Apple Inc. made significant strides catching up to Samsung Electronics by phone sales during the first quarter of this calendar year thanks to the success of the iPhone 6 and demand in China. The Cupertino-based company said it shipped 61.2 million phones, compared with 99 million for Samsung, according to Strategy Analytics. Last year, the gap was much wider, with Apple shipping 43 million to Samsung's 113 million. That expands Apple's market share to 14% from 11% a year ago, and lowers Samsung's share to 22%. Overall, shipments of mobile phones grew 8% year-over-year to 445 million units, with Microsoft Corp. rounding out the top three with 33.7 million units shipped, down from 47 million in 2014. Earlier this week, Apple reported stronger-than-expected fiscal second-quarter earnings. Its shares fell 0.3% in premarket trade.
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