Apple pulls level with Samsung as world’s biggest smartphone maker in Q4

A stunning quarter from Apple and a disappointing one from Samsung has meant that the two are tied for the top spot in Q4.

Buoyed by the phenomenally successful iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple destroyed its previous record of iPhones sold during a quarter with 74.5 million units.

By the estimation of research company Strategy Analytics, that’s exactly the number of phones that Samsung sold in Q4.

While Apple’s results mark an increase of more than 23 million over the same period last year, however, Samsung’s represents a 12 million unit slip.

Despite their contrasting trajectories, it means that the two rivals share the top spot for Q4 as the world’s biggest smartphone vendors, with each representing 19.6 percent of the overall market.

Of course, despite diminished sales, Samsung still ‘won 2014’ by a considerable margin. Its 317.2 million units sold throughout the year have seen to that.

Apple is back in a distant second place for the year with 192.7 million handset sales. There’s another big gap to third-placed Lenovo (now boosted by Motorola’s figures, of course) on 92.7 million.

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Another Chinese manufacturer, Huawei, takes the fourth spot for 2014 with 74.1 million handset sales.

All in all, it’s a neat representation of how Samsung is being squeezed by Apple at the top end of the market and China’s biggest and best at the bottom.