Samsung Is Again The World’s Top Smartphone Seller In Q1

Samsung is once again the world’s top smartphone seller after a challenge by Apple with its iPhone 6 launch last fall, according to research from Strategy Analytics.

Samsung shipped 83.2 million smartphones in Q1 2015, which gave it 24.1 percent of the global smartphone market. That’s down from 89 million smartphones and a 31.2 percent share a year earlier, but a recovery from a neck-and-neck showing with Apple in Q4 2014 with 74.5 million phones and a 19.6 percent share for each company. Most analysts concluded that Apple actually edged Samsung in Q4 unit sales.

For Q1, Apple dropped back to 61.2 million phones and a 17.7 percent share, up from 15.3 percent in Q1 2014.

The Strategy Analytics estimate is in line with what Samsung reported with its Q1 earnings, when the company said it had sold 99 million mobile phones, of which “about mid-80 percent” were smartphones.

Samsung also isn’t being bashful in its competition with Apple, with a recent Samsung ad taking a jab at Apple fanatics searching for an iPhone 6s, saying “awkward you obviously mean S6.”

Overall, Q1 smartphone shipments climbed to 345 million units, up 21 percent from the 285 million shipped in Q1 2014. But only Samsung and Apple are still the only smartphone makers that have double-digit market share. Third-place Lenovo, which has now acquired Motorola’s smartphone business from Google, sold 18.8 million smartphones for a 5.4 percent share, while fourth-place Huawei 17.3 million smartphones for a 5 percent share.

The rest of the smartphone industry — nearly all Android phone makers — together sold 164.5 million phones, for 47.7 percent of the total, up from 41.8 percent a year earlier.

Both Apple and Samsung are depending heavily on their smartphone market share in order to push their respective mobile payment systems. Apple Pay went live in the U.S. in October, riding the huge initial wave of iPhone 6 sales, but it’s still struggling to change consumers’ plastic-swiping habits. Samsung, which is working on its own mobile payments system and has nailed down agreements with Visa and MasterCard, plans to roll out Samsung Pay in South Korea and the U.S. in the second half of 2015.


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