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Apple Once Again Sits Atop The Smartphone World, Beating Samsung In Q4

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has re-taken its throne as the world’s #1 smartphone maker, according to just-released fourth quarter shipment data.

Leading research firm Strategy Analytics found that Apple rose to a small lead in Q4 over chief rival Samsung:

“Apple shipped 78.3 million smartphones worldwide and captured 18 percent marketshare in Q4 2016, rising a steady 5 percent annually from 74.8 million units in Q4 2015. This was the iPhone’s best performance for over a year, as Apple capitalized on Samsung’s recent missteps.

Speaking of Samsung, whose recent battery debacle that led to the cancellation of its key Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, slipped to its worst annual market share in five years:

Samsung shipped 77.5 million smartphones worldwide in Q4 2016, dipping 5 percent annually from 81.3 million units in Q4 2015. Samsung lost momentum in the quarter as a result of its Note 7 battery fiasco. Samsung captured 18 percent share for the quarter and 21 percent share for the full year, its lowest level since 2011. Samsung will be banking on the rumored Galaxy S8 model in a few weeks’ time to reignite growth and return to the top spot in quarterly smartphone shipments. On an annualized basis, Samsung maintained first position with 309 million units shipped worldwide in 2016.”

Chinese smartphone makers Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo rounded out the top five smartphone makers, as you can see in the graphic below:


This bullish news for Apple follows yesterday’s solid earnings report that saw the company return to year-over-year revenue growth for the first time in almost a year. The iPhone appears to be gaining some momentum here, heading into this fall’s rumored iPhone 8 release, which will mark the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone.

Analysts believe Apple has some huge technological advances planned for its newest phone, including a flexible display, faster internals, and perhaps even an augmented reality (AR) component.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) rose $4.65 (+3.83%) in premarket trading Wednesday. Year-to-date, AAPL has gained 4.77%, versus a 1.79% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

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