Apple’s latest new smartphone models, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, were largely responsible for the company’s record-smashing holiday quarter. And that colossal quarter didn’t just smash Apple’s own records… it was the most profitable quarter any company has ever reported.
Now, more news is trickling out following Apple’s killer holiday season: According to Gartner, Apple blew past Samsung to become the No. 1 smartphone vendor in the world last quarter.
According to noted market research firm Gartner, Apple’s new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus helped the company blow past Samsung in the fourth quarter of 2014 to become the No. 1 smartphone vendor in the world by end user sales volume.
Samsung, the former No. 1, sells dozens of different smartphone models that span a variety of price points and markets. Meanwhile, Apple sells just four different iPhone models, including the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and two older models from 2013.
Apple and Samsung’s swings in the fourth quarter were simply incredible. Apple went from selling just 50 million phones in the fourth quarter a year prior to selling almost 75 million units in Q4 2014. Meanwhile, Samsung’s quarterly smartphone sales dipped by more than 10 million units to an estimated 73 million last quarter.
“Samsung’s performance in the smartphone market deteriorated further in the fourth quarter of 2014, when it lost nearly 10 percentage points in market share,” said Gartner analyst Anshul Gupta. “Samsung continues to struggle to control its falling smartphone share, which was at its highest in the third quarter of 2013. This downward trend shows that Samsung’s share of profitable premium smartphone users has come under significant pressure.”
His colleague Roberta Cozza continued, “With Apple dominating the premium phone market and the Chinese vendors increasingly offering quality hardware at lower prices, it is through a solid ecosystem of apps, content and services unique to Samsung devices that Samsung can secure more loyalty and longer-term differentiation at the high end of the market.”