Samsung and Apple smartphones Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images

Samsung Stretches Lead over Apple in Smartphone Market

Samsung is up, Apple is down — at least in terms of smartphones sold last quarter — and the South Korean tech giant now has an almost 2-to-1 market share lead.

Samsung extended its lead in the global smartphone market over Apple in the second quarter, gaining from the launch of its updated flagship handsets, surveys showed Thursday.

The South Korean giant delivered 77 million smartphones in the quarter, up 5.5% from a year ago, for a market share of 22.4%, research firm IDC said. That compared with a 15% drop in sales for Apple's iPhones, which accounted for 11.8%, IDC said.

Samsung got a lift from the March launch of its Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge flagship models, with an upgraded processor, waterproofing and other features, IDC noted. Apple, despite the launch of its more affordable iPhone SE, failed to keep pace and reported weaker sales compared to a year ago.

A separate survey by Strategy Analytics had a similar estimate, with Samsung at 22.8% to 11.9% for Apple.

Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, said he sees Samsung making further gains this year.

"With a new Galaxy Note 7 flagship model rumored to be on the way, Samsung will be able to strengthen its smartphone leadership into the second half of the year," Mawston said. "Apple continues to face iPhone fatigue among consumers and the new iPhone SE model has not been able to stem that trend."

IDC's Ryan Reith said the saturation of many markets has forced makers to rethink their strategy. "Apple is beginning to put more emphasis on 'device as a service' to try to prevent lengthening replacement cycles," he said. "This is a growing theme we have heard more about from PCs to smartphones. Additionally, the overall China market slowdown continues to ramp up competition in other high growth markets like India, Indonesia, and Middle East."

Both surveys showed China's Huawei the No. 3 vendor with a 9.4% market share.

Other Chinese vendors were in the top five. According to IDC, Oppo and Vivo were fourth and fifth with 6.6% and 4.8% respectively. The Strategy Analytics report showed Oppo with 5.3% and Xiaomi fifth with 4.3%.

IDC said overall smartphone sales rose 0.3% to 343.3 million units, while the second survey showed a 1% rise to 340 million.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2016

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