Apple overtook Samsung in the fourth quarter as the largest smartphone producer in a declining global market for handsets, a research firm said Friday.
A survey by research firm IDC showed Apple — which reported its quarterly data Thursday — led all vendors with 77.3 million iPhones sold , giving it a 19.2 percent market share .
Even though Apple ’ s unit sales were down 1.3 percent from a year earlier , it was able to move ahead of South Korea ’ s Samsung, whose 74.1 million devices sold gave it a market share of 18.4 percent , IDC said .
Huawei held the number three position with a 10.2 percent market share , followed by fellow Chinese makers Xiaomi and Oppo, with 7.0 and 6.8 percent , respectively , according to IDC .
Overall smartphone sales were down 6.3 percent with 403.5 million handsets shipped , according to the survey.
IDC said the data showed consumers appeared in no rush to upgrade to the most expensive flagship smartphones from Apple and Samsung .
“The latest flock of posh flagships may have had consumers hitting the pause button in the holiday quarter,” said Anthony Scarsella , an IDC research manager .
Scarsella said these high – end devices “ proved to be more of a luxury than a necessity among upgraders. ”
IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani said that as the top brands expanded their offerings , “ brands outside the top five struggled to maintain momentum. ”
Samsung, which reported a 4.4 percent decline in the fourth quarter, remained the top smartphone vendor for the full year with a 21.6 percent market share , to Apple ’ s 14.7 percent , IDC said .
Overall smartphone sales for 2017 were virtually flat — down 0.1 percent at 1.47 billion units, the report said .
A separate survey from Strategy Analytics found similar market share for smartphone vendors but found a nine percent drop in fourth- quarter sales , described as the largest decline in the smartphone era .
“The shrinkage in global smartphone shipments was caused by a collapse in the huge China market , where demand fell 16 percent annually due to longer replacement rates , fewer operator subsidies and a general lack of wow models , ” said Linda Sui of Strategy Analytics.