Samsung has long been the dominate company in global smartphone sales, but it appears that Apple has finally caught up with the leader. According to the latest reports from Strategy Analytics for the fourth quarter of 2014, Samsung and Apple tied for the title of “world’s largest smartphone maker” in terms of global shipments. Both manufacturers shipped 74.5 million smartphones between October and December of last year.
This is a huge achievement for Apple, a company that has trailed behind Samsung year after year. In the fourth quarter of 2013, Samsung shipped 86 million smartphones compared to Apple’s 51 million. For the entire year of 2013, Samsung’s global shipments doubled those of Apple, reaching 320 million and 153 million, respectively.
Much of the boost in sales for Apple comes from the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. These new “phablets” put Apple in the same category of phones as Samsung’s oversized Galaxy and S line, which may be why Samsung saw a slight decline in global shipments this quarter.
Other noteworthy names in the study include Lenovo-Motorola and Huawei, both selling a little more than 24 million smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Global smartphone shipments as a whole rose 31% year over year, from 290 million to 380 million in the fourth quarter.