Apple was world's No. 1 smartphone vendor in Q4, report says

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Led by demand for the hugely popular iPhone 11, Apple's share of the global smartphone market topped all competitors in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to statistics released on Wednesday.

The latest estimates from Strategy Analytics put Apple's iPhone shipments at 70.7 million units during the three-month period ending in December, enough to take an 18.9% share of the global market. That figure is up 7% from 65.9 million units in the year ago quarter, when Apple sat in the No. 2 spot behind Samsung.

Whole year iPhone shipments are pegged at 197.4 million units for 2019.

"This was Apple's best growth performance since 2015," said Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics. "Apple's global smartphone marketshare has lifted from 18 percent to 19 percent in the past year. Apple is recovering, due to cheaper iPhone 11 pricing and healthier demand in Asia and North America."

Trailing close behind Apple was Samsung, which shipped 68.8 million smartphones for an 18.4% marketshare in the closing quarter of 2019. The Korean tech titan moved 69.3 million units for an 18.4% share of the market in 2018.

Huawei placed third for the quarter with 56 million shipments and a 15% marketshare, while Xiaomi came in fourth on 33 million units shipped for 8.8% of the market. Rounding out the top five was Oppo, which managed 30.5 million shipments and an 8.1% marketshare.

Overall, global smartphone shipments held steady in quarter four at 376 million units compared to 374.5 million units during the same period in 2018.

Apple's iPhone revenues returned to substantial growth in the important holiday quarter on the back of strong demand for the latest models released in September, especially the affordable iPhone 11. The performance, along with surging services and wearables segments, helped push the company to all-time record revenues of $91.8 billion, well above both Wall Street consensus and Apple's own guidance.

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