The numbers are a big change from 2012, when 32 percent of customers said they would prefer to own a Samsung phone, while just 21 percent of those surveyed said they wanted Apple's iPhone.
Apple has taken particular interest in emerging markets, particularly China, Brazil and India, in recent years, with the belief that most future smartphone growth will come from developing nations. That helped lead speculation that Apple might develop a new low-cost smartphone to address the low end of the market, but the company instead last year released the iPhone 5c, which turned out to be a mid-range handset still out of the price range of many customers.
And while Android leads in market share, Apple's control of the high end of the smartphone market makes it dominant in profit share, with recent statistics showing the Cupertino, Calif., company earned 87.4 percent of global handset profits in the December quarter. Samsung came in second place with 32.2 percent of profits, and the two leaders exceeded 100 percent share as other companies actually saw losses in the quarter.