Is Apple about to overtake Samsung for smartphone shipments? It would have seemed hugely unlikely even half a year ago, but figures released by both companies suggest they were neck-and-neck in the final quarter of 2014. 

We reported on Apple’s 74.5m iPhone shipments in Q4 yesterday, but then Samsung came out with its own figures: 95m overall mobile phones sold that quarter, with smartphones accounting for a “high 70 percent” proportion of them – in other words, between 71m and 75m. So, where Apple’s numbers have been seen as a triumph, Samsung’s have been seen as a sign of that company’s smartphone dominance sliding – aided by news yesterday that its mobile division’s earnings were down 64% year-on-year in the final quarter of 2014. Both companies are selling a shedload of smartphones, but the market momentum appears to be with Apple now.

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