Analysts say that device activations show that Apple wasn’t able to capitalise on the dramatic recall of Samsung’s Note 7. Despite the damage done to Samsung’s reputation, and the opportunity that created for Apple to persuade owners to switch platform, most Note 7 buyers ended up replacing it with another high-end Galaxy phone, said Stephen Baker, primary hardware analyst at tech industry research firm NPD.

Samsung was able to fend off other Android competition, and Apple, too, thanks to Apple’s own lack of a wowing product this year.

Mobile industry consultant Chetan Sharma agreed with NPD’s assessment … 

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Apple has the strongest ecosystem, with its hardware, software and app and content stores. iPhone users looking for an upgrade stick with Apple. But in a year when Samsung dropped the ball in a huge way, Apple didn’t have a phone with a compelling enough feature set to lure Samsung owners away.

Indeed, although Apple topped the charts, the figures suggest that Apple’s sales declined while Samsung’s rose.

Apple products accounted for 44% of activated smartphones and tablets in the period, while Samsung’s smartphones and tablets accounted for 21%, Flurry said […] That is a dip for Apple, which claimed 49.1% for a similar period in 2015. For Samsung, it was a bump up from 19.8%.

Analysts noted that while the iPhone 7 achieved strong sales, it wasn’t yet clear whether its performance was enough to reverse the decline. Apple’s decision not to reveal opening weekend sales – due, it said, to constrained supply – means that it has been much harder to estimate the popularity of the device.

Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns

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