iPhone 7 vs Galaxy S6: How Apple stole Samsung's lunch

After three years of unrestrained leadership, Samsung had to settle for a tie with Apple for the spot of the world’s largest smartphone vendor.

Ladies and gentlemen, it all boils down to this. After seemingly endless quarters of leading the smartphones pack, South Korean major Samsung Electronics seems to have lost substantial ground to its arch-rival Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

After three years of unrestrained leadership, Samsung had to settle for a tie with Apple for the spot of the world’s largest smartphone vendor, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics.

The numbers are in, and the final quarter of 2014 saw both Apple and Samsung sell an identical number of smartphones: 74.5 million each.

But – and this is a very important but – while Samsung’s sales have slowed down 13.4 per cent from 86m during the corresponding quarter of 2013, Apple’s iPhone 6 wonder-phone helped it jump 46 per cent from 51m in Q4 2013. Read: Steve Jobs proved wrong: iPhone 6 helps Apple set world record

With both rivals uneasily poised at the same number, it will all come down to Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S6 and Apple iPhone 7 that’ll, for once and all, decide who will take or retain the leadership slot in 2015.

Samsung, however, retains the crown of world’s largest mobile phone vendor thanks to 20.5m units of dumbphones (non-smartphones) that it sold in the final quarter of 2014.

Strategy Analytics says thanks to emerging markets of China, India and Africa, global smartphone shipments grew 31 per cent annually to reach a record 380m units in the fourth quarter of 2014, up from 290.2m units in Q4 2013.

For the full year, an impressive 1.3 billion smartphones were shipped worldwide in 2014, says the report.

Apple’s iPhone 6, though, remains the hottest selling phone of the year, helping the Cupertino-based tech giant capture a record 20 per cent market share in Q4 2014, up from 18 per cent a year earlier.

“Apple’s new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models are proving wildly popular in China, US and Europe,” the report states. It is very popular in the UAE too. Read: iPhone 6 hottest selling smartphone in Dubai as DSF bargains peak

“Apple tied with Samsung to become the world’s largest smartphone vendor for the first time since Q4 2011,” states the Strategy Analytics report.

“Samsung shipped 74.5 million smartphones worldwide and captured 20 per cent market share in Q4 2013, dipping from 30 per cent in Q4 2013. 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,” it noted.

“Samsung may soon have to consider taking over rivals, such as Blackberry, in order to revitalise growth this year,” it added.

Read: Samsung isn't buying BlackBerry, but it should if it wants to beat Apple

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