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Samsung rockets past Apple to retake the smartphone crown

Samsung Galaxy vs. Apple iPhone

Samsung’s profits may not be where the company wants them to be just yet, but the South Korean smartphone maker is back to being the number one handset maker by shipments, for the first quarter of the year, after having briefly lost that title last quarter.

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New data from Strategy Analytics reveals that Samsung sold 83.2 million smartphones worldwide in the March quarter, compared to Apple’s 61 million iPhones sold during the same period.

“Samsung continued to face challenges in Asia and elsewhere, but its global performance has stabilized sufficiently well this quarter to overtake Apple and recapture first position as the world’s largest smartphone vendor by volume,” Strategy Analytics Executive Director Neil Mawston told Reuters.

Samsung accounted for 24.1% of the smartphone market during the period, down from 31% a year before. Meanwhile, Apple jumped from 15.3% in the March 2014 quarter to 17.7% in the same period this year.

In the December quarter, some analysts said Apple surpassed Samsung in smartphone sales, thanks to strong iPhone 6 sales, with others (Strategy Analytics included) claiming the two companies tied, each having sold 74.5 million smartphones.

Overall, Samsung sold significantly more smartphones than Apple last year, though the iPhone maker made the most money from smartphone sales.

Following Samsung and Apple in the first quarter of the year is Lenovo-Motorola, with 18.8 million smartphones shipped, and Huawei with 17.3 million units. “Others” have sold 164.5 million smartphones in the March quarter, as seen below.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.