Apple and Samsung battle to stay on top; Gartner

Huawei, Oppo and BBK Communication Equipment were the other strong competitors

Tags: Apple IncorporatedHuawei Technologies CompanyOppo (www.oppo.ae)Samsung Corporation
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Apple and Samsung battle to stay on top; Gartner According to Gartner, it has taken Apple eight quarters to regain its top position (Getty Images)
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  February 23, 2017

Research house Gartner has discovered in the fourth quarter of 2016, Apple leapt past Samsung to secure a number position as global smartphone vendor.

The report also highlighted that global sales of smartphones to end users totalled 432 million units in Q4 2016 and overall 1.5 billion units were sold in that year. With Apple in lead and Samsung in second, the results showed that Huawei, Oppo and BBK Communication Equipment came in after, added competition pressures to Samsung.

According to Gartner, it has taken Apple eight quarters to regain its top position, however this year, Apple and Samsung have never been so close, with only 256,000 units difference.

Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner, said: "The last time Apple was in the leading position was in the fourth quarter of 2014, when its sales were driven by its first ever large-screen iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. This time it achieved it thanks to strong sales of its flagship phones - the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus; it also benefited from the weakened demand for Samsung's smartphones in mature markets such as North America and Western Europe, and in some mature markets in Asia such as Australia and South Korea.

"This is the second consecutive quarter in which Samsung has delivered falling quarterly smartphone sales. Samsung's smartphone sales declined 8% in the fourth quarter of 2016 and its share dropped by 2.9% points year on year."

He added: "Samsung's smartphone sales started to drop in the third quarter of 2016, and the decision to discontinue the Galaxy Note 7 slowed down sales of its smartphone portfolio in the fourth quarter. The withdrawal of the Galaxy Note 7 left a gap in its large-screen phone range."

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