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Apple, Samsung now tied for the title of world's largest smartphone maker

The 74.5 million iPhones sold over the last three months of 2014 didn't just help Apple report the highest quarterly profit of any publicly-traded company in history, they also propelled the Cupertino giant into a first-place tie with Samsung as the largest smartphone maker in the world.




Samsung and Apple each took 20 percent of the smartphone market in the fourth quarter, according to new data from market research firm Strategy Analytics. That represents a 2 percent year-over-year bump for Apple and 10 percent year-over-year decline for Samsung.

Those figures are borne out by data from Samsung's fourth quarter earnings statement, as noted by Re/code. Though the company chose not to reveal exact sales numbers, they did say that nearly 80 percent of the 95 million Samsung handsets sold were smartphones, meaning they moved between 71 million and 75 million devices.

The slump has taken a massive bite out of Samsung's profits. Its cash-printing mobile division dropped 64 percent year-over-year, contributing to a 32 percent decline for the company as a whole over the same period.

In comparison, Apple reported record quarterly revenues of $74.6 billion on the way to $18 billion in profit, the largest quarterly profit ever reported by a publicly-traded company.

The shift has bitten component suppliers as well, given Apple's propensity for vertical integration. Qualcomm was forced to revised downward its projections for 2015 as demand for high-end smartphone processors slows in proportion to Apple's growth.