Apple has surpassed Samsung as the world’s top smartphone seller for the first time in 12 years. The International Data Corporation (IDC) reported that Apple claimed the top spot in 2023, with 234.6 million units sold, surpassing Samsung’s 226.6 million units.
According to data from the International Data Corporation (IDC), Apple’s iPhone secured a 20.1% market share in 2023, with a234.6 million units sold.
Samsung, which had held the top spot for 12 consecutive years, trailed behind with 226.6 million units sold, resulting in a 19.4% market share.
Apple driven by the release of the iPhone 15 in September 2023, can be contributed to various trends, mainly the increasing popularity of high-end devices, which now account for more than 20% of the market.
The IDC described this shift in power at the top of the smartphone market as a historic moment, addressing Apple’s all-time high market share and its first-time leadership in terms of volume.
The $2.8 trillion US tech giant commands the smartphone market in terms of revenues and profits but has now asserted its dominance in terms of volume as well. Apple’s 20.1% market share outpaced Samsung’s 19.4%, making its position as the leader in the industry.
This development comes at a time when Apple faced increased regulatory challenges and renewed competition from Huawei in China, its largest market.
Despite these challenges, Apple’s resilience was underlined by its positive annual growth of 3.7%, making it the only player in the top three to register growth.
Industry analysts suggest that Apple’s success can be contributed to the loyalty consumers have towards Apple devices.
Once users adopt an Apple product, they tend to remain loyal, contributing to the company’s sustained growth.
However, experts caution that the competition remains tight, with Samsung expected to put up a strong fight in 2024.
The IDC data also show the smartphone market dynamics, revealing a decline of 3.2% in global smartphone shipments to 1.17 billion units in 2023.
This downturn was contributed to macroeconomic hurdles and elevated inventory issues in the early part of the year. A strong recovery in the second half of 2023 has set the stage for a rebound in 2024.
One aspect showed by the IDC is the fragmented market for smartphones running on the Android operating system.
Low-end Samsung rivals such as Transsion and Xiaomi, along with Honor and Google, have contributed to this fragmentation.
The success of Huawei’s products in China also played in Samsung’s decline in sales, with Huawei remaining a competitive threat to Apple in its largest market.
The company secured positive annual growth facing challenges, such as regulatory issues and competition in China.
This success can be contributed, in part, to the growing trend of premium devices, representing over 20% of the market.
Samsung faced a psychological blow with the loss of its long-held position at the top. However, industry experts anticipate a closely contested battle throughout 2024, with Samsung to regain lost ground through innovative product launches.
As the smartphone market enters a very interesting time, with discussions around foldable phones and increased on artificial intelligence capabilities, Apple’s positioning and consumer loyalty was because of its continued success.