Boston – Apple tied with Samsung as the world’s largest smartphone vendor in the fourth quarter, thanks to surging sales of its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Strategy Analytics found.
Apple shipped 74.5 million smartphones in the quarter to capture 19.6 percent market share, up from a year-ago 18 percent, the research company found. Samsung’s shipments of 74.5 million smartphones also captured 19.6 percent share, down from the year-ago 30 percent.
Samsung nonetheless remained the number one smartphone player globally on a full-year basis in 2014, shipping 317.2 million smartphones, or 165 percent more than Apple’s 192.7 million, in a global market that surged to 1.28 billion units.
Samsung’s full year-share came in at 24.7 percent compared to Apple’s 15 percent, Lenovo-Motorola’s 7.2 percent, Huawei’s 4.8 percent, and 47.3 percent for all other brands.
“Apple’s new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models are proving wildly popular in China, United States and Europe,” said executive director Neil Mawston of Apple’s fourth-quarter surge. Samsung “continues to face intense competition from Apple at the higher-end of the smartphone market, from Huawei in the middle-tiers, and from Xiaomi and others at the entry-level,” he said.
Samsung might have to consider taking over rivals, such as Blackberry, to revive growth in 2015, he added.
Global smartphone shipments grew 31 percent in the quarter to a record 380.1 million and grew 29.6 percent for the full year to 1.28 billion, the company said.