Samsung trails behind Apple in battle of the smartphone vendors

After an incredible quarterly report selling 74.5 million iPhones, Apple has reportedly surpassed Samsung as the largest smartphone vendor worldwide.

Creative Strategies analyst Ben Bajarin claims Apple sold around 3-4 million more smartphones in the quarter than Samsung, although the South Korean company has not released solid numbers.

smartphone-sales-q1-2015

Samsung reported 100 million handset sales, but failed to make the split between feature phones and smartphones, claiming it sold somewhere between 71 and 75 million.

This is normally Apple's most dominant quarter after launching its iPhone. In 2014, Apple launched the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, its two most popular devices ever.

The surge in Chinese interest for iPhones played a pivotal role in the 74 million sales, reportedly selling 30 million units in China alone, making it Apple's most popular region.

It is quite remarkable that two devices (not including older iPhone 5S and 5C sales) managed to beat Samsung's smartphone range, spanning over 35 products in 2014.

Samsung's Galaxy S5 only managed to gain 15 million sales over the entire year, forcing Samsung to rethink its high-end sales strategy. Samsung has been focusing on a full redesign for the Galaxy S6, hiring some ex-Apple designers to polish the device.

Xiaomi also noticed a significant decline following Apple's successful quarter, losing its first place in China. The only other provider in the top 8 that noticed large gains from Q3 2014 to Q1 2015 was LG.

The real question is can Apple maintain this level of sales - usually the smartphone maker loses traction in Q1 and Q2 before the launch of its new iPhone.

Apple also needs to worry about the success of the Apple Watch, its first wearable.

Analysts are projecting between 15 and 30 million sales in the opening year, and if Apple doesn't hit that figure it could spell problems.