Apple regains smartphone market lead from Samsung in Q4, Blackberry sinks to '0 percent' s...

Posted:
in iPhone edited February 16
It took eight quarters, but Apple has recovered its spot at the top of the worldwide smartphone market from Android device maker Samsung, according to the latest numbers from research firm Gartner.




Apple last month announced all-time record quarterly revenues of $78.4 billion on the back of 78.3 million iPhone sales for the three-month period ending in December. Handset sales were particularly strong and broke a record of 74.8 million units set in the year ago quarter.

Gartner puts iPhone end user sales at 77 million units a performance good enough to place Apple at the top of all vendors for the important fourth quarter. Overall, iPhone captured 17.9 percent of the global market, up 2.2 percent from the same time last year.

Samsung followed close behind with 76.8 million units sold and 17.8 percent of the market, down from a 20.7 percent share a year ago. Driving the second consecutive dip in quarterly sales was Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 battery fire fiasco, which resulted in a product recall and, ultimately, complete stoppage of sales.

"The withdrawal of the Galaxy Note 7 left a gap in its large-screen phone range," said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner.

Apple was not alone in capitalizing on Samsung's mistake, as Chinese smartphone vendors grew their respective slice of the global pie with low- and mid-tier hardware offerings. Huawei, Oppo and BBK Communication Equipment came in third, fourth and fifth place, respectively, and together captured 21.3 percent of the market.

Some 432 million smartphones were sold to end users in the fourth quarter of 2016, up 7 percent from 2015, Gartner said. For the year, smartphone sales totaled nearly 1.5 billion units, a year-over-year increase of 5 percent.

Gartner's analysis of operating system marketshare shows both Android and iOS making gains from the year prior. Google's OS was running on 81.7 percent of smartphones sold during the fourth quarter, up from 80.7 percent in 2015. Since iPhone is the only handset to run iOS, Apple's mobile OS accounted for 17.9 percent of the market during the same period.

Microsoft's Windows took a 0.3 percent share, while BlackBerry fell to "0.0 percent" with 208 thousand units sold. Once a bastion of enterprise smartphone revenue, BlackBerry has been largely decimated by Android and iOS.

In September, BlackBerry CEO John Chen announced the company was officially exiting the hardware business as it concentrates on software and services. Most recently, the Canadian firm opened a research center in Ottawa -- technically an extension of its QNX subsidiary -- to develop self-driving vehicle software.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    Congrats to go Apple!
    Keep the focus on making great products and the rest will take care of itself.

    Go Apple.
    magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 16
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 1,589moderator
    Gosh I hate talking overall unit market share.  It's so meaningless.

    Apple’s share of the overall smartphone market is meaningless. All of the usual benefits of larger market share accrue to Apple regardless; manufacturing economies of scale to keep costs low and provide high margins, most desired brand among all market participants, ecosystem lock-in to get development done on your platform first, and the lion’s share of the global profits. It gains these benefits from having majority share of the most important segment of the smartphone market - that being the premium smartphone market - regardless of its share of the overall market.

    watto_cobrapscooter63quadra 610lkrupp
  • Reply 3 of 16
    irelandireland Posts: 16,465member
    Anyone who brings a new Samsung smartphone into a house with a newborn considering all the news lately needs to give themselves a serious look in the mirror. There's Apple and any other number of makers to choose from over a company who refused to recall phones that were continually going up in flames. They cannot be trusted. I wouldn't mind but I can still recall my friend had his one-day-old Galaxy smartphone (I think 5) where the cover on the button port fell off, which I believe was one of the things that helped it be water resistant—one of the reasons he bought the phone; other reason is he saved €99 over an iPhone (he thinks like that). So it simply fell off by itself after one day of normal use and when he returned to the store was informed Samsung won't cover aesthetic issues (they used a different term). Says all you need to know about Samsung. They don't fix phones that break through no fault of the user after one day of use and they won't recall a phone that doubles as a bomb. In my view you buy a Samsung after this debacle and you get what you deserve. If we don't hold companies to account when they treat us like fools then we are fools.
    edited February 16 radarthekatquadra 610argonautSpamSandwichbig
  • Reply 4 of 16
    irelandireland Posts: 16,465member
    Gosh I hate talking overall unit market share.  It's so meaningless.

    Apple’s share of the overall smartphone market is meaningless. All of the usual benefits of larger market share accrue to Apple regardless; manufacturing economies of scale to keep costs low and provide high margins, most desired brand among all market participants, ecosystem lock-in to get development done on your platform first, and the lion’s share of the global profits. It gains these benefits from having majority share of the most important segment of the smartphone market - that being the premium smartphone market - regardless of its share of the overall market.
    I find both discussions of market share and that Apple makes all the profits to be dull as hell. I'd rather discuss apps, phone and product design, design in general, company focus and philosophy and areas where companies such as Apple appear to not get it at all: Cue.
    edited February 16 SpamSandwich
  • Reply 5 of 16
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,432member
    Congrats to go Apple!
    Keep the focus on making great products and the rest will take care of itself.

