The Korean phone maker lost its spot to Apple in Q4 2014, when the Cupertino-based company was enjoying the success of its latest smartphone duo, the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6.
In Q1 2015, however, Samsung sold 81.1 million smartphones, exceeding Apple’s 60.1 million tally by more than 20 million.
Although Samsung reclaimed the top spot, its market share fell from 30.4 per cent in Q1 2014 to 24.2 per cent in Q1 2015.
Meanwhile, Apple’s market share climbed from 15.3 per cent in Q1 2014 to 17.9 per cent in Q1 2015. Rounding out the top five global smartphone sellers were Lenovo, LG, and Huawei.
The figures did not include sales data from the recent launch of Samsung’s newest Galaxy duo, the Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S6.
“Despite a weak first quarter globally, Samsung’s performance returned to growth quarter-on-quarter, with an 11 per cent 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,” said Gartner research director Anshul Gupta.
Overall, worldwide smartphone sales saw a huge increase of 19.3 per cent from the previous year to 336 million units, primarily due to significant growth in emerging markets.
Apple nearly doubled its sales in China from the previous year, making it the top smartphone maker within the region, which is now the company’s number one volume market.