Apple Beat Samsung In Fourth-quarter Smartphone Shipments, Says IDC

By Caitlin Huston Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Apple Inc. is back in the lead in the smartphone market, surpassing Samsung in terms of holiday shipments, according to data from the International Data Corporation released Wednesday. Propelled by the success of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Apple shipped 78.3 million units in the calendar fourth-quarter, up 4.7% from the year-earlier period. Samsung sold 77.5 million units in the fourth-quarter, down from 81.7 million units in the year-earlier period, and saw its worldwide marketshare dip below 20% for the first time in four years, according to the IDC. Samsung suffered from the recall of its Note 7 smartphone as well as pressure from other Chinese companies. Samsung still led Apple in marketshare for the full year of 2016. Apple and Samsung still commanded 18.3% and 18.1% market share respectively, but Huawei, a Chinese phone company, moved up to 10.6%. Oppo and Vivo also saw big percentage gains in shipment growth compared to the year-earlier period. "It is worth noting that despite the success of these brands within China, they will need to find growth beyond their home turf to eventually knock off either Samsung or Apple at the top," said Anthony Scarsella, a research manager with IDC. Shares of Apple were up 5.6% Wednesday, while the S&P 500 was down 0.07%.

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