Coming in at the top, the iPhone is the world’s top-selling smartphone for the first time in three years. The smartphone market becomes increasingly competitive every year, and with that Apple, Lenovo, Samsung, Huawei and LG Electronics have shuffled in ranks for selling the most phones worldwide.
The last time Apple held the top slot was at the end of 2011. Samsung beat out Apple for the entirety of last year. However, this year Apple took over the market, dominating 20.4 percent of the global smartphone market. That equates to 74.8 million iPhones sold in the fourth quarter of 2014. Samsung slid short at 19.9 percent.
The numbers show an increase in the number of smartphone users worldwide. Although mobile adoption is slowing, new users in developing regions of Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa will drive further increases in smartphone sales. According to eMarketer, the global smartphone audience surpassed one billion in 2012 and will total 1.75 billion in 2014. The increase in smartphone use in the last decade can be pinned to the devices decreasing in price and 3G and 4G mobile networks becoming more advanced.
With the competition of mobile providers increasing, the biggest target is now Apple. Several companies are adjusting their cellphone strategies in order to deal with the competition. Samsung has come out with phones of similar specs to the iPhone, with all-glass unibody designs, high resolution screens and fingerprint technology. Microsoft has opted for a different route, creating more affordable high-end technology.
“That’s a space where, interestingly, Microsoft has a massive opportunity,” Ben Wood, mobile and wireless analyst from CCS Insight said to The News York Times. He said that chief information officers say they for the price of one iPhone, a consumer can buy three or four mid- or low-tier Windows phones.
Blackberry has also made its mark in the competition, coming out with Blackberry Leap last year. In addition to devices, Blackberry is also trying to become a services and software company, releasing many applications and service to the Android, Windows and iOS market.
With technology advancing so quickly, Apple seems to be secure in their lead. “The iPhone is capturing the most attractive and profitable customers, leaving the majority of share — but not money — to others,” analyst Jan Dawson said to the The New York Times.
New phones come out every year, and time will tell whether Apple’s share of the market will remain at its current state, or whether a competitor will surpass them.