In spite of launching a new, well-received iPhone model, Samsung has still snagged the top spot over Apple in terms of overall share of smartphones shipped across the globe.

Based on the findings of International Data Corporation’s (IDC) latest results from the Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report, Samsung is still shipping far more smartphones than any other manufacturer. Of the total of 355.2 million units shipped in the third quarter of 2015, Samsung represented 84.5 million of those — or 23.8 per cent of the global smartphone market share. And IDC officials credit slower-than-expected iPhone 6S and 6S Plus sales combined with the release of several Android flagship devices (such as August’s Samsung Note series launch) into the market.

“The vendor landscape and product offerings are really unique at the moment as many markets are seeing consumers become more aware of alternative buying options when it comes to paying for their smartphone,” said Ryan Reith, program director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, in a statement. “In mature and subsidized markets, we now have a wide range of operators offering equipment installation plans (EIP), as well as early trade-in options. At the same time, the number of unlocked/off-contract offerings has increased significantly and it’s slowly starting to resonate with consumers.”

Samsung’s shipments represented a modest jump of 6.1 per cent over last quarter. In comparison, Apple sent out 48 million units. While that seems paltry next to Samsung’s 84.5 million, Apple’s numbers were driven up 22.2 per cent from the same time last year. Experts primarily attribute this significant upsurge to the release of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.

“The third quarter placed a substantial emphasis on flagship devices as vendors tried to outclass each other in both features and design,” said Anthony Scarsella, research manager of mobile phones for IDC, in a statement. “New flagship models translated to fiercer competition at the high-end for most players as many will try to challenge both Samsung and Apple for a place among the elite. However, despite the glitz and glamour at the high-end, we still expect the bulk of volume and growth to once again sprout from low to mid-range handsets, particularly in emerging markets.”

The third runner-up this quarter was Huawei, whose efforts to grow its mid to high-range device offerings with its Honor 6 Plus and Ascend 8 helped boost its shipments by 60.9 per cent over last year’s numbers.

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