Apple Beating Samsung in Smartphone Sales Race

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Forget the Patriots and the Seahawks: Apple and Samsung take the crown for biggest rivalry of 2015.

According to Strategy Analytics, the electronics giants tied as the world’s No. 1 smartphone vendor in the fourth quarter.

IDC released similar data, but crowned Samsung the victor, with a mere 600,000 units over Apple: 75.1 million vs. 74.5 million.

Together, the American and South Korean companies helped smartphone shipments grow 31 percent, reaching a record 380.1 million at the end of 2014, Strategy Analytics reported. A total 1.3 billion smartphones were delivered worldwide between October and December; emerging markets like India, Africa, and China proved to be popular destinations last quarter.

Samsung did take a 10 percent dive from the same time in 2013 amidst intense competition from newcomers Huawei and Xiaomi. It may take the acquisition of rivals like BlackBerry to help revitalize the company’s growth, Strategy Analytics’ Neil Mawston suggested (though BlackBerry has denied such plans).

“That the worldwide smartphone market grew by 27.6 percent in 2014 is noteworthy, but it also represents a significant slowdown compared to 2013,” Ramon Llamas, IDC research manager, said in a statement.

Mature markets, Llamas said, are more reliant on replacement purchases than first-time buyers, who continue to flood emerging outlets selling low-cost gadgets.

“What remains to be seen is how the vendors beyond Samsung and Apple will assert themselves,” Llamas said. “With Lenovo acquiring Motorola, and Xiaomi having greater aspirations beyond China, the competitive pressure will come more from below and less from above. This will make the smartphone race continuously competitive as 2015 shapes up.”

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SOURCE: PC Mag | Stephanie Mlot