How Apple Overtook Samsung to Become 2017’s World’s No.1 Smartphone Vendor


The competition raging on in the smartphone market is fierce. To the top smartphone companies like Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and others it’s almost looking like the Vietnam war where Americans couldn’t win the war against North Vietnamese soldiers despite being more equipped and better trained than the Vietcong army.

The event above took place long ago and we are not going to discuss physical battles fought with guns, tanks, and bombs but the struggle for the abundant revenue flowing in and out of the smartphone market which smartphone vendors are fighting each other using the innovative mobile phone technologies they push into the market on every product release so as to capture their customer’s heart and pocket.

2017 was a tough one. So many tables were turned and this is that time of the year when companies count their profits and losses from the previous year’s final quarter; draws up new plans and strategies to topple results this year and make more money from these booming smartphone industry.

According to IDC, the company that’s into analyzing smartphone brands, there sales and shipments quarter after quarter within the year, comparing results with their competitors and releasing it for the whole world to see. The result IDC showed up with after analyzing last year’s fourth quarter results showed that Apple overtook Samsung to become world’s No.1 smartphone vendor in the whole world.

In this post, we are going to discuss the results presented by IDC and lay bare how and why it was possible for Apple to outrun Samsung.

Apple smiled slowly to the bank after last year’s fourth quarter after netting a whopping sum of $88 billion in revenue – revenue that was driving in mostly by the sale of 77.3 million iPhones it sold during the three-month period that marked the fourth quarter of 2017.

The recent result was abysmal compared to 2016’s fourth quarter result. Apple sold 78.3 million iPhones. Thus, Apple ended up 1.3% lesser in 2017 than they did in 2016.

Nevertheless, the decline was massive enough to propel the company’s nominal gains in market-share which was up to 19.2 percent further ahead other rivals like Samsung, Huawei, and others to grab the top spot and become the number one smartphone vendor in 2017.

According to IDC, The worldwide smartphone market met an overall decline of 6.3 percent during the fourth quarter of 2017. It dropped from 430.7 million units shipped in Q4, 2016, down to the 403.5 million units shipped in Q4, 2017, IDC’s proprietary, Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker reads in deeper into the results.

While the decline was affecting all the smartphone companies, Apple managed to gain of about 1 percent market share (relative to its share in Q4, 2016) which was significant enough to push it forward and ahead of South Korean giant, Samsung — even when Samsung had maintained its overall position as the world’s No. 1 vendor, by volume, throughout 2017.

On Samsung’s side, the South Korean company was following closely behind Apple on the second position. Samsung shipped 74.1 million smartphones during Q4 2017, which was a 4.4 percent decline to the 77.5 million it shipped during Q4, 2016.

Next on the table was Huawei, the Chinese smartphone company retained its position as No. 3 during Q4, 2017 — though market share dropped down 0.3 points to its Q4, 2016 market-share.

Following Huawei at the position 4 and 5 are Chinese top smartphone makers; Xiaomi and Oppo, whose market shares during Q4, 2017 were 7 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively.

All other smartphone vendors, collectively and when summed up accounted for the remaining 38.6 percent of market share — or the remaining 151.3 million of the 403.5 million smartphones sold during Q4, 2017.
The decline in the smartphone market during the 4th quarter, 2017 has been confirmed to be an increasing overall lack of interest in people to upgrade to a new, greater and most powerful device. Especially among people staying in Technology hungry countries like the US and China.

Final bullets:
Apple was able to outrun Samsung in 2017 to grab the title as the world’s number one smartphone vendor. The tables holding the smartphone market are so dynamic and can turn around anytime. Let’s fold our hands and see what the first quarter of 2018 has in stock while the two companies prepare to unveil their latest, more powerful 2018 flagships.