lead to roads being built. Model T might have been the first affordable mass produced car, but it wasn't long after luxury automobiles were in the mix as well.

Essentially a chicken-egg conversation. If Samsung wanted to do the world a favor it would give away their phones and cell service. That's doing a good deed.
Rating: 4 Votes

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