With 22.3 percent market share, Samsung pipped Apple to grab the top spot in the global smartphone sales to end users (by vendor) in the third quarter of 2017, market research firm Gartner said on Thursday.
Apple registered a distant 11.9 percent market share while Huawei 9.5 percent at third spot as the global smartphone sales reached 383 million units in the third quarter.
In the second quarter, Samsung registered 20.7 percent market share while Apple 13.7 percent, indicating a drop for the Cupertino-based giant.
"Renewed pushes of the newly designed Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note 8 smartphones have brought back growing demand for Samsung smartphones which helped it compete against Chinese manufacturers and deliver a solid performance in the quarter," Anshul Gupta, Research Director, Gartner, said in a statement.
Samsung's smartphone sales recorded a double-digit increase (19.3 percent) in the third quarter.
"The last time Samsung achieved a double-digit growth was in the fourth quarter of 2015," Gupta added.
Other smartphone vendors that registered double-digit growth are Huawei, OPPO and Xiaomi. However, Apple saw 5.7 percent increase.
Apple saw strong sales in many of the emerging markets, including India. This is due to the continued sales of legacy iPhones, including the iPhone 5S which retails at around $240 street price in most markets, the research firm added.
"In emerging Asia Pacific region, both Samsung and Huawei saw healthy demand along with Xiaomi and Vivo which were able to grow their footprint outside their home markets," Gupta noted.
Out of all smartphone vendors, Xiaomi achieved the strongest growth, exhibiting an 80 percent increase in the third quarter of 2017.
India continues to be the biggest growth market for Xiaomi outside China but growing sales from Latin America and Russia are also boosting its sales.
Leading Chinese smartphone manufacturers OPPO, Huawei, Vivo and Xiaomi continued to drive sales across emerging markets, led by their mid-price and budget smartphones with a focus on 4G connectivity and better cameras.