Apple's Q1 iPhone numbers knock Samsung out of first place in global marketshare

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Apple's record iPhone sales during the December quarter allowed it edge ahead of Samsung and once again become the world's top smartphone vendor, though not for whole of 2016, according to new research data.

Apple's 78.3 million iPhones gave it a 17.8 percent share in the quarter, Strategy Analytics said, barely putting it ahead of Samsung's 17.7 percent driven by 77.5 million units. China's Huawei was a distant third, claiming 44.9 million units and a 10.2 percent share.

Samsung did best in 2016 overall, shipping 309.4 million phones versus Apple's 215.4 million.

But Apple "capitalized on Samsung's recent missteps," Strategy Analytics said, referring to the recall and death of the Galaxy Note 7.

The device was rushed to market in August, and subsequently plagued by dozens of accounts of battery fires, which Samsung later linked to two separate defects. The debacle will ultimately cost Samsung over $5 billion.

The Note line is normally popular with high-end smartphone shoppers, meaning that the Note 7 was likely the decisive factor preventing Samsung from holding onto Q1 marketshare.

High iPhone 7 sales helped push Apple's Q1 revenues to a record $78.4 billion, with net profits of $17.9 billion. Mac sales were up 1 percent, but iPad sales fell 19 percent, continuing a broader decline.