    Go Apple.
    Indeed. People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it... and Apple does it to make insanely great products. Thanks Steve.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action

    Congrats to all (including customers!)
    radarthekatwonkothesane
  • Reply 6 of 16
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 4,614member
    ireland said:
    Gosh I hate talking overall unit market share.  It's so meaningless.

    Apple’s share of the overall smartphone market is meaningless. All of the usual benefits of larger market share accrue to Apple regardless; manufacturing economies of scale to keep costs low and provide high margins, most desired brand among all market participants, ecosystem lock-in to get development done on your platform first, and the lion’s share of the global profits. It gains these benefits from having majority share of the most important segment of the smartphone market - that being the premium smartphone market - regardless of its share of the overall market.
    I find both discussions of market share and that Apple makes all the profits to be dull as hell. I'd rather discuss apps, phone and product design, design in general, company focus and philosophy and areas where companies such as Apple appear to not get it at all: Cue.
    Unfortunately, the cultural need for winners and losers is paramount in the Western world. We can’t have multiple winners. That just screws with our psyches. Someone has to fail and be shamed. There has to be drama in the horse race. Winning by 36 lengths like Secretariat did is unacceptable these days.
    jony0
  • Reply 7 of 16
    I see this report as Samsung scaling back it's bribes, er, marketing money, ya, marketing money, to Gartner. Samsung will put the kickbacks, er, brand incentives, no, advertising funds, yes, advertising funds, back in for the next report and will magically be the top dog again, wait do they eat dogs in Korea? Top Ramen? Yes, Samsung will be the top ramen once again.

    I don't trust these reports further than I can throw them with Apple being the only ones that actually tell you how many they sold.
    edited February 16 SpamSandwich
  • Reply 8 of 16
    Gartner is another entity known for fabricating stories out of whole cloth, so take it with a grain of salt.
  • Reply 9 of 16
    MacProMacPro Posts: 16,088member
    Selling zero eh? ... Well at least Blackberry are probably in a better position regarding profits now than many Android phone makers at least!  ;)
    jbdragon
  • Reply 10 of 16
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,193member
    MacPro said:
    Selling zero eh? ... Well at least Blackberry are probably in a better position regarding profits now than many Android phone makers at least!  ;)
    Why BlackBerry ever thought making Android phones would save them? A market flooded by Android phones from many company's where most make razer thin profits if flat out losing money. Most of the money made by Android is from Samesung phones. Apple is making around 95% of the Smartphone profits, with Samesung making most of the rest. Do the math. There's no money in making Android hardware. Which is why Google wins no matter what. It's the Services from Google and the Ad's from Google making Google money. Yet another dumb move on Blackberry's part. I would have liked BlackBerry and Microsoft to each take like 10% of the Android market. To bad!!!
  • Reply 11 of 16
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 4,614member
    I’m ready to forget about market share and who’s “dominating” who. As we all should know by now the standard rules of market share being the be-all, end-all of success don’t apply to the smartphone industry and a large swath of the computer industry. Not from a developer point of view, not from a profitability point of view, and certainly not from a quality and design point of view. The low end of the smartphone market may very well be a commodity market at this point but not the high end and it probably never will be. Apple lives in the high end market. The low end could sell billions of devices with almost no profit margin and it will not effect Apple. There will always be a high end market for quality goods and services. The fact that a $12,000.00 Kia can get you where you want to go doesn’t mean the $80,000.00 BMW 7 series will eventually fail. 
  • Reply 12 of 16
    I see this report as Samsung scaling back it's bribes, er, marketing money, ya, marketing money, to Gartner. Samsung will put the kickbacks, er, brand incentives, no, advertising funds, yes, advertising funds, back in for the next report and will magically be the top dog again, wait do they eat dogs in Korea? Top Ramen? Yes, Samsung will be the top ramen once again.

