According to figures from Strategy Analytics, Samsung shifted 81.3 million smartphones in the final quarter of 2015. That compares with 74.8 million for Apple, which revealed its official results earlier this week.
Last year, Samsung and Apple were neck and neck after the Christmas period, with the release of Apple’s then cutting edge iPhone and iPhone 6 Plus pushing it closer to its Korean rival than ever before.
Now though, Samsung has opened up a healthy lead over Apple, with a 22.2% share of the smartphone market. Apple has 16.1%.
The numbers, however, belie the fact that both companies this week revealed they would struggle in the coming months.
Apple said it expected to see its first-ever decline in iPhone sales, while Samsung revealed its smartphone business profits slid at the end of 2015.