Samsung’s smartphone market share falls below 20 pct in Q4

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SEOUL, Feb. 23 – The global smartphone market share of South Korea’s top smartphone maker Samsung Electronics Co. fell below 20 percent in terms of value for the first time in three years in the fourth quarter of 2014, data showed Monday.

Samsung, which has recently suffered a setback in its market share due to the rise of Chinese firms eating into its low-end handset sales, took up 17.2 percent of the world’s smartphone market in the October-December period in terms of revenue, according to the data compiled by Strategy Analytics.

U.S.-based Apple Inc., on the other hand, posted a record high in terms of revenue, accounting for 48.9 percent of the global smartphone market, apparently boosted by the rising global popularity of the iPhone 6.

For all of 2014, Samsung took up 25.1 percent of the global smartphone revenue, hovering far below Apple’s 37.6 percent, the data showed.

Samsung, which jumped into the smartphone industry in 2010, had been making strides to narrow its gap with the U.S. giant, garnering 34.1 percent of the smartphone market in 2013, when Apple posted 34.2 percent.

Its foothold, however, has recently been challenged by Chinese players rolling out low-end models, while Apple continued to weigh down on Samsung in the high-end sector as well.

LG Electronics Inc. saw its shares edge up 0.2 percentage point on-year to reach 4.3 percent to stand in the third spot. LG was followed by China’s Huawei and Japan’s Sony Corp. at 3.8 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively. (Yonhap)