Samsung tops global market, but Apple regained top spot in US

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Samsung remains ahead of Apple as the world’s top smartphone maker, but is facing fiercer competition with the US tech giant surpassing it in sales in the US market in the latest quarter, reports showed Wednesday.

Despite Samsung remaining the top dog in the global smartphone market in Q3 2017, research company Strategy Analytics suggests that Apple has once again regained the top spot position for the US.

According to market researcher Strategy Analytics, Samsung maintained the first position with 21 percent of the global smartphone market share in the third quarter of this year, while Apple held steady at 12 percent share.

“Samsung shipped 83.4 million smartphones worldwide in (the third quarter of) 2017, rising an impressive 11 percent annually from 75.3 million in Q3 2016,” said Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics in a report. “This was Samsung’s fastest growth rate for almost four years. Samsung’s growth is being driven by strong demand for its A, J and S series models across Latin America, India and elsewhere.”

“Despite a delayed launch of the flagship iPhone X model, the new iPhone 8 portfolio was relatively well received in major countries such as Germany and China,” Mawston said.

Samsung shipped an estimated 9.9 million phones in the US for Q3 2017 compared to Apple’s 12 million iPhones. This resulted in a 30.4 percent market share for Apple versus 25.1 percent market share for Samsung, thus ending Samsung’s reported two-quarter run as the top smartphone vendor in the US. Though Apple will almost certainly lead Q4 2017 also, competition between the two companies is fiercer, and more complicated, than ever.

Apple just launched its tenth anniversary iPhone, the iPhone X, which is probably going to become one of the biggest selling smartphones ever, while Samsung stands to earn potentially billions of dollars from the phone thanks to its partnership with Apple as a components supplier.

Despite lower-than-expected sales of the latest iPhone 8 and delayed purchases in anticipation of iPhone X, Apple kept the top spot in its home turf.

“Since it is the home ground for Apple, the release of iPhone 8 was influential to the market share,” said a Samsung official. “However, it is encouraging to see Samsung’s share slightly grew from a year earlier.”

“Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S8 performed relatively well in the high-tier, while its A5 model and others are popular in the mid-tier,” the researcher said.

Samsung may now struggle to climb back to the top US smartphone vendor spot until after the release of its Galaxy S9 next year.

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