New data from Gartner suggests that iPhone sales grew 36% year-on-year, while Samsung’s sales fell 5.3% in the same period. Apple’s market share climbed from 12.2% in Q2 2014 to 14.6% in the same quarter this year. Other winners were Chinese brands Huawei and Xiaomi.

Gartner said that while overall smartphone growth was sluggish, Apple continued to dominate the premium end of the market, with other vendors struggling to compete.

Apple’s double-digit growth in the high-end segment continued to negatively impact its rivals’ premium phone sales and profit margins. Many vendors had to realign their portfolios to remain competitive in the midrange and low-end smartphone segments. This realignment resulted in price wars and discounting to clear up inventory for new devices planned for the second half of 2015 … 

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The company said that Apple performed well in both emerging and mature markets, with growing its business in China by 68% despite total smartphone revenue in the country falling by 4%. Research director Anshul Gupta (via TechCrunch) said that Apple was the brand Chinese consumers wanted to own.

[Apple is] a big brand and people really associate that with their status and it’s kind of an aspirational brand so many of the consumers in China expect to own an iPhone at some point of time. To some extent it has affected replacement sales for Android phones because Android users are holding onto their phones for a little longer in the hope of buying an iPhone.

Apple recently reported that its total revenue for the quarter (Apple’s fiscal Q3) across all products was up 33% worldwide, with Chinese revenue more than doubling at 112% growth. While Apple’s market share in China was recently reported to have dropped, this number is of limited interest to Apple, which focuses on profitability.

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