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Racing ahead: Samsung extends lead over Apple in record breaking quarter

86 million handsets shipped in Q4 2013
Racing ahead: Samsung extends lead over Apple in record breaking quarter

Samsung has extended its lead at the top of the smartphone tree, shipping a record 86 million handsets across the globe during the last quarter.

That's according to the latest report from market research firm Strategy Analytics, which claims said figure represents a significant jump from the 63 million the Korean giant shipped during the same period in 2012.

In short, the gap between Samsung and Apple is growing, not narrowing.

Biting the Apple

Indeed, while Apple enjoyed growth of its own quarterly iPhone sales up more than 6 percent year on year to 51 million said expansion didn't halt the decline in the Cupertino firm's market share, which fell by 4.4 percentage points to 17.6 percent.

The report estimates that Samsung shipped 319 million smartphones throughout 2013, equal to 32.3 percent of all shipments in 2013. In comparison, Apple shipped 153.4 million handsets, accounting for 15.5 percent.

Strategy Analytics executive director, Neil Mawston, suggested Samsung's growth is the result of its focus on delivering a strong range of handsets.

"Despite tough competition from a long tail of Chinese and American brands, Samsung continued to deliver numerous hit models, such as the Galaxy S4 and Note 3," explained Mawston.

"Apple grew a sluggish 13 percent annually and shipped 153.4 million smartphones worldwide for 15 percent marketshare in 2013, dipping from the 19 percent level recorded in 2012.

"Apple remains strong in the high-end smartphone segment, but a lack of presence in the low-end category is costing it lost volumes in fast-growing emerging markets such as India."

Smaller players such as LG, Lenovo, and Huawei also enjoyed a productive Q4, with all four expanding their respective share of smartphone shipments. Combined, the companies now boast a 14 percent hand in the global market.

Collectively, worldwide smartphone shipments rose to to 990 million in 2013, a dramatic increase on the 700.1 million shipped in 2012.

[source: Strategy Analytics]