The iPhone has caused Android sales to fall for the first time ever

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Android

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Android

Samsung isn’t the only smartphone maker experiencing a decline in sales thanks to Apple’s latest iPhones. New data shows that the popularity of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus caused Android sales to decline for the first time ever during the fourth quarter of 2014.

The iPhone’s market share might be miniscule in comparison with Android’s, but when it comes to the high-end market — which typically delivers the best profits — Apple is dominating. Big style.

Earlier this month, Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley found that Apple had secured a staggering 93 percent of the entire smartphone industry’s profits this quarter. It looked like Samsung might be catching up back in 2013, but disappointing sales in 2014 meant in quickly fell away.

Android is still the favored platform in markets where more affordable smartphones are favorites, but according to data from Kantar Worldpanel, the iPhone is outselling all of its Android-powered rivals combined in the United States.

Google is also taking a hit from Android “forks,” which it has no control over, Business Insider explains. Independent ROMs like CyanogenMod, which just raised $70 million at a valuation, are growing increasingly popular.

As a result, sales of regular Android devices dropped for the first time ever during Q4 2014.

That’s right — since the first Android smartphone was introduced, sales have increased from quarter to quarter. But the latest data from ABI Research shows that during Q4 of last year, Android shipments fell by 11.9 million units — or 12.4 million if you count the “forks” as well.

“4Q 2014 has been a seismic quarter in the smartphone industry and many premium tier Android vendors may once again review their operating system and therefore content and service strategies in light of Apple and forked Android vendor Xiaomi’s success,” writes ABI’s Nick Spencer.

“Worrying times for Google’s mobile services and Android, but it presents opportunity for other service providers and even operating systems.”

Samsung is hoping to stem the bleeding with the upcoming Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, which are expected to be huge improvements over previous Galaxy S5 devices. But it will take several hit devices over the course of several years to steal the iPhone’s thunder.