Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Becomes No. 1 Smartphone Seller in Q4

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) beat Samsung to become the No. 1 global smartphone seller, according to report from Gartner.

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The iPhone maker outsold Samsung in in the fourth quarter of 2016. Apple sold just over 77 million iPhones, while Samsung sold 76.8 million smartphones during the quarter.

Apple introduced the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus last year. Through those were not hit phones, the company was able to achieve strong sales due to the weakened demand for Samsung’s smartphones in mature markets including North America, Western Europe, Australia and South Korea.

“The withdrawal of the Galaxy Note 7 left a gap in its large-screen phone range,” Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner, said in a statement.

Sales of Samsung smartphone sales dropped by 8% in the quarter, and its share dropped by 2.9% year-on-year. Apple’s share also fell to 14.4% in 2016 from 15.9% in 2015.

“This is the second consecutive quarter in which Samsung has delivered falling quarterly smartphone sales,” Gupta 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.”

It took Apple eight quarters to beat Samsung and regain the No. 1 global smartphone vendor ranking, according to Gartner.

“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,” Gupta added.

Meanwhile, global smartphones sales totaled 432 million units in the fourth quarter, a year-over-year increase of 7%, according to Gartner.

In 2016 overall, smartphone sales were nearly 1.5 billion units, representing a 5% increase from 2015. Huawei, Oppo, and BBK accounted for 21.3% of smartphones sold worldwide during the fourth quarter.

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