When it comes to analyst firms, there are very few that I trust and even then, I rather look at all of their numbers and compare them together to get a better picture of the global smartphone market. TrendForce hasn't been on my radar — it could be very accurate, it could be all over the place. So I am going to tell you to take its report and numbers with a grain of salt, although the results couldn't be that far off.
So, according to TrendForce, Samsung shipped twice as many smartphones in Q1 2016 as Apple. I'll give you a few seconds to master your shock face and then a couple of minutes to cool off after screaming and celebrating / revolting and breaking everything around. Depends where you fall on the love/hate scale of either company.
But come to think of it, that trend makes some sense, although the difference is a little larger than expected. Apple is on its follow-up quarter for a reiterated phone that looks similar to last year's, whereas Samsung is on a launch quarter for a device that adds very marketable differences (water-resistance) over last year's. That is not to account for all of the mid-range devices it also launched in the first quarter. Logic says it should have done better than Apple, and it seems like it did. Almost twice as better actually.
Samsung shipped 81.5M smartphones in Q1 2016, going against the industry's dropping trend and raising 2.5% above Q4 2015. Apple's numbers fell hard after the holiday sales: 42M smartphones in Q1 2016 compared to 75M in Q4 2015 (a 43.8% decrease).
Of the other manufacturers, Lenovo, Xiaomi, and LG managed to gain a bit of marketshare, while Huawei lost just a teeny bit. They're still holding onto their respective rankings though. This changes nothing for any of us, but it's fun to look at the numbers and see what's happening. I also love the fact that some of the brands we heavily cover here, like HTC and Sony, don't even factor in the global picture as much as those that we only sporadically write about.