Gartner: Apple won the smartphone race in 4Q14

Gartner: Apple won the smartphone race in 4Q14At the end of January I penned Apple vs. Samsung in 4Q14: too close to call, with the iPhone seemingly shipping round about the same number as Samsung’s combined Galaxy army.

Now Gartner is chiming in with its own figures, suggesting that Apple did indeed take the top spot in global smartphone manufacturers for the final quarter of 2014.

Specifically, Gartner puts Apple top of the table with 74.8 million units and 20.4% market share, a decent year-on-year increase from 50.2 million and 17.8%.

Samsung, meanwhile, is in second place, with 73 million units and 19.9% market share, down a fair bit from 83.3 million units and 29.5% in the same period in 2013.

For what it’s worth, Gartner talks about “smartphone sales to end users”, while the other guys – IDC, Counterpoint Research and Strategy Analytics – talk in terms of shipments.

You might recall IDC reported a “near tie”, with Samsung still on top; Counterpoint had Apple ahead by a few hundred thousand units; and Strategy Analytics declared a dead heat with 74.5 million each.

In any case, I think we can all agree it was pretty freakin’ close, thanks to global acclaim – from China, South Korea, Japan, the US, the UK, pretty much anywhere you care to mention – for the larger iPhone 6.

It’ll certainly be interesting to see how things change with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge release date set for April 10. Apple, meanwhile, is expected to roll out a modest update in the form of the iPhone 6S, most likely in autumn.

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