Strategy Analytics today said Apple overtook Microsoft (Nokia) to become the second largest phone vendor in the world — behind Samsung — in Q4 2014.
Global mobile phone shipments grew 7 percent to 515 million units in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Smartphones accounted for 7 in 10 of total mobile phone shipments during the quarter. 3G and 4G models across Asia, Africa and the Americas were the growth drivers.
Apple increased global mobile phone market share to 14.5 percent in Q4 2014 — due to strength in the U.S. and China — from 10.6 percent in Q3 2014. Apple shipments grew 46 percent annually and shipped 74.5 million mobile phones in the fourth quarter. The growth driver for Apple was its new iPhone 6 portfolio with larger screens.
Samsung share in the worldwide phone market dipped to 18.4 percent from 24.5 percent.
Samsung dipped 19 percent annually and shipped 95 million mobile phones worldwide, capturing 18 percent market share in Q4 2014.
Samsung is facing competition from Apple, Huawei and others in the fast-growing, big-screen phablet segment across China, United States and Europe.
The phone market share of Microsoft, which acquired Nokia, dipped to 9.7 percent from 13.5 percent, said Strategy Analytics.
Lenovo-Motorola is in the fourth position with 4.8 percent share.
Microsoft shipped 50.2 million mobile phones in Q4 2014, down 23 percent from 64.8 million a year earlier.
Microsoft is experiencing decent growth in smartphones, but its core feature phone lineup continues to struggle.
Lenovo-Motorola captured 5 percent handset market share and become the fourth largest mobile phone vendor worldwide in 2014. Lenovo-Motorola will focus on China, Brazil, India and United States in 2015.
Key emerging challengers in mobile phones include OPPO, Vivo, Lenovo, Xiaomi and others.