Having sold 77.3 million iPhones
in the holiday quarter, Apple climbed back to the top of the smartphone market for just the third time since losing pole position to Samsung in 2011. While Apple
mostly has the new iPhone X to thank for its resurgence, the company’s fiercest competitor Samsung will be (rightfully) optimistic to reclaim the top spot sooner rather than later.
As our chart, based on IDC data
, illustrates, Samsung's smartphone business is considerably less affected by seasonal fluctuations than Apple's has been in recent years. The iPhone release calendar, which usually sees new models go on sale in late September/early October, nicely aligns with the holiday season, resulting in a huge sales spike for Apple at the end of each year followed by a rather steep drop-off in subsequent quarters.
Samsung on the other hand typically has two major phone releases throughout the year. One in the first quarter for the Galaxy S line and another one in late summer for the Galaxy Note, resulting in sales that are much more evenly distributed throughout the year.