Apple iPhone 6
There have been a few smartphone winners this year, such as LG and Chinese company Xiaomi, but for my money Apple has had the best start to 2014, and it hasn’t even launched a product. The iPhone is trampling over the competition and even though some analysts are predicting potential trouble for Cupertino in the near future, I just can’t see from where.

Before I get into how Apple has had the upper hand over rivals in 2014, I think it is best to let the numbers do the talking, because as is usually the case with Cupertino, they are astonishing. For example, record amounts of iPhones sold in every single period since the iPhone 5s launch, whether that’s month by month, quarter by quarter, year on year, Holiday Season etc. That is not just me pulling things out of the air either, the iPhone sold 35.2 million units during the last quarter, crushing analyst predictions and beating last year’s figure for the same period by 4 million units.

When the iPhone 6 lands later this year, it is likely to be the biggest smartphone launch in history, with 80 million units produced to deal with demand from September to December. Make no mistake, even Samsung with its huge sales can only dream of figures like this from just one or two handsets in such a short space of time.

That leads nicely to Samsung, the only company that has managed to take the fight to Apple over recent years with any consistent success. The Korean company is rocking after its profits tumbled by billions, its sales have declined, and demand is lowering. It’s true, Apple is not the chief architect of Samsung’s woes, but in my opinion the troubles with the Galaxy manufacturer show that it has always competed against Apple with an advantage.

You may have looked at sales charts over the years and even this month and seen that Samsung sells more smartphones than Apple around the world. That’s all well and good, and it shows that Samsung’s model is one that works, or at least worked depending on what the future holds. However, there is one important fact to remember, Samsung makes dozens of smartphones and launches dozens per year, Apple makes just three, the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 4s.

Apple’s three devices give Samsung’s dozens a run for their money every single quarter and through every single piece of market research. Yes Samsung sells more handsets, but then it has a hell of a lot more to sell in the first place. This is not a rag attack on Samsung either, as the Korean giants’ success is actually inspirational to me in the way Apple’s is also. I just do not subscribe to the thought that Apple has been beaten by Samsung.

It is a similar story with Android, where Google’s OS enjoys unprecedented market share that even the once ubiquitous Symbian could not match all those years ago. If we count the thousands of Android products against Apple’s handful, then the only reaction is to think that Android should be on top. That said, Google HAS done a wonderful job growing its platform and again it is nothing against the model, just an observation that Apple continues to do well.

You may think that this comes down to margins and how one perceives them. The thing is though, Apple is all about the margin, and the company makes no bones about it. With that in mind, a company that sells tens of millions of units and gobbles up a large amount of market share, while only dealing out a few products each year must be doing something right.

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Luke Jones

Luke is the editor of DailyiPhoneBlog.

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