Apple's iPhone 5S World's No. 1 Smartphone in Q1 2014; iPhone 6 May Start Trend of Bigger iPhones

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The Apple logo is pictured at a retail store in the Marina neighborhood in San Francisco, California April 23, 2014.
The Apple logo is pictured at a retail store in the Marina neighborhood in San Francisco, California April 23, 2014. REUTERS

Apple Inc.'s iPhone 5S is the world's number 1 smartphone in the first quarter of 2014, beating Samsung in the latest report of ABI Research. According to the research firm, Apple and Samsung dominated the rankings for the Top 5 which comes as no surprise since both companies take a bigger piece of pie in terms of market share.

Following the iPhone 5S is Samsung's Galaxy S4 Euro while in third and fourth place are the S3 and S4 LTE. Apple's older generation iPhone 4S ranked fifth in the list. Sony and LG smartphones made it to the top 20 while Xiaomi made its first appearance in the rankings. Huawei did not make it into the list.

According to the report, the presence of older models such as the Galaxy S3 and iPhone 4S in the top 5 is proof of the smartphones' "enduring appeal." Apple and Samsung are both perceived as strong brands which allow them to enjoy a long and profitable life cycle "other vendors can only dream of."

Nick Spencer of ABI Research said Samsung is driven by its 27 per cent share in the market. Despite Apple's lower market share compared to Samsung, significant volume sales help propelled the iPhone at the top.

Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi marked its first appearance in ABI's rankings with the cheaper $130 Redmi which is available outside of China.

The ABI report also highlighted the popularity of smartphones with larger displays since three of the top 5 phones have bigger screens than Apple's iPhone. Reports said Apple may have misjudged and underestimated the impact of bigger screen smartphones. The strong sales of phones that come with Google's Android operating system may be a sign of bigger things to come if Apple will prove the rumors true in releasing bigger iPhone 6 in September.

If Apple will release a bigger iPhone, analysts said it would be a "smart move" for the company, especially in emerging markets like China where consumers prefer smartphones with larger screens. Aside from the usual enhancements to iPhone's camera, processor and battery life, iPhone 6 is something a customer would want whether he is buying an iPhone for the first time or looking for an upgrade. Apple's iPhone 6 release date is expected on September at a media event. 

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