Samsung has lost market share to Apple as worldwide sales of smartphones to end users grew 20.3 percent to reach 301 million units during the third quarter of 2014.
According to latest Gartner findings, Cupertino closed the gap on its South Korean rivals, during a period which also saw mobile phones to end users remain flat.
“Sales of feature phones declined 25 percent in the third quarter of 2014 because the difference in price between feature phones and low-cost Android smartphones is reducing further,” says Roberta Cozza, research director, Gartner.
During the quarter, smartphones accounted for 66 percent of the total mobile phone market, and Gartner estimates that by 2018, nine out of 10 phones will be smartphones.
“Over the holidays we expect record sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but we should not underestimate the Chinese vendors and local brands,” adds Annette Zimmermann, research director, Gartner.
“Chinese players will continue to look at expanding in overseas emerging markets.
“In Europe prepaid country markets and attractive lost-cost LTE phones will also offer key opportunities for these brands.”
As a result, Gartner expects sales of smartphones to reach 1.2 billion units in 2014.