Apple Ships More Smartphones Than Samsung for First Time in 13 Years

Apple overtook Samsung as the top global smartphone manufacturer in 2023, according to preliminary data from market research firm IDC. If the data is accurate, it is the first time Apple has taken the top spot from Samsung since 2010.

IDC bases its analyses on market share of global smartphone shipments across the year. According to the report, Apple took a 20.1% market share, while Samsung took 19.4% of the share.

Apple was also the only company in the top three to achieve positive growth year-on-year, increasing shipments from 226.3 million units to 234.6 million units.

“While we saw some strong growth from low-end Android players like Transsion and Xiaomi in the second half of 2023, stemming from rapid growth in emerging markets, the biggest winner is clearly Apple,” said Nabila Popal, research director with IDC’s Worldwide Tracker team. “Not only is Apple the only player in the Top 3 to show positive growth annually, but also bags the number 1 spot annually for the first time ever. All this despite facing increased regulatory challenges and renewed competition from Huawei in China, its largest market.”Samsung’s drop in rank is interpreted as only partly down to strong sales of Apple’s iPhone 14 models and the company’s debut of the iPhone 15 series, while diversification in the Android market is also said to be a factor. Other impacting variables are said to include Huawei’s resurgence in China, and brands like OnePlus, Honor, Google, and others launching competitive devices in the lower price range of the high-end market.

Overall, the smartphone market declined by 3.2% to 1.17 billion units shipped across the year, driven largely by macroeconomic challenges and elevated inventory early in the year. However, a growth spurt in the latter stages of 2023 suggests the market could see a recovery this year, with foldable devices and increased interest in AI capabilities also said to be gaining traction.

Tag: IDC

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