Apple surpassed Samsung to take the top spot in units shipped in the final quarter of 2017. Apple shipped 77.3 million units in the final quarter compared to Samsung's 74.1 million units, although Samsung topped Apple in shipments throughout 2017 (317.3 million units compared to 215.8 million units), according to IDC.
The global shipments of smartphones worldwide fell by 6.3% (403.5 million units) in Q4 2017 compared to the same quarter last year (430.7 million units). Global shipments of smartphones over the year in 2017 were also slightly lower (1472.4 million units) compared to 2016 (1473.4 million units), a drop of about 0.1%.
No doubt Apple's success in the last quarter was attributable to the release of the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 plus and iPhone X despite the 1% decrease in unit shipments year over year. Huawei, Xiaomi, and OPPO round out the rest of the top 5, in that order, in Q4 2017. Xiaomi was the only company in the top 5 to record an increase in percentage shipments (a whopping 97% increase) compared with the same quarter last year.
In regards to the total shipment volumes in 2017, Huawei took the third spot, OPPO took fourth, and Xiaomi rounded out the top five. Interestingly, the top five smartphone manufacturers increased their shipments in 2017 compared to 2016, with the losses limited to other phones. The top five all reported gains of varying degrees, from Xiaomi's 74.5% to Apple's 0.2%.