Smartphone shipments are forecast to have risen 11.6% last quarter to 337.2 million worldwide, with Apple Inc. outpacing Samsung Electronics Co. on a global scale, according to new data from industry tracker IDC. The latest estimate would mark an increase from 302.1 million in the same quarter last year. While the demand was tied to strong demand for Apple Inc. phones and flagship devices from Samsung Electronics, IDC said new entrants also helped fuel the improvement in emerging markets. Xiaomi, for example, increased shipments by nearly 30% from 2014 as it targeted customers in India and Southeast Asia. Samsung's volume declined year-over-year as it faced competition from Apple's larger-screen iPhone 6 Plus, but the company remained the leader in worldwide shipment volumes. Meanwhile, Apple recorded its best second quarter ever, according to IDC. Earlier this week, Apple reported fiscal third-quarter iPhone sales of 47.5 million.
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