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Apple gains ground on Samsung in smartphone market

Samsung’s smartphone market share slipped slightly in Q1 2018, allowing Apple to gain a little ground on its arch-rival.

The South Korean firm flogged 78,564,800 smartphones in the first quarter of this year, down from 78,776,200 in 2017, says Gartner (via ZDNet). That gave it a Q1 2018 market share of 20.5%, down from 20.8%.

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Apple’s sales, meanwhile, increased year-on-year, rising from 51,992,500 in Q1 2017 to 54,058,900 in Q1 2018. As a result, its market share has grown from 13.7% to 14.1%.

Huawei (10.5%), Xiaomi (7.4%) and Oppo (7.3%) came in behind the big two, with 40.1% of market shared between other smartphones players, such as LG, Sony and Motorola.

Overall smartphone sales were also up in Q1 2018, rising from 378.5 million in Q1 2017 to 383.5 million in Q1 2018. That’s a relief for the entire industry, with sales having fallen for the first time in Q4 2017.

But it’s not all good news, with Gartner warning that smartphone manufacturers need to focus on doing more to convince consumers to upgrade.

“Demand for premium and high-end smartphones continued to suffer due to marginal incremental benefits during upgrades,” said Anshul Gupta, Gartner’s research director. “Demand for entry-level smartphones and low mid-tier smartphones improved thanks to better-quality models.”

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Gupta added: “Even though demand for Apple’s iPhone X exceeded that of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, the vendor struggled to drive significant smartphone replacement, which led to slower-than-expected growth in the first quarter of 2018.

“With its exclusive focus on premium smartphones, Apple needs to significantly raise the overall experience of its next-generation iPhones to trigger replacements and lead to solid growth in the near future.”

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