Apple has eclipsed Samsung as the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer, ending Samsung’s decade-long reign. According to a recent IDC report, Apple’s ascendancy in 2023 marks the first time since Nokia’s era in 2010 that Samsung has relinquished its lead.
Apple’s strategy of consistent growth in the premium segment, coupled with robust U.S. sales and innovative programs, catapulted it to the top spot. Shipping a staggering 234.6 million iPhones in 2023, Apple claimed 20.1% of the global market, a notable 3.7% increase. Meanwhile, Samsung slipped to second place with 226.6 million units, representing a 13.6% decrease, underscoring the intense competition.
China’s Xiaomi secured the third position with 145.9 million smartphones, while Oppo and Transsion claimed the fourth and fifth spots. Intriguingly, Samsung, despite gearing up for the Galaxy S24 series launch, experienced a decline in sales in the fourth quarter of 2023.
The global smartphone market witnessed a 3.2% volume decrease in 2023, hitting a decade-low at 1.17 billion devices. However, a glimmer of hope emerged as the market exhibited an 8.5% growth in the last quarter. Lower-tier Android players like Transsion and Xiaomi thrived, fueled by resurging demand in emerging markets.
The comeback narrative also featured Huawei, resurging in China, and intense competition in the lower high-end price range from brands like OnePlus, Honor, and Google. The growth of foldable smartphones and the increasing role of AI stirred excitement, hinting at a dynamic future for the smartphone market.
Ryan Reith, Group Vice President at IDC Worldwide Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, expressed optimism, stating, “Overall, very interesting times await the smartphone market.” As Apple reigns supreme and the industry evolves, the smartphone arena braces for a new era of innovation and competition.