iPhone 7 Shipments Propelled Apple to Top Smartphone Vendor in the World Spot in Q4 2016

Move over, Samsung


While 2016 may not go on record as one of Apple’s best performing years when it comes to sales of its iPhones, its latest devices, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus did their fair share of restoring confidence in the brand with the Cupertino-based company managing to ship more smartphones than any of its rivals in the last quarter.

According to Strategy Analytics, Apple shipped 78.3 million units of the iPhone in Q4 2016. This was a marked improvement of the 74.5 million units shipped over a similar timeline a year before.

This development came at the expense of longtime leader Samsung whose weakened status thanks to halting shipments of its then latest smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7, saw it surrender the top spot to Apple. Samsung shipped 77.5 million smartphones in the last quarter of 2016, a 5% drop from the 81.3 million units it had managed to ship in Q4 2015.

However, Samsung was still the global leader when smartphone shipments for the entire year were determined. The Korean electronics giant shipped a total of 309 million units in 2016, way ahead of Apple’s 215 million units of the iPhone.

Chinese device maker Huawei which managed to temporarily take over the Android device makers top spot from Samsung when the latter was engulfed in the Galaxy Note 7 scandal has successfully managed to stay in the top 3 with smartphone shipments of 45 million units in Q4 2016 and 139 million in the entire year.

However, it was another Chinese device, Oppo, whose fortunes drastically changed in 2016. The company saw a 99% year over year increase in smartphone shipments a factor which cemented its status in the smartphone big leagues where it ranks fourth just after compatriot Huawei which rounds up the industry’s big 3.

In all, 1.49 billion smartphones were shipped in 2016, a 3% increase over the 1.44 billion units shipped in 2015.

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Emmanuel writes on mobile hardware, software and platforms.