Apple (AAPL) Becomes Highest Smartphone Seller after 8 Quarters

Outdoor LED panel of a stock graph

Reportedly , Apple Inc .'s (AAPL) smartphone unit sales outpaced that of Samsung in the fourth quarter of 2016.

According to data released by Gartner, Apple unit sales outnumbered Samsung by 256,000. The global smartphone market share of the iPhone maker is 17.9%, just 0.1% higher than Samsung.

Apple Inc. Price

Apple Inc. Price | Apple Inc. Quote

The report further adds that the last time Apple recorded the highest unit sales was in the fourth quarter of 2014, riding on the success of iPhone 6 and 6s. This time around, it's probably the dual camera and jet black color of the latest iPhone 7 and 7s that has worked for the company.

Apple iPhone sales are likely to rise in the upcoming months given the increasing issues with Samsung phones. The company received a lot of flak for Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and recalled the same from the market, which resulted in depleting sales in the last two quarters. Moreover, the arrest of the company chief, Jay Y. Lee, on Friday, might create more wariness toward the brand. Therefore, consumer skepticism is likely to continue for Samsung, and Apple expects the number of switchers to increase. Additionally, the buzz surrounding iPhone 8, dubbed already as a "super cycle" should allay investors' fear about iPhone sales trajectory and help its market performance.

In the last few months, Apple has increased its focus on India, which is expected to become the second largest smartphone market in the world. In fiscal 2016, Apple sales in India grew approximately 50% over the prior fiscal. Apple is optimistic about long-term growth prospects in this region.

Nonetheless, the smartphone market conditions are highly competitive. Though Apple and Samsung remain the lead players, they are plagued by stiff competition. Notably, a major portion of the market is seized by the growing dominance of Chinese smartphone manufactures like Huwaei, Oppo and others.

Going ahead, Apple is also expected to benefit from its robust cash position, strength in technology, the ecosystem that it has built and its loyal customer base. Further, its enterprise collaborations with the likes of Deloitte, IBM Corp. IBM , Cisco and SAP SE SAP are expected to be important long-term growth drivers.

Moreover, Apple has outperformed the Zacks categorized Computer Mini industry in the last one year. While the stock returned 40.47%, the industry gained 39.96% over the same period.

Zacks Rank & Stock Movement

At present, Apple has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A better-ranked stock in the wider technology space is Oclaro Inc. OCLR , which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

In the trailing four quarters, Oclaro recorded a positive average earnings surprise of 75.00%.

Just Released - Driverless Cars: Your Roadmap to Mega-Profits Today

In this latest Special Report, Zacks' Aggressive Growth Strategist Brian Bolan explores a full-blown technological breakthrough in the making - autonomous cars. He also spotlights 8 stocks with tremendous gain potential to feed off this phenomenon. Click to see the stocks right now >>

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

International Business Machines Corporation (IBM): Free Stock Analysis Report

Apple Inc. (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report

SAP SE (SAP): Free Stock Analysis Report

Oclaro, Inc. (OCLR): Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on click here.

Zacks Investment Research

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

In This Story


Other Topics


Latest Markets Videos


    Zacks is the leading investment research firm focusing on stock research, analysis and recommendations. In 1978, our founder discovered the power of earnings estimate revisions to enable profitable investment decisions. Today, that discovery is still the heart of the Zacks Rank. A wealth of resources for individual investors is available at

    Learn More