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Shipping - Apple Closes the Gap on Samsung

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Worldwide Smartphone Shipments Top 1.3 Billion for 2014

Strong end-user demand and an ever growing release of models have propelled smartphone volumes to new record levels this quarter and for the year. According to preliminary data from the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, smartphone vendors shipped a total of 375.2 million units during the fourth quarter of 2014 (Q4 2014), resulting in 28.2% growth when compared to the 292.7 million units shipped in Q4 2013 and 11.9% sequential growth above the 335.3 million units shipped in Q3 2014. For the full year, the worldwide smartphone market saw a total of 1,301.1 million units shipped, up 27.6% from the 1,019.4 million units shipped in 2013.

Having spent 11 quarters prior to Q4 2014 as the number two smartphone vendor in terms of shipments, Apple managed to close the gap to a near tie with Samsung in Q4 2014. Given this information, we should ask why Apple has made the biggest Profit in the world on these sales. The recently reported record sales profit    showed that possibly Apple and Samsung have a different business model, otherwise Samsung would be holding the crown of largest corporate profit in the world. Apple holds that crown, with sales led by the success of its newer, larger iPhone 6/6+ models, Apple reduced the volume gap to just 600,000 units in the fourth quarter. Despite being far more profitable for quite some time, Apple's shipment volumes trailed Samsung's by more than 33 million units during the same quarter a year ago. Continued success from Apple, coupled with the ongoing challenges facing Samsung, could enable Apple to overtake Samsung during the 2015 calendar year. Samsung's challenges have not only come from Apple, but also from the increasing number of low-cost Android OEMs that are putting out products at much lower margins. In order for Samsung to regain its share at the top, it will either have to accept lower margins from here forward or revamp its high-end strategy to compete with Apple.