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Apple Gains as Samsung Drops in Smartphone Race

It wasn't just Apple. China's Xiaomi, Huawei and Lenovo all posted significant year-over-year increases.

Piotr Adamowicz / Shutterstock

The smartphone market showed healthy growth for both the fourth quarter and the full year, with Samsung the only top brand to post a year-over-year decline.

Overall, smartphone makers shipped 375.2 million units during the fourth quarter of 2014, according to IDC, up 28 percent from a year earlier and nearly 12 percent from the third quarter. As we noted Wednesday, Samsung and Apple shipped roughly the same number of smartphones last quarter. (IDC estimates Samsung narrowly edged out Apple, 75.1 million to 74.5 million.)

While Apple’s gains and Samsung’s dip were well publicized, the rise of China was the underrepresented story. Lenovo, Huawei and Xiaomi all posted year-over-year gains in excess of 40 percent. Xiaomi’s growth was the highest on a percentage basis, but it actually fell from third to fifth for the quarter as both Huawei and Lenovo grew their already strong base during the quarter.

For the full year, IDC estimates 1.3 billion smartphones were shipped, up 27 percent from 2013.

IDC Smartphone Q414

This article originally appeared on

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