Samsung has reclaimed its former place as the number one worldwide smartphone maker for the first quarter of 2015. In the fourth quarter of 2014, the Korean manufacturer lost its spot to Apple, which was basking in the glow of its success with the release of its latest flagship smartphone duo, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

The difference between number one Samsung and number two Apple was significant, with the former in the selling over 20 million more smartphones than its rival in the quarter. Samsung sold a total of 81.1 million smartphones in the quarter compared to Apple's 60.1 million.

Even though it retook the top spot, Samsung's market share dropped quite a bit a year ago. The total market share for Samsung in Q1 of 2015 was 24.2 percent, whereas in Q1 of 2014 it was 30.4 percent. Conversely, Apple's market share rose somewhat from the same period last year, to 17.9 percent this Q1 from 15.3 percent in Q1 2014. Lenovo, LG and Huawei rounded out the top five global smartphone sellers.

The data did not include sales numbers from the recent launch of Samsung's latest Galaxy smartphone duo, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner stated "Despite a weak first quarter globally, Samsung's performance returned to growth quarter-on-quarter, with an 11 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2014. We expect Samsung's drop rate to be slower than that seen in recent quarters with sales of its new S6 smartphones starting in the second quarter of 2015, and its Galaxy Alpha receiving good response."

Total worldwide smartphone sales saw a big increase of 19.3 percent from a year ago to 336 million units, largely thanks to huge growth in emerging markets. Apple almost doubled sales in China from a year ago and captured the spot as top smartphone maker in the region, which is now the number one volume market for the company.

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