Apple was the top smartphone vendor over the holidays

Saturday, 03 Feb, 2018

Who occupies the top five spots in terms of smartphone shipments can change from quarter to quarter and year to year.

Samsung end the year with 317.3 million total phone shipments - up 1.9% from the 311.4 million shipments in 2016. It has also been backed up by its display-making affiliate which is one of the largest suppliers of OLED panels in the market. Apple's release of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus in September also helped the company with its revenue.

Overall, global smartphone shipments decreased by 4.5 percent in the fourth quarter, the report said. The rest was contributed by its consumer electronics division which sells home appliances and other products.

Apple released its Q1 2018 earnings yesterday, and they tell a different story. Concessions were made when the company started to carry over the earlier year's model, while offering the smaller and less costly iPhone SE, but those struggles fall short of designing and developing a dedicated budget handset. It sold 77.3 million iPhones and 13.2 million iPads in this period. iPhones and iPads accounted for $67.8 billion of the $88.3 billion revenue this past quarter. IDC says, however, overall shipments declined 6.3% in the fourth quarter.

On the other hand, the latest research from Strategy Analytics reveals the global smartphone shipments declined by 9% to reach 400 million units in Q4 2017. The iPhone X obviously played a part in this stellar performance. Huawei shipped fewer than 200,000 units to the USA in the fourth quarter, in a market dominated by Apple and Samsung. Despite the failure of the Note 7 combined with the endless collective pressure from Chinese players along with Apple, Samsung has managed to remain on top through thick and thin.

Apple surpassed Samsung to take the top spot in units shipped in the final quarter of 2017.

Behind market leaders Apple and Samsung, Xiaomi continues its strong growth curve, which began in the second quarter of 2017.

As for Samsung, the South Korean giant has seen a drop of 4.4% with 74.1 million units in in the fourth quarter of 17, compared to the 77.5 million units from a year ago.

It's a recurring theme though, Apple shipping fewer handsets than Samsung but making more money.

The Tame Apple Press is doing its best to spin the figures as being proof that Apple is the number one phone maker having beaten Samsung. However, the Korean company had to spend more to market its devices. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news. Samsung attributed this to the success of the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 edge, which were in their first quarter of availability, and a streamlined mid to low-end lineup.

The iPhone X sales have remained weaker than expected, with initial reports suggesting that Apple has cut down the production to half for the first-quarter of the year. 2017 also marks a record year for Xiaomi as they had previously shipped 58 million units in 2016 and 70 million units in 2015.

Samsung's mobile division is by no means a loss-making enterprise. This is the first time Huawei smartphone shipments contracted on a year-over-year basis. It has a completely different way of running this side of the business than its American rival.