Strong sales of the large-screen iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are helping Apple Inc. move close to rival Samsung Electronics Co. as the world’s top seller of smartphones, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Samsung overtook Apple as the biggest smartphone maker in the third quarter of 2011, and has since then maintained its lead in shipments. But of late, the Korean firm has been losing ground amid lackluster sales of its flagship models and the rise of homegrown brands in markets such as China, the report noted.
In the third quarter last year, Samsung shipped about 78 million smartphones. That gave it about 25 percent share of the global market, down from 34 percent a year earlier, the paper said, citing research firm Canalys.
Meanwhile, Apple, which launched its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in September, is estimated to have sold sold 66.5 million smartphones in the quarter ended Dec. 27, up 30 percent from a year earlier. Some analysts believe the sales could have even topped 70 million units, the report said.
“It’s going to be closer than it’s ever been since Samsung took the lead,” Chris Jones, principal analyst at Canalys, was quoted as saying.
Apple is expected to reveal its iPhone sales Tuesday along with quarterly financial results.
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