Apple aces smartphone sales again with iPhone 7 bumper numbers

Apple sold as many as 78.29 million smartphones in the last quarter of 2016, its highest in five years and leapfrogging Samsung in the process.

Sales of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus between October and December turned Apple into the world's top smartphone seller in the period.

In the quarter ending December 31, Apple sold 4 million more iPhones compared to the same period in 2015. This time, the company was not only armed with the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus handsets, but also the mid-range iPhone SE which it didn't in 2015. Thanks to such impressive sales, Apple recorded a quarterly profit of nearly $18 billion which sent its share price soaring in Wall Street.

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In the same period, Samsung sold 77.42 million smartphones but its figures could have been a lot better if the Galaxy Note 7 issues didn't spoil its pitch. Back in January, it seemed that Samsung wasn't too affected by the loss of the Note 7 as the company predicted a quarterly profit of around 9.2 trillion won in Q4, more than it recorded in any quarter in the previous three years.

According to Gartner, Samsung's revival took place through encouraging sales of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge phones as well as due to success of its components division. Going by available numbers, sales of Apple's iPhones in the last quarter were too much for Samsung's large inventory of smartphones to challenge.

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Chinese smartphone major Huawei has also been steadily gaining ground worldwide. Huawei now boasts market share in excess of 15% in 30 countries and in excess of 20% in 20 countries which is a significant achievement for any phone maker in an industry dominated by Samsung and Apple over the last ten years. Sales of the flagship P9 and P9 Plus have together crossed 10 million units so far, a figure even the most optimistic analysts wouldn't have imagined a few months ago.

Apple believes that its sales figures in the present quarter may not be as encouraging as in the last quarter. This is not only because the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus aren't brand new anymore, but also because Apple believes a strong US Dollar value may affect margins and product sales overseas. A number of new flagship phones will launch at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona later this month, followed by Samsung's Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus in March which could hit Apple's sales further.

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Apple will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone later this year by launching the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus handsets. The two handsets are expected to feature bezel-free screens, OLED display, wireless charging, impressive battery life and industry-leading processing power.

Source: Reuters

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