Apple is back on top. According to a new report by research firm Strategy Analytics, the company sold more smartphones than any other company in the fourth quarter of 2016, including its biggest rival, Samsung.
Apple reported selling 78.3 million iPhones in the last quarter of 2016, whereas Samsung sold “just” 77.5 million phones. (Different companies use different financial calendars, which is why Apple considers the same period the first quarter of 2017.
The reasons for this are twofold: Apple had an amazing quarter, and Samsung’s quarter was shoddy as the company had to discontinue its flagship phone, the Galaxy Note7, following numerous reports of its battery overheating and bursting into flames.
On a yearly basis, Samsung still leads by a large margin, having sold a total of 309.4 million phones in 2016, compared to Apple’s 215.4 million units sold. Of course, Samsung sells many more smartphone models than Apple, and many different price points, while Apple sells just three different variants of the iPhone (along with some older models), and all are considered “high end” phones.
Third on the list was Huawei, which also had a great quarter, followed by Oppo and Vivo.
In terms of market share, if we only look at the last quarter of 2016, Apple is once again on top, with 17.8%, followed by Samsung with 17.8% and Huawei with 10.2%. On a yearly basis, Samsung is in the first place with 20.8%, followed by Apple with 14.5% and Huawei with 9.3%. Oppo and Vivo round up the list with 5.7% and 4.8%, respectively, while all other vendors accounted for 44.9% of the market.
Samsung’s phone sales are likely to improve after the company launches its new flagship, the Galaxy S8. That’ll happen later than anticipated, though, as Samsung recently said it would not launch the phone at the Mobile World Congress in February.