Apple has surpassed Samsung as the world's leading shipper of smartphones, according to two industry reports released today.

Though IDC and IHS Markit had differing numbers for the fourth quarter of 2017, the result was the same: Apple handsets surpassed Samsung in shipments for only the second time in history.

"The new models from Apple played a key role in moving Apple ahead of Samsung in Q4," said Ryan Reith, vice president for IDC's Mobile Device Tracker report.

Apple once before surpassed Samsung in handset shipments – in the fourth quarter of 2016. But that was considered an anomaly by analysts at the time.

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