Samsung Electronics has beaten Apple to rank third in the global smartphone application processor (AP) market.

Among the top five in the smartphone AP market, Samsung Electronics and Huawei saw their shares rise in 2019, while Qualcomm, MediaTek and Apple suffered a setback, market research firm Counterpoint said in a quarterly report on March 23. Samsung's share spiked from 11.8 percent in 2018 to 14.1 percent in 2019, beating Apple to rise to third place.

Qualcomm took the No. 1 spot with a 33.4 percent share. However, its market share edged down from the previous year. Qualcomm has a market share of over 30 percent in all regions except the Middle East-Africa region, and MediaTek, which ranked second, was strong in markets where budget smartphones are popular such as the Middle East, Africa, India and Southeast Asia.

Samsung chalked up a relatively large market share in Europe and Latin America, and in other regions, its market share increased compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, Huawei's share surged in the Chinese market but fell outside of China as a whole.