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Samsung’s iPhone 6 nightmare is unfolding before its eyes

Updated Jan 27th, 2015 10:46AM EST
Samsung vs. iPhone 6

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Even though it’s still selling a massive number of smartphones each quarter, Samsung’s sales and revenues have been suffering lately as the company faces increased competition in emerging markets. Another big factor has been the battle with Apple’s 2014 iPhones, which have both been selling tremendously well since their launch.

In fact, Apple’s iPhone 6 models may have helped the company sell well over 70 million iPhones in the Christmas quarter, which may be enough to threaten Samsung’s smartphone sales dominance.

FROM EARLIER: Apple may have sold a mind-blowing 73 million iPhones in last quarter

As The Wall Street Journal reports, Samsung has been the world’s No. 1 smartphone vendor since the third quarter of 2011, when it passed Apple. But Samsung never beat Apple when it comes to mobile profits, even though it has been shipping far more handsets each quarter for years.

Apple on Tuesday will report its financial results for the December quarter, with analysts polled by Fortune expecting the company to have sold 66.5 million handsets during the period. More optimistic forecasts from UBS and KGI mention 69 million and 73 million iPhone sales, respectively.

Samsung is expected to post its earnings results two days later. In the third quarter of 2014, the company shipped 78 million handsets, making up for 25% of the global market, but down 34% from a year ago, according to data from Canalys.

“It’s going to be closer than it’s ever been since Samsung took the lead,” Canalys analyst Chris Jones said.

Not only did Apple potentially sell nearly as many smartphones as Samsung did last quarter, but it also sold more expensive handsets than Samsung. In traditional fashion, Apple did not chase market share by launching the mythical cheap iPhone that many people have been dreaming of, instead choosing to focus on the high-end market.

Meanwhile, Samsung has not only witnessed record iPhone 6 sales threaten its own flagships, but also cheap devices from Chinese and Indian Android handset makers that are beating its lower-priced Galaxy models in many markets.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

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 brings his entertainment expertise to 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.