Worldwide sales of smartphones to end users had a record fourth quarter of 2014 with an increase of 29.9 percent from the same period in 2013 to reach 367.5 million units.
According to Gartner, Samsung lost the no.1 spot to Apple in the global smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2014, having been top spot since 2011.
In 2014, sales of smartphones to end users totalled 1.2 billion units, up 28.4 percent from 2013 and represented two-thirds of global mobile phone sales.
"Samsung's performance in the smartphone market deteriorated further in the fourth quarter of 2014, when it lost nearly 10 percentage points in market share," says Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst, Gartner.
"Samsung continues to struggle to control its falling smartphone share, which was at its highest in the third quarter of 2013.
“This downward trend shows that Samsung's share of profitable premium smartphone users has come under significant pressure.”
But despite Apple dominating the premium phone market, and Chinese vendors increasingly offering quality hardware at lower prices, Roberta Cozza, research director, Gartner believes all is not lost for the South Korean tech giant.
“It is through a solid ecosystem of apps, content and services unique to Samsung devices that Samsung can secure more loyalty and longer-term differentiation at the high end of the market,” she claims.
Apple on top
Apple reported its best quarter ever in the fourth quarter of 2014, which saw it sell 74.8 million units and move to the no.1 position in the global smartphone market.
Apple's first ever large-screen phones continued to see huge demand with sales in China and U.S., growing at 56 percent and 88 percent, respectively.