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Samsung Retakes Top Spot in Global Smartphone Sales Race

Ryan McQueeney

According to new market research, Samsung SSNLF sold more smartphones than Apple AAPL in the first quarter of 2017, giving the South Korean tech behemoth first place in the global vendor race just months after the fallout from its Galaxy Note 7 nightmare.

TrendForce’s latest data shows global production volume of 307 million units in Q1, with Samsung capturing a 26.1% share of the market and Apple managing to snag just a 16.9% share.

“The economically priced, high-performing Galaxy J series sustained Samsung’s shipments and contributed significantly to the expansion of the brand’s overall smartphone production volume. Samsung was the only brand that saw positive growth in production volume during the off season of the first quarter,” TrendForce said.

Samsung briefly forfeited its spot as the world leader in smartphone sales last quarter after the reaction to its “exploding” Galaxy Note 7 device. After two separate recalls, production of the Galaxy Note 7—which was found to dangerously combust in certain cases—was discontinued in October.

The PR disaster allowed Apple, which rolled out the iPhone 7 in September, to edge past Samsung and claim a 20.3% share of the worldwide smartphone market.  TrendForce noted that it expects Apple to lower the production volume of iPhones in the second quarter as it prepares for the launch of next-generation devices in Q3.

TrendForce also suggested that the anticipation for Apple’s next iPhone release is hurting demand for its competitors’ products. The firm stated that it does not expect Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 to inspire year-over-year sales growth because “the buzz surrounding the next-generation iPhone devices is dampening demand for products from non-Apple vendors.”

Nevertheless, the Galaxy S8 promises to be one of the best performing pieces of smartphone hardware on the market, which should continue to help Samsung ease its PR headache. For more on the Galaxy S8, as well as Samsung’s most recent public relations nightmares, check out the latest episode of our exclusive tech-focused podcast, the Zacks Tech Talk Tuesday:

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