Apple overtakes Samsung to become world’s top smartphone seller
After 12 years of reign, Apple has toppled Samsung to become the world’s top smartphone seller. Apple dethroned Samsung Electronics as the leading global smartphone seller, securing a 20% market share, according to a report by the International Data Corp (IDC).
Samsung concluded the year with a 19.4% share, trailed by Xiaomi, Oppo, and Transsion, as per preliminary data from IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. “The last time a company not named Samsung was at the top of the smartphone market was 2010, and for 2023 it is now Apple,” IDC said in the report.
This shift in rankings follows a challenging year marked by consumers delaying smartphone upgrades and opting for more affordable devices due to inflation and economic uncertainties. Apple’s iPhone emerged as the top-selling smartphone worldwide in 2023, marking the first time Samsung lost the top spot since 2010.
According to the latest data from the International Data Corporation, Apple achieved 234.6 million iPhone shipments in 2023, capturing a 20.1% global market share with a 3.7% annual growth. In contrast, Samsung experienced a 13.6% decline in smartphone shipments, reaching 226.6 million units and securing a 19.4% market share, as reported by IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.
Xiaomi claimed the third position with 145.9 million shipments, holding a 12.5% market share, according to IDC based in Massachusetts. The top five were rounded off by Chinese smartphone manufacturers Oppo and Transsion.
“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. Apple’s ongoing success and resilience is in large part due to the increasing trend of premium devices, which now represent over 20% of the market, fueled by aggressive trade-in offers and interest-free financing plans.”
“The overall shift in ranking at the top of the market further highlights the intensity of competition within the smartphone market,” said Ryan Reith, group vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers. “Apple certainly played a part in Samsung’s drop in rank, but the overall Android space is diversifying within itself. Huawei is back and making inroads quickly within China, Brands like OnePlus, Honor, Google, and others are launching very competitive devices in the lower price range of the high end. And foldables and increased discussions around AI capabilities on the smartphone are gaining traction. Overall, the smartphone space is headed towards a very interesting time.”