Apple Overtakes Samsung As World's Top Smartphone Vendor in Q4 2016

Apple overtook Samsung to become the world's largest smartphone vendor in the fourth quarter of 2016 as shipments reached 439 million units.

According to independent research firm Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments grew 3 percent annually to hit a record 1.5 billion units in 2016. Apple shipped 78.3 million handsets in the fourth quarter of the year – around 800,000 more units than Samsung – allowing it to recapture its number one position with 18 percent global smartphone market share.

smartphone market Q4 2016

Apple shipped 78.3 million smartphones worldwide and captured 18 percent marketshare in Q4 2016, rising a steady 5 percent annually from 74.8 million units in Q4 2015. This was the iPhone's best performance for over a year, as Apple capitalized on Samsung's recent missteps. Samsung shipped 77.5 million smartphones worldwide in Q4 2016, dipping 5 percent annually from 81.3 million units in Q4 2015.

Bolstered by the popularity of the iPhone 7 and particularly the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple's 5 percent increase in shipments year-over-year helped it secure a 17.8 percent share of the global smartphone market, narrowly beating Samsung's share of 17.7 percent, which was negatively impacted by the company's Note7 battery fiasco. Samsung captured 21 percent share for the full year, marking its lowest level since 2011.

Despite the Q4 results, Samsung maintained first position in annualized figures, with 309 million units shipped worldwide in 2016, compared to Apple's 215 million units. Despite struggling in China against rivals like OPPO, Huawei's impressive overseas performance helped it maintain third position, with a record 10 percent global smartphone market share in Q4 2016 – the first time the company has reached double figures – while OPPO held on to fourth position and grew 99 percent annually to capture a record 7 percent global smartphone market share.

The research comes one day after Apple released its Q1 2017 financial results, in which it reported record results over what corresponds to the fourth calendar quarter of 2016. Cook was bullish on the iPhone's future, and talked up the smartphone's importance across a range of segments, including home automation, health, CarPlay, and enterprise. "I think the smartphone is still in the early innings of the game," Cook said during the earnings call. "App developers are still inventing and there are some exciting things in the pipeline that I feel really good about."

Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

busyscott Avatar
95 months ago
Ironically, both had explosive performance in Q4.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AllieNeko Avatar
95 months ago
Apple and Samsung have different release cycles. For Apple to NOT exceed Samsung in Q4 regularly, shows just how much bigger Samsung is.

The bigger question is - does it matter? Selling more **** will always get you more volume. Samsung's sales lead in units isn't due to flagship phones competing directly with the iPhone. It's due to the millions and millions of unbearably terrible rubbish phones they sell. At the flagship level, where Apple competes, they've always blown Samsung away.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
keysofanxiety Avatar
95 months ago
I don't think anybody a decade ago could have predicted the sales volume of the iPhone. The Nokia 3310 family sold 126 million units in its lifetime. Apple are nearly doubling that number annually. It's mindboggling.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jscooper22 Avatar
95 months ago
this sucks, now they're never gonna make new desktops.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
keysofanxiety Avatar
95 months ago
Total Click bait, I think macrumors is the troll in the room
It's not clickbait, it's exactly what it says. The title states Apple overtakes Samsung as top smartphone vendor in Q4 2016. The numbers show Apple sold 78.3 million in Q4 '16, whilst Samsung sold 77.5 million in Q4 '16. 78.3 is more than 77.5.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Adithya007 Avatar
95 months ago
It's more like Samsung's failure than Apple's own victory.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iphone se 4 modified flag edges

When to Expect the Next iPhone SE to Launch

Friday May 17, 2024 2:03 pm PDT by
It has been over two years since Apple released the third-generation iPhone SE, and rumors continue to surface about a new model. The latest word comes from The Information, which today reported that Apple plans to release a new iPhone SE with a design similar to the standard iPhone 14 in the spring of 2025. If this rumor is accurate, the iPhone SE would finally gain Face ID and a notch...
iOS 17

iOS 17.5 Bug May Also Resurface Deleted Photos on Wiped, Sold Devices [Updated]

Friday May 17, 2024 12:24 pm PDT by
A bug in iOS 17.5 is apparently causing photos that have been deleted to reappear, and the issue seems to impact even iPhones and iPads that have been erased and sold off to other people. A Reddit user wiped an iPad following Apple's guidelines in September of 2023 before selling it off to a friend. That friend updated the iPad to iPadOS 17.5 this week, and began seeing the Reddit user's old ...
iphone se 4 modified flag edges

iPhone SE 4 With Face ID Said to Be Priced Below $500

Monday May 20, 2024 3:43 am PDT by
Apple is targeting a sub-$500 starting price for its upcoming fourth-generation iPhone SE model despite a raft of rumored upgrades coming to the more affordable device. According to leaker Revegnus on X, the U.S. launch price of the fourth-generation iPhone SE will either remain at the same $429 starting price as the current model, or will see an increase of around 10%. Either way, Apple's...
iOS 17

Apple Releases iOS 17.5.1 With Fix for Reappearing Photos Bug

Monday May 20, 2024 10:11 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 17.5.1 and iPadOS 17.5.1, minor updates to the iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 operating system updates that came out last September. The 17.5.1 updates come a week after the launch of iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5. iOS 17.5.1 and iPadOS 17.5.1 can be downloaded on eligible iPhones and iPads over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. According to Apple's...
iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Perspective

iPhone 16 Lineup Rumored to Come in These Two New Colors

Sunday May 19, 2024 11:08 am PDT by
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today outlined his expectations for the iPhone 16 lineup's color options, revealing that two new colors should replace two of the existing shades. Kuo outlined his expectations in a post on X (formerly Twitter) earlier today. He believes that the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will be available in black, white or silver, gray or "Natural Titanium," and rose....
oled m4 ipad pro grainy display reports

OLED iPad Pro Users Report 'Grainy' Displays, But It May Not Be a Defect

Friday May 17, 2024 5:57 am PDT by
Some new M4 iPad Pro models are exhibiting a visible static grain pattern across the OLED display, according to several user reports on Reddit (1, 2, 3) and the MacRumors Forums. Image credit: MacRumors user bk215 Users who see the grain generally report that it is most noticeable in dark environments with the display set at a low to medium brightness while viewing content with gray or muted...