updated 09:43 pm EDT, Tue July 15, 2014
Samsung takes second, third and fourth place, while iPhone 5c and 4S round out top six
Though it will not come as surprising news to industry watchers, a new report compiling sales channel data from 35 countries puts Apple, Samsung and China-based Xiaomi as the only three companies really selling smartphones. What may be surprising to some, however, is just how well the iPhone line is doing overall; in addition to the iPhone 5s being the clear winner as the top-selling model, the much-maligned iPhone 5c took fifth place, followed by the two-and-a-half-year-old iPhone 4S in sixth place.
The three companies took up the entire top 10, with Samsung capturing second, third and fourth place with its Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4 and Note 3 phablet (respectively). All is not rosy for the Android phone manufacturer, however: the rise of Xiamoi threatens to limit the Korean Samsung's penetration into China, as well as attack the Galaxy maker on its strongest sales area: super-cheap "smartphones" that run Android but don't offer the full feature set of a premium phone. Xiaomi took seventh and ninth place, beating the Galaxy S4 mini and the Galaxy Grand 2 worldwide despite Xiaomi primarily selling only in China, Singapore, and Malaysia.
For the eight-month-old iPhone 5s -- soon to be superceded this fall -- to still be the best-selling smartphone in the world even after much newer flagship devices such as the Galaxy S5 have been introduced is remarkable, but even more noteworthy is the fact that the iPhone 5c and iPhone 4S continue to be a leading seller over nearly any other Android or Windows Phone model apart from the top three Samsung devices. Rumors had put the iPhone 4S as contributing as much as 25 percent of the overall iPhone sales in the previous quarter thanks to its popularity as a budget entry-level iPhone in developing markets, and this result would seem to bear that out.
The compiler of the study, Counterpoint Technology Market Research, noted -- without giving exact figures -- that while many in the industry expected the Samsung Galaxy S5 to take over the top spot, it is "still a quite distant number two in terms of (sell through) unit sales," to the iPhone 5s, reports The Loop. Business Insider observed that Samsung in particular has a lot to fear from Xiaomi's rapid growth, since it makes smartphones that are on par with Samsung's offerings but at around half the price, and the company is planning expansions into Indonesia, India and Brazil - all Samsung strongholds. Samsung could be forced to compete with Xiaomi, cutting its already-thin margins even further and handing yet more of the industry's profits to Apple.