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iPhone shipments rise in down smartphone market

Samsung retains global smartphone crown in the first quarter despite losing ground to Apple.

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Samsung is still top dog, but Apple gained ground.

Marta Franco/CNET

Apple's slice of the global smartphone market grew in the first quarter of 2018 despite an industry seeing cooling demand for handsets.

Global shipments in the quarter fell 2 percent year-over-year to 345 million units, market researcher Strategy Analytics reported Tuesday. Samsung held on the smartphone sales crown by shipping 78.2 million units, a decline of 2 percent year-over-year, giving it a market share of 23 percent.

Apple came in second, shipping 52.2 million units in the quarter, an increase of 3 percent, giving it a market share of 15 percent. Apple's results came amid fears that sales of the iPhone -- its biggest moneymaker -- would not be as strong as the company expected.

"The global smartphone market has slowed down this year, due to longer replacement rates, diminishing carrier subsidies, and a lack of new hardware design innovation," Linda Sui, director at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement.

No. 3 Huawei saw its shipments grow by nearly 14 percent to 39.3 million units, while No. 4 Xiaomi more than doubled its shipments with 28.3 million units.

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