Apple is being forced to continue offering older models to fend off Samsung's increasing challenge, according to Juniper Research.
In a report released today, Juniper Research said that Apple shipped 37 million iPhones in Q4, almost a quarter of the 149 million smartphones shipped worldwide in Q4. However, while Apple overtook Samsung to reach the number one slot, the report said Samsung has increased its market share four-fold since Q1 2010 – from 4.7% to 21.7%.
Juniper Research argues that, while Apple sold four million iPhone 4Ss' within three days of launch, the company’s return to top spot was partly driven by continuing to offer the iPhone 3GS – first launched in 2009 – at rock-bottom prices.
Juniper believes this an effort to shore-up its defences against a bombardment of standard and premium smartphones from Samsung.
Daniel Ashdown, research analyst with Juniper Research said: ‘The scale of Samsung’s product range is saturating the market. Apple has had to counter Samsung’s products like the Galaxy Ace in order to maintain the visibility of its brand.’
Results of other OEMs were more muted with HTC the only other member of the top five to see significant year-on-year growth.
BlackBerry manufacturer RIM’s shipments saw a fall of just 0.7% year on year at 14.4 million, while Nokia’s smartphone shipments were down 31% year on year in the fourth quarter, the report found.