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Apple just overtook Samsung to become the world’s top smartphone maker

March 3, 2015, 7:55 PM UTC
Apple Unveils iPhone 6
CUPERTINO, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: A member of the media inspects the new iPhone 6 during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts on September 9, 2014 in Cupertino, California. Apple unveiled the Apple Watch wearable tech and two new iPhones, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Photograph by Justin Sullivan — Getty Images

Apple (AAPL) sold the most number of smartphones globally in the fourth quarter, overtaking Samsung Electronics for the first time since 2011, according to research firm Gartner.

Apple sold 74,832 smartphones to end users worldwide, ahead of the 73,032 phones sold by Samsung, according to Gartner’s report.

The success of big-screen iPhone 6 and 6 Plus drove Apple’s sales in its first quarter ended Dec. 27. The company reported a profit of $18 billion for the period, the biggest ever reported by a public company, according to S&P analyst Howard Silverblatt.

Apple’s smartphones sales jumped about 49% in the fourth quarter, according to Gartner. In contrast, Samsung, the market dominator since 2011, recorded a nearly 12% fall.

In January, the company posted its fifth consecutive quarter of earnings decline in the mobile division.

“Samsung continues to struggle to control its falling smartphone share, which was at its highest in the third quarter of 2013,” said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner.
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Besides losing market share to the costlier iPhones, the Korean company has been battling low-cost Chinese vendors such as Xiaomi and Huawei.

Samsung unveiled its new range of slim-bodied Galaxy S smartphones on Monday, made from aircraft-grade metal.