TrendForce: Apple will keep up its iPhone sales momentum this year

According to the latest smartphone shipment report from TrendForce, worldwide smartphone shipments in the third quarter grew 9.1 percent over the second quarter, totaling 332 million units. Looking ahead, the research group says Samsung’s annual shipments will enter negative territory for the first time, whereas Apple will keep up its sales momentum in this year’s second half with the iPhone 6s.

Samsung retained its title as the top smartphone brand by contributing up to 25% of the global shipments in the third quarter. However, the projected shipments of Galaxy S6 and S series devices for 2015 have been reduced to 40 million units, according to TrendForce. Also, approximately 10 million units of the newly launched flagship device, Note 5, will be shipped by the end of this year. 

TrendForce says Samsung has lost much of its shares in the low-end to mid-range markets to Chinese competitors. The research group anticipates that the vendor will see its first ever decline of annual smartphone shipments in 2015, with a 1% year-on-year drop and around 323.5 million units shipped.

Apple iPhone 6s, which was released on schedule in September, has captivated consumers with its 3D Touch technology and rose gold exterior, notes TrendForce. Nonetheless, "to surpass the incredible overall shipment result of iPhone 6 will be quite challenging for iPhone 6s as there is not much that sets apart the two devices appearance-wise," notes the research group.

TrendForce smartphone analyst Avril Wu says that the main contributors to this year’s iPhone shipments are the large-size models that Apple introduced for the first time. Based on TrendForce’s analysis, iPhone’s annual shipment growth for this year will reach 16% with about 223.7 million units shipped.