Samsung maintains lead on worldwide smartphone shipments

IDC stats reveal Apple didn't manage to catch up, despite great demand for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

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Samsung led worldwide smartphone shipments in the first quarter of 2015, thanks to great demand for lower-cost smartphones, according to the latest figures from analyst firm IDC. 

The firm's Galaxy S6 and S6 edge shipped late in Q1 2015, meaning the Korean manufacturer was able to push ahead at the end of the quarter. The iPhone shipped in Q4 2014, meaning sales had slowed considerably by the first quarter.

iPhone 6 shipments shouldn't be underestimated though. iPhone sales grew 40 per cent year-on-year and researchers at IDC noted a remarkable 63 per cent growth in emerging markets, despite the device's comparable high cost.

Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC's mobile phone team, explained that despite soaring demand for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung managed to edge ahead. "Samsung's shipments, given that the S6 was not launched into the market for the full quarter, were driven by large volumes into emerging markets and steady demand for its midrange and lower-priced smartphones," he said.

Melissa Chau, senior research manager with IDC's mobile device tracker team, added: "Through the rest of this year, we expect all vendors to be squeezed on falling ASPs, while at the high end it will be a battle between the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge from Samsung versus continued demand for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus."

Other notable insights from the study include Lenovo's stabilisation as third in the mobile shipment charts thanks to its acquisition of Motorola. Huawei also managed to sustain its position at number four, with its mid-range and high-end models accounting for a third of its shipments.

LG returned to number five with successes in the US for its L and F series devices.

Overall sales were up year-on-year in the quarter, but were down compared to Q4 2014. In total, 336.5 million smartphones were shipped worldwide in the first quarter of 2015, up 16.7 per cent from the 288.5 million units in Q1 2014. In Q4 2014, 377.5 million units were shipped.

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