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For the first time, Apple has beaten local smartphones vendors in China. During Q4 2014, the company’s iPhone line nabbed first place by units shipped in the Chinese smartphone market.

The latest estimates come from Canalys, an independent analyst firm, which said the U.S. company reached the milestone thanks to the “incredible popularity” of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in China. “This is an amazing result, given that the average selling price of Apple’s handsets is nearly double those of its nearest competitors,” Canalys added.

Chinese smartphone vendors like Xiaomi are growing quickly and pushing outside of their home country. In the meantime, Apple has apparently managed to beat them at their own game in their own market.

The next top three vendors during the quarter in China by units shipped were Xiaomi, Samsung, and Huawei, respectively. Canalys previously reported that Xiaomi had unseated Samsung for the top spot in Q2 2014.

While that trend has held, Apple has only had first place for one quarter. If the company can keep the top spot throughout the year, particularly during non-holiday quarters, it will be quite an achievement.

Canalys explains Apple’s success by saying the company is “finally riding the large screen and LTE trends in China, which have been vital to its success, along with a well-timed launch and a clampdown on grey exports of its products out of Hong Kong.” That may be true, but other smartphone vendors will be looking hard to counter the offensive.

Apple isn’t first worldwide, but it does dominate certain markets very well. For example, just last week we noted a study found iPhones accounted for half of all new U.S. smartphone activations in Q4 2014.

Apple will be reporting its fiscal Q1 2015 earnings later today. Expectations are running high, with record iPhone sales a big possibility.

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