Gartner: Apple overtook Samsung as top smartphone vendor last quarter

— 3:33 PM on March 3, 2015

It's that time again: in the endless horse race of quarterly smartphone sales, we now know who's a nose ahead and who fell off the pace—at least, according to one firm's numbers. According to a new report by market research firm Gartner, Apple narrowly took the per-vendor unit share crown from Samsung in the fourth quarter of 2014. Have a look:

Company Thousands
of units sold
(Q4 2014)
% market share
(Q4 2014)
of units sold
(Q4 2013)
% market share
(Q4 2013)
Apple 74,832 20.4 50,224 17.8
Samsung 73,032 19.9 83,317 29.5
Lenovo 24,300 6.6 16,465 5.8
Huawei 21,038 5.7 16,057 5.7
Xiaomi 18,582 5.1 5,598 2.0
Others 155,701.6 42.4 111,204.3 39.3
Total 367,484.5 100.0 282,866.2 100.0
Source: Gartner.

Apple has plenty to be happy about of late. Thanks to the most recent round of iPhones, the company posted record results last quarter, with $74.6 billion in revenue and $18 billion in profit. What's more, Apple's rise to parity with Samsung comes even as the average selling price of iPhones continues to increase, according to research firm IDC's similar report from January.

Samsung isn't sitting still, though. As we reported yesterday, the new Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge feature the same metal-and-glass construction as Apple's high-end devices, plus higher-resolution screens and more photon-hungry camera optics. Nonetheless, Apple's iOS is still a unique selling point, and Samsung is still using a version of its much-maligned TouchWiz Android skin on the latest Galaxies.

No matter which enormous multinational corporation you favor, I'm curious to see whether Apple can sustain its growth—and whether the Galaxy S6 will be enough for Samsung to move back into first place. I suppose we'll find out next quarter.

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