    I don't trust these reports further than I can throw them with Apple being the only ones that actually tell you how many they sold.
    Or it was due to Samsung's Note 7 recall. It isn't as if Gartner is the only one to report that Samsung is the #1 smartphone vendor. Everyone else does to and has for years. It is due to Samsung having products that hit all price points where Apple until recently offered nothing below $599 and even now offers nothing below $399. That allowed Samsung to rack up a bunch of sales in developing countries where only a tiny percentage of the population can afford an iPhone. That's why Apple tried to get India to allow them to sell refurbished smartphones to compete. Also, a lot of companies are chipping away at what used to be a huge lead for Samsung in the mid-tier and lower tier smartphone markets. Samsung used to dominate here, mostly by selling 2-3 year old devices that didn't sell in developed markets. But now, Chinese companies - first Xiaomi and now Huawei, Oppo and to a degree Lenovo - are selling newer, better devices in India and China. So basically were it not for the rise of Xiaomi, Oppo and Huawei, Samsung would still be #1 in sales. But I agree with the other poster with "Unfortunately, the cultural need for winners and losers is paramount in the Western world. We can’t have multiple winners." Right now, Apple, Samsung and Huawei are making sizable profits selling smartphones. Xiaomi, Oppo, Asustek, ZTE and others are making smaller profits. Only LG and HTC are really hurting, and of those only HTC is in any real trouble. Yet for everyone - particularly on the Apple side of the ledger - this state of affairs is not acceptable. It is only with smartphones where this "there can be only one" attitude exists. It doesn't exist anywhere else. Jeans? Levi's and Lees. Shoes? Nike and Reebok. Cars? Ford and GM. Sports? Yankees and Dodgers, or Cowboys and Steelers. Gaming? Nintendo, Microsoft (XBox) Sony (Playstation). Consumer electronics (by this I mean TVs, stereos) and appliances? Tons of companies to choose from, some of whom make smartphones too (Sony, LG, Samsung). Computing? Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo. Or by platforms, Apple and Windows. So why is it with only smartphones should there be only one viable company instead of - you know - choice, competition and innovation as well as a range of pricing options? It doesn't make sense.
  • Reply 13 of 16
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,324member
    It's a nice metric but it ultimately means nothing. 
  • Reply 14 of 16
    jbdragon said:
    MacPro said:
    Selling zero eh? ... Well at least Blackberry are probably in a better position regarding profits now than many Android phone makers at least!  ;)
    Why BlackBerry ever thought making Android phones would save them? A market flooded by Android phones from many company's where most make razer thin profits if flat out losing money. Most of the money made by Android is from Samesung phones. Apple is making around 95% of the Smartphone profits, with Samesung making most of the rest. Do the math. There's no money in making Android hardware. Which is why Google wins no matter what. It's the Services from Google and the Ad's from Google making Google money. Yet another dumb move on Blackberry's part. I would have liked BlackBerry and Microsoft to each take like 10% of the Android market. To bad!!!
    It isn't as if BlackBerry had any choice. Do their own OS? Already tried. Windows Phone? Tiny market share and no enterprise apps. "I would have liked BlackBerry and Microsoft to each take like 10% of the Android market. To bad!!!" So would have Blackberry and Microsoft. That didn't happen. So what was Blackberry going to do next? Android was their last shot, they took it and now they are moving to a new direction. Unless your notion is that they should not have even tried Android and should have just reinvented themselves without resorting to that last option like Nokia did. But why? Since there actually was a chance that it might have worked? Blackberry's Android venture didn't just fail because "no one makes money off Android." Acer makes money off selling a few million Android tablets a year. Asustek does the same by selling a couple million tablets and about 15 million phones a year. Several Chinese companies i.e. OnePlus make a profit selling between 10-30 million Android devices a year, as do several small companies based in India i.e. Micromax. Blackberry's problem was that they charged $600 for a phone whose internals (CPU, RAM) were sold for phones going for half that amount. Blackberry gambled that their name brand, services, security and enterprise contracts would be enough to get people to pay extra. They were wrong: nearly all enterprises had moved on to Apple (and yes Samsung) devices. Had Blackberry instead introduced a device that was more similar to the TCL device that they introduced this year - one where the price actually matched the internals, but offered the same security and services but for a cost that was drastically less than a Galaxy S7 - they may have had a shot. 

    Take a look at the "Nokia" phones that HMD Global is marketing in China ... they are selling faster than they can make them, and they are going to expand into other markets later this year. Had Nokia done what Blackberry did and adopted Android - but used a better strategy with their devices, marketing and pricing - they would still be around and eating into Samsung's market share. And perhaps still also selling a few Windows phones too, for those of you who still believe that there is a reason for Windows phones to exist. 
  • Reply 15 of 16
    Once a bastion of enterprise smartphone revenue, BlackBerry has been largely decimated by Android and iOS.
    "Decimated" doesn't mean what you think it does.
  • Reply 16 of 16
    freeper said:
    I see this report as Samsung scaling back it's bribes, er, marketing money, ya, marketing money, to Gartner. Samsung will put the kickbacks, er, brand incentives, no, advertising funds, yes, advertising funds, back in for the next report and will magically be the top dog again, wait do they eat dogs in Korea? Top Ramen? Yes, Samsung will be the top ramen once again.

    I don't trust these reports further than I can throw them with Apple being the only ones that actually tell you how many they sold.
    Or it was due to Samsung's Note 7 recall. 
    I don't buy that for a second. Recalling a few hundred thousand phones isn't going to change much - look at how many BBRY sold... that's about as many as Samsung sold of the Note 7.
    This IS related to the Note 7 recall, but not how you are thinking - Samsung lost TONS of money on the recall of the fire-breathers (and probably most of their high-end profit), so they didn't make the necessary "marketing" payments (gotta keep the numbers up to look like it's not as bad as it is) to keep their "good" name alive in the press. So the numbers mafia gave them a little look at what could happen to their nice business if they missed the next payment. "You gotta nice place here. It would be a shame if something were to happen to it."
    Watch Samsung miraculously get some of those "Other" smartphone sales next time this report comes out. Maybe Apple will even lose .01% or something...
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